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Commentary on John 6:26-35 From The People's New Testament, B.W. Johnson, 1891

26. Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles. The Savior reveals to them the true motives which induced them to seek him. Henry says: "Not because he taught them, but because he fed them; not for love, but for loaves. Thus do all who seek in religion secular advantages and follow Christ for the sake of secular preferments." People are more clamorous for earthly bread, than anxious concerning food for their souls.

27. Labour not for the meat which perisheth. The Savior does not prohibit laboring for food, but making the acquisition of food and worldly things the leading object of life. He means: Do not manifest a chief anxiety for bodily food, for the food that perishes with the using, but rather seek the meat which endureth unto everlasting life. The food of the soul; the Bread of Life. Him hath God the Father sealed. Sealing is the mark of approval, of authority. A legal document must bear the seal of the State to give it force. The Father had commissioned, authorized, and stamped his seal upon the work of the Son. His miracles were a divine seal.

28. What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? These seekers of Christ are eager for more information. He had bidden them work for the food of eternal life. What works then shall they do that they may please God and receive the divine gift?

29. This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. They are startled by hearing that to please God the first requirement is faith in Christ. This is "the work of God" that pleases him. "Without faith it is impossible to please God." It is not works, but one work, that is required, a faith that would enable them to lay hold upon him who is the Bread of Life. From such faith would spring a Christlike life. [349]

30. What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? He had pointed to himself as the object of faith, making his claim, such as had never been made by mortal man. He had spoken of his seal, or sign. They ask now for a sign.

31. Our fathers did eat manna in the wilderness. He may have fed a few thousands on the day before, but what was that to feeding of the whole host of Israel for forty years in the wilderness? Is he as great a leader as Moses, in whose time the manna fell?

32. Moses gave you not that bread from heaven. It was not Moses, with whom they were disposed to compare him, who furnished the manna in the wilderness, but the Lord (Exod. 16:15). He still feeds the Israel of God on its way to the heavenly Canaan. My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. The true bread is for the soul instead of the body. It satisfies the soul's hunger and keeps it alive. The Father gives it by sending the Son, the true bread of Life. Of the true bread the manna was a type.

33. The bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven. He here defines the marks of the true bread: (1) It comes from heaven; (2) It bestows life upon the soul and sustains it; (3) It is for the world, not for a single race.

34. Lord, evermore give us this bread. One cannot fail to see the resemblance to the case of the woman of Sychar. Compare the Lord's teachings there (John chap. 4) on the Water of Life.

35. Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life. They ask for this bread. He answers, it is here; I am that bread. The work of God is that you receive it by believing upon him whom he hath sent. He that cometh to me shall never hunger. He that cometh shall not hunger; he that believeth shall not thirst. It is thus shown that faith is the power that brings us to Christ. We come to him by believing.

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