The conversation between Jesus and those who were following Him after the feeding of the 5,000 in John Chapter 6 is a remarkable exploration of the human psyche.
From the New American Standard Bible the text reads:
John 6:26-30 (NASB)
28 Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?”
29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”
30 So they said to Him, “What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform?
From the literal aspect of the NASB, we begin to see the humor of the conversation, even in English, but when we look at the Greek words used and repeated in the text, the heart of man is revealed.
John 6:26-30 (NASB)
28 Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do (4160), so that we may work (2038) the works (2041) of God?”
29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work (2041) of God, that you believe (4100) in Him whom He has sent.”
30 So they said to Him, “What then do You do (4160) for a sign, so that we may see, and believe (4100) You? What work (2038) do You perform?
- 4160 – gr [poieo] verb. translated “do” – def: to make, to produce
- 2038 – gr [ergazomai] verb. translated “work” – to work, to labour
- 2041 – gr [ergon] noun. translated “work” – business employment, that which one undertakes to do
- 4100 – gr [pisteuo] verb. translated “believe” – to think to be true, to be persuaded
As I explore the conversation, this is what I hear being said:
People: What can we produce to work in the employment of God?
Jesus: This is God’s employment opportunity — believe that He sent me to you.
People: Well then, what will you produce, so that we can believe? What kind of work will you do?
Can you see their hearts? Can you see your heart? It just can’t be that simple. Somebody has to do some work around here for us to get on God’s good side.
The amazing reality is that it is that simple. According to Jesus, if you can become persuaded that He is who He says He is, then you are qualified for employment in the Kingdom of God.
No character references. No background check. You’re hired.