The Proper Motive

As the people stood on the other side, they saw no other boats except the bow that brought the disciples to that side. They looked for Jesus, and He was not with them. There were other ships which came from Tiberias. These ships came near to the place where the multitude had eaten bread. Tiberias was a large, culturally Greek-oriented city located on the lake of Galilee. It was named for the emperor Tiberius. It was built by Herod Antipas on the site of a graveyard. Because of this, most Jews stayed away from this area. This allowed Herod to give favors to allies without interference from powerful Jews. This is the only mention of this place.


As stated in the previous lesson, the crowd wants to follow a prophet who would provide free food and political deliverance. What blind sightedness! In other words, another Moses. They did not see the central focus of Jesus’ mission. That mission was to save the world from their sinful condition. It would restore a relationship with the Father. Jesus told them what was in their hearts. There is a play on the word “work” in verses 27-29. Judaism stressed righteous works. Jesus pointed to a major truth–faith in Him. Jewish teachers praised Abraham’s “work” of faith in God. Jesus’ demand is more specific. They demand that Jesus do a “work.” In this context, it means a “sign.” This usage is seen in Jewish literature. The “seal” as noted in verse 27 means God has attested Jesus.


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