Kids Talk About God
Chapter 29 cover: Works That Please God

Works That Please God

John 6:22-29

The People Look for Jesus

22 The next day came. Some people had stayed on the other side of the lake. They knew that Jesus did not go with his followers in the boat. They knew that the followers had left in the boat alone. And they knew it was the only boat that was there. 23 But then some boats from Tiberias came and landed near the place where the people had eaten the day before. This was where they had eaten the bread after the Lord gave thanks. 24 The people saw that Jesus and his followers were not there now. So they got into the boats and went to Capernaum to find Jesus.

Jesus, the Bread of Life

25 The people found Jesus on the other side of the lake. They asked him, “Teacher, when did you come here?”

26 He answered, “Why are you looking for me? Is it because you saw miraculous signs? The truth is, you are looking for me because you ate the bread and were satisfied. 27 But earthly food spoils and ruins. So don’t work to get that kind of food. But work to get the food that stays good and gives you eternal life. The Son of Man will give you that food. He is the only one qualified by God the Father to give it to you.”

28 The people asked Jesus, “What does God want us to do?”

29 Jesus answered, “The work God wants you to do is this: to believe in the one he sent.”

What kind of works please God and what kind does he reject?

“God is pleased with works that bring other people to Him.” Maggie, 11

“The kind of works that please God are showing the fruits of the Spirit.” Thomas, 10

“God loves it when we spread His Word and help other people around us.” Walker, 12

“God loves when we help others and do what He pleases. We mostly do the opposite, like play games, cuss and disobey.” Zack, 10

“Kind wins; mean loses.” Ava, 10

Jesus’ disciples battled a storm when they crossed the Sea of Tiberius, which is also known as the Sea of Galilee. The people who wanted another free meal from Jesus didn’t seem to have any problem crossing the sea. If you follow Jesus for the right reasons, do not expect an easy life. Jesus will test your faith because he wants you to trust him more. If you learn to trust Jesus more, he can work through you in a greater way.

The meal seekers saw Jesus turn a boy’s lunch into a meal that fed 5,000 men. In addition to the feeding miracle, the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water and then Peter walking on the water. God will always show more of himself to those who follow him for the right reasons.

Jesus said, “Those who really love me are the ones who not only know my commands but also obey them. My Father will love such people, and I will love them. I will make myself known to them,” (John 14:21).

There are two kinds of food. There is food for your body and food for your inner self (soul and human spirit). Food for your body can keep you alive for maybe 100 years. But food for your soul (Jesus) can give you life forever.

Jesus shows us grace and truth in his ministry (John 1:17). Grace came through feeding the 5,000 men by the miracle of multiplying a boy’s lunch. Truth came when Jesus taught that he is the true food from heaven that everyone must eat to have eternal life.

The meal seekers enjoyed the grace of the Lord Jesus when they ate a free meal. But they did not receive the truth that Jesus spoke. Jesus said he is the Bread of Life that everyone must eat to have eternal life. To eat of the Lord Jesus is another way of saying that we must believe in him. Bread is a common form of food in cultures all over the world. Just as we must have food to live, we need Jesus to live forever.

When the meal seekers found Jesus, he said to them: “Why are you looking for me? Is it because you saw miraculous signs? The truth is, you are looking for me because you ate the bread and were satisfied,” (John 6:26).

Jesus always knows the reason why we do something. We cannot fool him. He knows everything. The truth is that these people wanted more free meals.

Good Works Cannot Earn Eternal Life

Jesus then said to them, “But earthly food spoils and ruins. So don’t work to get that kind of food. But work to get the food that stays good and gives you eternal life. The Son of Man will give you that food. He is the only one qualified by God the Father to give it to you,” (John 6:27).

Food for the body will not keep you alive forever. Jesus said they should seek food that gives them eternal life. He said he would “give” them this food, which is really himself as the Bread of Life.

Even though Jesus said he would give them food that lasts forever, they asked him if they could work for it. Most Jews of Jesus’ day did not understand the purpose of the law that God gave them through Moses. They made God’s law into something that it was never supposed to be. They thought that by trying to keep the law, they could earn a place in God’s future kingdom.

This kind of crazy thinking explains why they asked Jesus, “What does God want us to do?” (John 6:28). Here is a better translation of this Bible verse: “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” (John 6:28, NKJV).

They wanted to work for what Jesus wanted to give them: eternal life. Religious people often have a difficult time receiving God’s grace. All their life, they have tried to earn God’s favor.

Trusting in Christ Plus Good Works Cannot Earn Eternal Life

Some religious people get very mad when they hear that eternal life is a gift to be received and not a reward to be earned. They have worked many years trying to earn a place in heaven. They don’t want to let go of trusting in their good deeds. They imagine that God is impressed with all the good things they have done. They are wrong! Don’t listen to them.

Everyone has sinned and everyone needs Jesus as their savior. Jesus died for our sins and rose again from the grave. God is satisfied with his perfect sacrifice for our sins. If you trust in anything except Christ alone, you will not go to heaven.

Even if you trust in Christ plus good works for your salvation, you will not go to heaven (Romans 11:6).You must see that the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross completely satisfied God the Father. Trusting in anything else will never satisfy a holy God.

“But people cannot do any work that will make them right with God. So they must trust in him. Then he accepts their faith, and that makes them right with him. He is the one who makes even evil people right,” (Romans 4:5).

Here is what Jesus said to the meal seekers who wanted to work for eternal life: “The work God wants you to do is this: to believe in the one he sent,” (John 6:29).

Think about this: After suffering for several hours on the cross, Jesus said, “It is finished,” (John 19:30). Jesus completed the work of our salvation. He finished it. There is nothing for anyone to add. All you can do to receive the gift of eternal life is to believe Jesus Christ is God’s only son who died for your sins and rose again from the grave to declare victory over death!

Memorize this truth: “Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him would not be lost but have eternal life,” (John 3:16).

Ask this question: Have you trusted in the one who did all the work on the cross to secure your eternal salvation?

Draw something to go with the headline.
Chapter 29 Bible coloring page: Works That Please God

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