24 So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went across to Capernaum to look for him. 25 They found him on the other side of the lake and asked, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
26 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. 27 But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”
28 They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”
29 Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”
30 They answered, “Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What can you do? 31 After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.’[g]”
32 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. 33 The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34 “Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.”
35 Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me. 37 However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. 38 For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. 39 And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day. 40 For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.”
Dear God, there are all of these great nuggets in this story. Well, I guess there is just the main point of it. Jesus perceives they are impressed with the miracles and want to see more of them. He tells them to focus on you and their faith and they reply, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?” Then Jesus says, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”
We are such fools. “Show me this.” “Do that for me.” It reminds of of your words to Job in Job 38: “Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words?” I have something coming up in my life that I’m not happy about. I talked with a friend about it at lunch yesterday. I want to gripe and complain about it. I want to blame you for it, even. But maybe–unfortunately–your words to Job and the people talking to Jesus are your words for me: “Who are you to question my wisdom with such ignorant words? I only want one work from you: Believe in Jesus.” All else is about loving others into doing the same. That’s it. That’s all. It’s that simple.
Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, I am good at certain things, but it feels like I fail at the most important ones. Help me to simply worship and love you and till the soil of my heart so that the thorns (pursuit of money and cares of this world) are cleared away and your Holy Spirit has good soil with which to work in my life. I offer myself to you. Love through me.
I pray all of this in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,