Eternal Food

Jesus always wants what’s highest and best for us. The crowds were thronging Jesus to meet their immediate needs. He tries to give them a long term perspective. 


Bible passages: Matt 14.34-36; Mark 6.53-56; John 6.22-29


Do we try to shape God?

Physical food vs. spiritual food

Physical healing vs spiritual healing

Physical freedom vs spiritual freedom

Labouring for food that does not perish

Response of faith

Bible Passage

Matthew 14:34 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.

Bible Passage

John 6:22 The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples, but that they had gone away alone. 23 Then some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus.

Jesus the Bread of Life

25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”

Bible Passage

John 6:26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”


Matthew and Mark mentions that Jesus and his disciples reach Gennesaret (Mark 6:53).

John’s account mentions that they were being searched for in Capernaum. John mentions that some boats from Tiberius also go to the place of the feeding.

So we see people groups criss-crossing the sea of Galilee searching for Jesus.


Why were they following Jesus?

John 6:14, 15

14When the people saw the sign that Jesus had performed, they began to say, “Truly this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15Then Jesus, realizing that they were about to come and make Him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by Himself. 

They say He is the Messiah.

They expect the Messiah to rule and provide for them as Jesus provided bread. Probably unhappy with their ruler.

They are after short term benefits.

When Jesus offers eternal bread, most lose interest!! (John 6:66,67)


Why were they following Jesus?

In hot pursuit..

The crowds realized that only one boat had left the shores which had been taken by the disciples.

People from Tiberious and other regions crossed the lake, searched Bethsaida, Capernaum, etc and found Jesus in Gennaseret.

They were ready to make Him King on their terms.

They wanted Jesus to fulfil their desire – with physical food

Jesus would become King on His terms

And fulfil our needs – with spiritual food.

When Jesus offers eternal bread, most lose interest!! (John 6:66,67)

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Biblical self actualization

Do we try to shape God?

They were  trying to shape their Messiah to their mould:





Jesus wants to shape us into His mould:




Physical food vs. spiritual food

Physical food refers to (roti, kapada makkan) – food, clothing shelter and the various comforts of life.

We are often obsessed with “food which perishes”.

Spiritual food is understanding and obeying God’s will for us. Jesus says “my food is to do the will of the Lord who sent me”. Jesus is also our “bread of life”. He says “trust me”. He feeds life into us as we trust and obey Him.

Physical healing vs Spiritual Healing

In Jesus’ time as now there were sicknesses – people were blind, dumb, deaf, paralyzed, dying young, etc.

Physical sickness is a top prayer agenda in the church.

Spiritual sickness is far worse. Sickness of soul. Unlike physical sickness it is often barely perceived.

Jesus’ number 1 agenda was to heal the soul. He demonstrated physical healing so that we can trust Him to heal our souls.

Physical freedom vs. Spiritual freedom

The Jews were harassed under their religious leadership, political leadership of Jews and Romans.

They needed a new leader. The Messiah was to set them free.

Jesus brings wholistic freedom.

We are harassed under Satan’s dominion of the world. Sin cultivates sickness, sorrow and death. While people may feel wealthy and without lack, we are all slaves to sin till Christ sets us free.

“If the Son of God should set you free you shall be free indeed” John 8:36

Labouring for food that does not perish

1 Corinthians 7:30 those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; 31 those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.

Labouring for food that does not perish

érgon (“work”) is a deed (action) that carries out (completes) an inner desire (intension, purpose).

What motivates us? What drives us?

What do we seek?

When God gave them a Heavenly King

They wanted an earthly King

When Jesus offers Heavenly Food that lasts forever

They wanted earthly food that perishes.

Response of Faith in another case

John 4:10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

John 4:39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days.


1.How can we balance our work in this world with the labour for food that does not perish?

2.After pursuing Jesus so hard, why do many walk away?

3.In what ways do we try to shape God to be the God what we want Him to be?  What needs to change?

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