The People Seek Jesus
22 The next day the crowd that was left behind realized that there had been only one boat, and that Jesus had not gotten into it with his disciples. They had seen them go off without him. 23 By now boats from Tiberias had pulled up near where they had eaten the bread blessed by the Master. 24 So when the crowd realized he was gone and wasn't coming back, they piled into the Tiberias boats and headed for Capernaum, looking for Jesus.
Jesus the Bread of Life
25 When they found him back across the sea, they said, "Rabbi, when did you get here?" 26 Jesus answered, "You've come looking for me not because you saw God in my actions but because I fed you, filled your stomachs - and for free. 27 "Don't waste your energy striving for perishable food like that. Work for the food that sticks with you, food that nourishes your lasting life, food the Son of Man provides. He and what he does are guaranteed by God the Father to last."
28 To that they said, "Well, what do we do then to get in on God's works?" 29 Jesus said, "Throw your lot in with the One that God has sent. That kind of a commitment gets you in on God's works." 30 They waffled: "Why don't you give us a clue about who you are, just a hint of what's going on? When we see what's up, we'll commit ourselves. Show us what you can do. 31 Moses fed our ancestors with bread in the desert. It says so in the Scriptures: 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'" 32 Jesus responded, "The real significance of that Scripture is not that Moses gave you bread from heaven but that my Father is right now offering you bread from heaven, the real bread. 33 The Bread of God came down out of heaven and is giving life to the world." 34 They jumped at that: "Master, give us this bread, now and forever!" 35 Jesus said, "I am the Bread of Life. The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever. 36 I have told you this explicitly because even though you have seen me in action, you don't really believe me. 37 Every person the Father gives me eventually comes running to me. And once that person is with me, I hold on and don't let go. 38 I came down from heaven not to follow my own whim but to accomplish the will of the One who sent me. 39 "This, in a nutshell, is that will: that everything handed over to me by the Father be completed - not a single detail missed - and at the wrap-up of time I have everything and everyone put together, upright and whole. 40 This is what my Father wants: that anyone who sees the Son and trusts who he is and what he does and then aligns with him will enter real life, eternal life. My part is to put them on their feet alive and whole at the completion of time." 41 At this, because he said, "I am the Bread that came down from heaven," the Jews started arguing over him: 42 "Isn't this the son of Joseph? Don't we know his father? Don't we know his mother? How can he now say, 'I came down out of heaven' and expect anyone to believe him?" 43 Jesus said, "Don't bicker among yourselves over me. 44 You're not in charge here. The Father who sent me is in charge. He draws people to me - that's the only way you'll ever come. Only then do I do my work, putting people together, setting them on their feet, ready for the End.