The Big Picture
Study 8: Jesus Satisfies, John 6:22-40
Go around the circle, everyone say your name, where you are from, what you are studying, and answer this question: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
The Bible is full of many stories and teachings, but all of them tell a bigger story about God and the whole world we live in. It is the story of both God and us.
In this series, we have been looking at the big picture story starting from the beginning. Now we will move on to the New Testament and look at the life of Jesus to see how He fits into the bigger story.
Intro to the Passage
Anyone remember what we read about last week? (Last week we read a story that Jesus told about a disobedient son who left home and his loving and gracious father who welcomed him back with open arms when he returned. Jesus taught that God is like the father in the story…no matter what you’ve done, He loves you unconditionally and welcomes you when you turn back towards Him.)
Besides teaching about God, Jesus also went around and did various miracles to show people what God’s kingdom was like. One time, he multiplied five loaves of bread and two fish in order to feed 5,000 people! The passage we are going to read tonight took place the day after Jesus performed that miracle.
Read the Passage
Have everyone read the passage silently to themselves, and write down questions they have as they read. Then, read the passage out loud, each person reading one verse.
1. At the beginning of the passage, the crowd realizes that Jesus is not with them anymore, so they go to find Him. Why does Jesus say that the crowd searched for Him? The crowd wanted Jesus to continue to feed them. In v26 it says that it was not because of the miraculous sign he did the day before, but because they ate the loaves and had their fill. They just wanted an easy way to get more food!
2. What does Jesus say that they should do instead? What do you think he meant by that? v27, do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the son of Man will give you. (You may need to explain that the title “son of Man” is a title Jesus used for himself.) He isn’t saying there is literal food that will help them live forever. Instead, he is trying to say that they should care more about finding the truth that will help them spiritually…the truth that will help them get right with God and live eternally with Him.
3. The crowd then asks Jesus what they need to do in order to “do the works of God”. What does Jesus tell them? What do you think he meant by that? He says that the “work of God” is to believe in him whom he has sent. The Jews believed that in order to get right with God, you had to obey all the rules and do many good things. But Jesus was trying to communicate that more important than all of that is this: believe in who God sent (which was Jesus!). He was trying to teach them that having faith in Him was the most important thing.
4. How did the crowd respond after Jesus said that? They asked for another miracle, like the miracle Moses performed. Why do you think they asked for a miracle? If they were supposed to believe in Jesus, they probably wanted more proof that He was the one they should really believe in.
5. Do you think the crowd really would have believed in Jesus after another miracle? Probably not, because they already saw and were a part of the miracle the day before and they still did not believe. Their hearts were so fixed on finding someone that would provide things that wouldn’t last, like physical food, that they couldn’t see the spiritual food and nourishment Jesus had to offer.
6. What is manna? Manna is bread from heaven and it usually is associated with miracles because it is bread that falls from heaven. In a much earlier book of the Bible, called Exodus, Moses, who was a prophet, brought the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt. However, they were lost in the desert for 40 years! During that time, God would provide for the people with bread that fell down from heaven, which was called manna.
7. The day before, Jesus just fed 5,00 people by a miracle. Why do you think the crowd wasn’t satisfied with just that miracle? Why did they mention Moses’ miracle? When the crowd mentioned manna, they were trying to argue a comparison of Jesus feeding the 5,000 from a few loaves of bread and fish with Moses feeding over a million people for 40 years with bread from heaven. They were pretty much saying, “Hey, you only fed us for one meal yesterday. Moses fed our ancestors 40 years’ worth of meals! Come on, Jesus! You should do something close to that for us to trust you like we did with Moses.”
8. Who does the crowd say gave manna, the bread from heaven?Who actually gave the manna? v31 They say that Moses gave the bread. v32 Jesus said that it was not Moses, but God who gave the bread from heaven.
9. What does Jesus then say is the bread of God? He says that the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. In other words, the bread of God is WAY MORE than food…it is a person who can give life to people!
10. After hearing Jesus talk about the bread of God, the crowds ask Him to give it to them always. How does Jesus respond to them? Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry and he who believes in me will never go thirsty.” What do you think Jesus means by all of that? Again, he is not talking literally, that anyone who comes to Jesus will never feel physically hungry or thirsty. Instead, he is talking about spiritual things. To be human is to have desires, but Jesus is saying that He can meet your deepest desires, so that you don’t always have to long for something more. Anyone who believes in Him will have real life and won’t have to keep on searching for something to fill their heart.
11. What does Jesus say is his purpose for being on earth?(v38) To do the will of God. Jesus says that he is the Bread that God has sent from Heaven to give us eternal fulfillment. Jesus is the bread that will satisfy us forever.
12. What does Jesus say is God’s will?(v40) God wants everyone who looks at the Son and believes in him to have eternal life, so that they can be raised up on the last day.
13. Why do you think God would do that? Why would He send Jesus to help make things right and give people true life? Because God loves us! Last week we read about His incredible, unconditional love for us…even though we have rebelled against him and messed up the world He created, He wants to fix things. And Jesus was the one who could fix our broken relationship with God and our broken world.
14. What do you think it means to believe in Jesus? To believe in Jesus is tobelieve that He is the Bread of Life, the Messiah, the Savior of the world, and that this is the work of God alone. God is the one who sent Jesus as nourishment for our souls. To believe in Jesus is to trust that He will satisfy your hearts and fix your relationship with God.
15. Based on what we’ve read so far, how would you describe Jesus to someone? Loving, generous, satisfying, bold, etc.
16. Do you have any other questions?
God loves us and He wants us to have eternal life and be with Him. And He loves us so much that He sent Jesus, His son, to come down from heaven to save us from the punishment of our sins. Jesus says that this is the will of God, and he promises that whoever comes to him and believes, he will never drive away. God loves us and cares for us. He doesn’t just want us to have good things that are temporary, but He also wants to bless us with spiritually good things that will last forever.
God wants us to know the truth. He wants us to be with Him right now, and forever. All he asks in return for this renewed relationship and eternal life is that we believe in what He has done with Jesus. Now God is giving us Bread of Life that comes from Heaven, He is offering us a new life through Jesus, and all we have to do is believe it!