22 On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. 23 Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.
25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. (John 6:22-36 (ESV)
“Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”
God gives us our daily bread. He gives it to all evil people as Luther mentions explaining the Lord’s Prayer. Mornings and I wake up realizing that is me. We can only be thankful for the bread he gives us. But we worry about it. I’m not above that worry. God gives it to us, and yet we claw, scratch and stab others for it. The love of money is the root of all evil. We hoard it. We devour it. We go on our merry way, and often fail to thank God for it.
“Remember the Levite in your midst.” I guess the ESV renders it “Take care that you do not neglect the Levite as long as you live in your land.” (Deuteronomy 12:19 (ESV) It was the Levite who was in charge of the sacred. It was the Levite who was charged with the instruction of Israel. It was the Levite who acted as pastor in ancient Israel conducting community prayer and worship. And when Israel showed thanklessness to God by hoarding and not remembering the Levite, then things went south for all of Israel. When food that perishes takes precedence over food that endures to eternal life. At that point your treasure perishes with you. Jesus has other bread he would give you. Bread that endures to eternal life. He asks you to join in that labor. No, he doesn’t want you to neglect family responsibilities, he gives you your daily bread so that you would care for your family. But then caring for your family also means caring for their spiritual needs. God is not mocked. If you care for nothing but the earthly bread. Finally that is all you will have, and then that too is taken from you. It perishes with you.
I’m sorry, I don’t have much gospel this morning. I can’t bring this one around. Jesus, he is the bread of life. You live by his hand. He is the one who forgives, he is the word that remains forever. In him you find eternal life.