The next day the crowd that had stayed on the far shore saw that the disciples had taken the only boat, and they realized Jesus had not gone with them. Several boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the Lord had blessed the bread and the people had eaten. So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went across to Capernaum to look for him. They found him on the other side of the lake and asked, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”
They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”
Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”
After the miraculous feeding of well over five thousand people, crowds gladly followed Jesus. Yet he criticized the people who followed him only for the physical and temporal benefits and not for satisfying their spiritual hunger. Their motives were self-centered.
Though they asked Jesus what he would have them do, his answer undoubtedly puzzled them. Belief is all that Jesus required—belief that he is the Messiah.
Many sincere seekers for God also are puzzled about what he wants them to do. The religions of the world are humanity’s attempts to answer this question. But Jesus’ reply is brief and simple: We must believe on him whom God has sent. Satisfying God does not come from the work we do, but from whom we believe. The first step is accepting that Jesus is who he claims to be. All spiritual development is built on this affirmation.
True believers follow Jesus simply because they know he has the truth and his way is the way to live. Declare to Jesus, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16), and ask him to help you live a life that is satisfying to your Creator.