On the heels of His miraculous feeding of the five thousand, Jesus encountered crowds who erroneously concluded He was worth following because He could use His power to fill their empty stomachs. But Jesus recognized their motives and challenged them to go after something greater—not to work for food, which does not last long, but to receive eternal life by believing in Him.
Over and over again, people misunderstood Jesus’ words. They asked what they could do to get the food that lasts forever. Eternal life is a gift that God gives—not to those who perform certain deeds, but to anyone who believes in Jesus. Then the crowd asked for another sign. If Moses had provided bread for 40 years, couldn’t Jesus do that too? Jesus pointed out the bread didn’t come from Moses; it came from God. The crowd was so determined to get bread to eat that they didn’t understand recognize that God had now provided true bread from heaven by sending His Son.
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.” He wanted to give people more than food. He wanted to give them true life. Jesus continued, “If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever” (John 6:51). As you teach, emphasize to kids that God invites us to come and eat. We partake in the bread of life by believing in Him.
The Jewish leaders struggled with Jesus’ teaching. How could this man, whom they knew as the son of Joseph, be the Son of God? Furthermore, Jesus talked about giving His flesh and blood. To the Jews, this didn’t make any sense. Jesus wanted to do more than fill people’s stomachs; He wanted to give them true life. Jesus’ teachings were hard to understand. When Jesus talked about His flesh and blood, He was talking about His death and resurrection. When we trust in Jesus, He gives us the gift of eternal life.
Many people stopped following Jesus because they could not accept His teachings. Yet Peter, one of the Twelve, grasped the truth: “You have the words of eternal life. … You are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68-69). When we trust in Jesus, He gives us the gift of eternal life.
FAMILY STARTING POINTS
- Babies and Toddlers
- People wanted Jesus to give them bread from heaven.
- Jesus said He is the bread of life.
- Anyone who believes in Jesus will have life forever.
- Jesus’ words tell us how to have life with Him forever.
- Jesus is our King.
- Many people did not understand Jesus’ teaching.
- How does God care for His creation? God loves and rules over all He made.
- Many people misunderstood Jesus’ teaching.
- How does God care for His creation? God loves and rules over His creation according to His perfect plan.
UNIT KEY PASSAGE
- Colossians 1:13-14 (PS: Colossians 1:13)
- “Jesus Raised Lazarus” (John 11)