The morning after the miraculous multiplication of the loaves and fish, those that remained of the five thousand realized that the Master had escaped them. They had seen the disciples leave in the boat, and they knew that Yeshua had not gone with them, but they could not find him. They did not realize He had walked across the surface of the lake.
While the crowd puzzled over this, some boats from Tiberias put in to shore a short distance away. Several of the people hired the boats to ferry them across the lake to Capernaum. They supposed Yeshua would eventually show up there. They were surprised to learn that the Master had arrived ahead of them. They caught up with Him in the synagogue and asked him, “Rabbi, when did You get here?”
The people in the Capernaum synagogue asked Yeshua for a tangible, material sign to authenticate His claims. They suggested another feeding miracle: “Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written [in Psalm 78:24], ‘He gave them bread out of heaven to eat’” (John 6:31). Their request for another feeding miracle betrayed some insincerity on their part. Maybe their stomachs sought a sign.
He chided them saying, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled” (John 6:26). Yeshua implied that they were seeking after the material and the external and missing the spiritual significance of the miracle.
What is the spiritual significance of the miracle?
Yeshua explained by discoursing on the miracle of the manna in the Torah. Although the manna came down from heaven, it had a short shelf life. Within twenty-four hours, “it bred worms and became foul” (Exodus 16:20). The Master told the people to look past their material interests and to start seeking after celestial food and spiritual nourishment: “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal” (John 6:27).
An old axiom of the rabbis states, “The seal of God is truth.” God has endorsed Yeshua as the Son of Man by stamping Him, so to speak, with truth. The Son of Man offered the people the enduring spiritual nourishment of truth. He communicated truth by accurately revealing God in His teachings, His actions, and His person. The significance of the miracle was not the miraculous multiplication of fish and loaves; it was the divine endorsement of the truth of Yeshua and His teaching.