As usual here’s some ideas for this week’s sermon follow-up. If you choose to follow this outline, I thought it’d be worth mentioning that you don’t need to “hide” the teaching goal and the application goal of these studies. It might actually help your group stay focused if you let them know at the outset what the teaching goal is. Hopefully it will keep the conversation focused so that we spend more time digging into God’s word. I hope this is helpful for you.
Teaching Goal: Those who are seeking Jesus find saving faith in Jesus when they are fully satisfied in Jesus (as their soul’s treasure, as John Piper would add…probably).
Application Goal: That we would labor for the food which is imperishable.
Thought Provoking Question:
Where do you think Fort Collins culture seeks to find satisfaction? Without using names, where do the unbelieving friends/coworkers/family that you know personally seek satisfaction?
Jesus and his disciples just finished the feeding of the 5000 and left for the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus’ disciples left without him, and he miraculously came to them walking on the water and calming the storm.
We begin our text today by returning to the crowds on the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Read John 6:22-24. Why did the crowd go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee? (Because they were seeking Jesus).
What we’re going to see in this passage is that there are two ways of seeking Jesus; one that saves and another that does not.
Read John 6:25-26
Compare the titles given to Jesus in John 6:23 and John 6:25. What title does John give to Jesus and how do the crowds refer to Jesus?
- John calls him “Lord” in verse 23, the crowds call him “Rabbi” or “teacher” in verse 25.
Compare these two titles to one another. What are some of the major differences between viewing Jesus as “Lord” (like John) versus viewing Jesus as merely “teacher” (like the crowds)?
In verse 26, Jesus accuses the crowd for only following him because he was able to satisfy a temporary need, their hunger. What are the ways that we are tempted to do the same thing? What might the life of someone “seeking Jesus” in this way look like in our day and age?
The major problem with the crowds here is that they look to Jesus merely as a teacher and see him as an answer to a temporary need. How can viewing Jesus merely as a teacher or as someone who can satisfy a temporary need affect our ability to be fully satisfied in him?
Believing in Jesus
Read John 6:27-29
Jesus compares the food they are seeking to the food they ought to be seeking. What are some of the differences he mentions?
- The food they are seeking: it perishes, you must labor for it
- The food they ought to seek: it’s eternal, the Son of Man gives it
Do you think this means Jesus is telling us to quit our jobs?
- Hopefully the answer is no…
If he’s not commanding us to quit our jobs, how does what Jesus says here change our approach to our jobs? What impact would these changes have on the effect you have in your workplace?
The crowd responds to Jesus’ admonition by asking him, “What must we do to do the works of God?” How does Jesus answer them?
What do you think it means that the “work” or “labor” of God is to believe?
Read Romans 6:23. What do we earn from sin? (Death). What do we receive from God? (Eternal life). How do we access eternal life? (Belief).
What’s your heart’s response to that simple equation? What should it be?
Satisfied in Jesus
Read John 6:30-34
In verse 30 the crowd compares Jesus to Moses. Do you think the comparison is a favorable one for Jesus or not?
- If you want, feel free to read the account in Exodus 16 of God’s miraculous provision of the manna in the wilderness. If you want to, feel free to just describe the story, but be sure to read it before you do…
In Deuteronomy 8:3, God tells the people of Israel why he miraculously provided bread for them in the wilderness for forty years. What is it?
- That they would know “that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.”
Why do you think this is significant for John 6?
- Mainly, I’m just trying to get at the fact that the people are seeking Jesus because he provided food, and then used this story of the manna to say that he’s not that great of a miracle worker. The ironic thing is that even the miracle of the manna was designed to show people that our greatest need is not physical but spiritual.
Our passage finishes with Jesus saying that he is the true bread that comes down from heaven. The design here is to show that Jesus is the all-satisfying source of life.
Feel free to be vulnerable with one another, but can anyone in your group attest to the all satisfying nature of Jesus? Have you “tasted and seen that the LORD is good?” (Psalm 34:8). What does that look like for you? How has he satisfied you this last week? Month? Year? Today?
Think about your friends that we talked about in the TPQ, how can the all-satisfying nature of Jesus speak to their particular desires for satisfaction?
Let’s end by praying that Jesus would show us what it means to seek him as the bread that comes down from heaven and satisfies our souls. Amen, amen?