On the following day, when the people who were standing on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, except that one which His disciples had entered, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with His disciples, but His disciples had gone away alone--however, other boats came from Tiberius, near the place where they ate bread after the Lord had given thanks--when the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they also got into boats and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. And when they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did You come here?"
Jesus answered them and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him."
Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent." Therefore they said to Him, "What sign will You perform then that we may see it and believe You? What work will we do? Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'"
Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."
I love the types and symbols in the Word. This is such a wonderful example of that.
So Jesus disappeared for awhile to be with His Father before showing Himself in the sea to the disciples in their boat as they traveled from Tiberius to Capernaum. Imagine what the people must have thought: How did He manage to escape? And they sought Him. How I'd like to see more people seek after Him with such determination!
However, Jesus makes the point after they find Him that they don't seek Him, they seek the food He has to give. A free handout...missing the point. Just like us people. He actually said, "Do not labor the food which perishes." Makes me think that they truly went out of their way to seek Him by crossing the Sea of Galilee! Just my thought...
Then, as now, we labor for food, for our survival. But this is only temporary bread. We will have to continue to work for additional sustenance. It goes on till we die. Jesus was trying to make the point that while we need bread in the natural we also need the bread for eternal life. But He states we need to stop working, striving for it. It cannot be earned. We need only come to Him with right hearts and take what He has to offer.
Like the Israelites in the desert were sustained by bread which came down from Heaven, so Jesus became our Bread which came down from heaven. Oh how we make so much of receiving what He so freely gives. The people above asked, "What work shall we do (asked twice), what sign will You perform" that they would be able to do the right works and believe. Jesus' answer was only to believe, that He was the bread who came down from heaven to give life to the world. Receive Him, receive the Bread.
I'm sure this had to be confusing. They saw Him, they heard Him, they saw the miracles but still found it hard to believe. I thank God that even today when we cannot see Him we are able to believe in what we do not see. By His Spirit He enlightens, illuminates. He makes spiritual eyes to see and hearts to seek. He is who He says He is. He still does miracles in people's lives. The greatest miracle is one we don't immediately see but someday will...eternal life.
He still is our Bread from heaven. Taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 38:4).
Isaiah 55:2 - Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance.