Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you… I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:26–27, 35)
Jesus stood before the five thousand men, women, and children — more people than there are students at most colleges in America, and he could see they were hungry, or at least they would be soon. “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” (John 6:5). He knew what was going to happen next (John 6:6), but he wanted the crowd to have more than food. He wanted his followers to learn something that would stay with them longer than a meal.
The disciples found a boy with five loaves of bread and two fish. Think about that, a college full of people looking for dinner, and all the food you have fits in one boy’s basket — maybe enough for a family of five, but not a crowd of five thousand.
The Miracles of Jesus
“Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted” (John 6:11). And they all ate until they were full (John 6:12). And there were leftovers for later (John 6:13). In fact, they filled twelve baskets with the leftovers from just the five loaves.
It was a miracle, and the crowd knew that immediately (John 6:14). They were not saying the disciples had deceived everyone and brought in some secret food. They knew what Jesus had done was impossible. They believed he must be the promised one sent from God, and they tried to make him king, which he escaped (John 6:15). Then, in case there was any doubt about his power and authority, he walked on water to join the disciples in their boat.
The Message of His Miracles
The people saw the miracles and they believed Jesus was “the Prophet,” tried to make him their king, then chased him across the sea. So why does he say they missed the point? “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves” (John 6:26). Evidently, there was a way to treasure Jesus’s miracles without loving the man himself.
The problem with the people, according to Jesus, was that they were chasing what would fill their stomachs that day and not what would satisfy their souls forever (John 6:27). Jesus had become nothing more than an all-powerful waiter, a God who would give them what they really want and then get out of the way. Jesus is not that kind of Savior.
More Than Enough
Jesus went on to say, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). The loaves and fish weren’t meant to make me out to be the means of your greatest wants. They were meant to make me your greatest want. I’m the only one who can fill you forever. As John Piper writes, “They didn’t follow the ray of light back up to the beauty of the sun. What they did was fixate on the product of the miracle, not the person of the miracle. They were excited about bread as their pleasure, not Christ as their Treasure.”
With our worship we say again and again that it is Jesus that we want. He is our treasure. We’re not coming to him mainly to get food or a job or healing or a relationship or other earthly blessings. We’re coming for more and more of him and his love. Every other good thing that comes to us through him — and every good thing does come through him — is dwarfed by the beauty, glory, and joy of having him.
That little snack was more than enough to feed a massive crowd, and Jesus is more than enough for you.