“Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.”
— John 6:27
If we interpreted John 6:27 out of context, we could mistakenly argue that Jesus commanded people not to work for food; thus giving people a divine excuse not to work at all. To avoid mistakes of this kind, we need to consider what the whole Bible teaches, and the Bible teaches, “Anyone unwilling to work should not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Because the Bible does not contain contradictions, we need to look for the deeper meaning of Jesus' teaching. Jesus warned against trying to do the work of God for the purpose of acquiring the food that perishes. Even today, too many people go to church to please God in order to get more and more material possessions from God; Jesus warned against this motive as a reason for coming to God or to him. Likewise, believers need to be careful not to encourage people to come to Jesus merely for the food or possessions that perish.
Jesus taught, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” (John 6:29). Jesus kept the focus of the believer upon himself, because He came to give eternal life. Jesus said He was the true bread from heaven, and He was the bread of God. Jesus gives physical and spiritual life. He gives moral and spiritual transformation that recreates a believer and gives them joy in the presence of God forever. Knowing Jesus and learning more about Jesus means more to the believer than any material possession He gives.
L.G. Parkhurst Jr.
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