Summary of passage: The disciples, concerned about Jesus, asked him to eat something. He replied how he has food to eat they know nothing about. Mystified, they still insisted he eat. Jesus explained he sustains himself by doing God’s work and finishing it.
3a) “Doing the will of God and finishing God’s work” i.e. dying for our sins and saving the world by faith and grace.
b) Personal Question. My answer: I find great satisfaction in knowing I’m doing God’s work on this planet. Raising my kids, being a dutiful wife, writing for Him, working for Him, etc. It’s what sustains me when the times are hard and motivates me when I have no will.
c) Come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and accept him as your Savior.
4a) Personal Question. My answer: It’s easy in this world dominated by instant satisfaction to get lost in tasks that waste your time. I have to stay focused and ask myself every day: Is this for God or is it for me? How does what I’m doing propel Him forward? Is this meeting His goals?
b) Love God. Love others. Spread the Good News and teach them to obey God. Pray. Give to the needy. Do not worry. Seek Him always. Store treasures in heaven, not here. Testify for Jesus. Finish God’s work for my life.
Conclusions: This passage is one where you want to hit the disciples over the head and say, “Don’t you get it?! It’s Jesus, the Son of God, sent to die for our sins!” We know that of course, but they didn’t. This explains just how radical the idea is to the people of that time: God sent his Son to die for us? But why? And that, my friend, is what the whole Bible tries to explain.
End Notes: The disciples were rightly concerned about Jesus’ health. He just finished a long walk from Judea. His body needed sustenance. Jesus’ point was there’s more to life than physical needs: spiritual needs that bread alone won’t satisfy. Jesus is saying, “My strength and nourishment is God.”
Jesus points out what’s most important here: God’s will, not the fine details of serving others, etc. Only doing God’s will will satisfy the human soul. Period. It refreshes weary souls like Jesus’. Man’s own desires are lackluster in comparison.
John frequently records how Jesus depends on the Father and is doing His will (3:34; 5:30; 6:38; 8:26; 9:4; 10:37-8; 12:50; 14:31; 15:10; 17:4)
Notice the AND. Doing the will of God and finishing it. Remember Jesus’ last words? “It is finished.” (John 19:30) Once we can utter these words as well, heaven will come. Great stuff!