28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
Encounters with God: Thoughts on John 6:28-29
We often think of the work of God as something we do, such as attending church, ministry work, missions trips, etc. While these actions are important, Jesus tells us that the primary work of God is to believe in him.
Similarly, John 17:3 states, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” This is closely related to God’s work, as part of God’s work is providing a way for us to have eternal life through the one he has sent. John 17:3 simply explains eternal life is knowing God and Jesus Christ. This means that eternal life is not just a matter of existing forever, but it is a quality of life that is characterized by a deep and intimate knowledge of God and also the one he has sent. Because by coming to know the one whom God has sent, we are able to know God. Now coming to know Jesus is not just a one-time event, but an ongoing process of growing in our knowledge, understanding, and trust of him, just as we would with any other person. Every time we read our Bible, that is an opportunity to come to know God and Jesus more fully, and this knowledge transforms every aspect of our lives.
These verses remind us that God’s work, and thus by extension our work as believers, is to come to know God and Jesus, believe in them, and follow their teachings, and what should naturally follow is a deep, genuine life of faith. As we seek to live out this understanding of the work of God, we can trust that God will continue to work in and through us to bring about his purposes in the world.