John 6:27, "Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for Him hath God the Father sealed."
The word "meat" in verse 27 speaks literally of the food we eat. As we all know man must eat to live physically. Of course, I eat not only because I need something to keep me alive, but also because I like food. It is easy for me to overeat, and consume that which is intended to keep me alive physically. But Jesus utilizes this word (meat) to make a distinction that I hope we do not miss.
The meat which perisheth, is that which we buy at the market to sustain us physically, while the meat which ENDURETH UNTO EVERLASTING LIFE, is that which Christ gives us spiritually. The meat provided by Christ, is first and foremost the salvation we have in Him. Notice the question of the disciples which follows Christ statement in verse 27, and Jesus answer to the question. "Then said they unto Him, 'What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? (The word labour in verse 27 is of the same Greek origin as the word "work" in verse 28) Jesus answered and said unto them, 'This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent." JESUS IS THE MEAT WE NEED! Jesus further clarifies this conversation by correcting the response of His followers, who said, "Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat." (John 6:31) You see, the source of supply for the manna was from God, but it was simply food for the body. "Then Jesus said unto them, 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33For the BREAD OF GOD IS HE WHICH COMETH DOWN FROM HEAVEN, AND GIVETH LIFE UNTO THE WORLD.'" (John 6:32-33) Later, in verse 35, Jesus declares, "...I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."
We need to make sure our greatest concentration of effort, work, or labour is upon the eternal need of man to receive Christ as Saviour, for, indeed, He is the Bread of Life.
Which type of meat are you labouring to provide?
Your Friend and His,
Pastor Mike Abbott