Bruner on John 6.28-29


“So they said to him, ‘What should we be doing, then, so that we are actually doing the works of God?’ Jesus replied and said to them, ‘This is the work of God: that you trust the One That One Sent.'” (John 6.28-29) …

“The one great challenge of the whole Gospel of John , focused marvelously in our present verse, is this – simply and continually – to trust God’s gift of a good relation with himself that he has perfectly worked out by himself through the one substitutionary Death and vivifying Resurrection of his Son for us and that he perfectly and continually works in us by the gift of his Holy Spirit to us through his gospel Church, word, and sacrament. When our cat Etta purrs right next to my face as I carry her around our apartment on my shoulder (a ritual we perform when I come home) – “rumm, rumm, rumm” – I feel I am getting as good an animal commentary as I can get on this verse and on the main message of the Gospel according to John: God wants his creatures to purr in his loving presence as he carries us about in life. ‘This is the work of God, that you purr in the carrying of the One God Sent.’ Out of this purring should come a deep, lasting Life in our several relations. A purring cat or a trusting dog is a miniature gospel and a very pleasant creature to be around. The animal world and little children give us a world of parables for the Gospel truth of trust.”

Frederick Dale Bruner, The Gospel of John: A Commentary (Eerdmans, 2012), pp.387,392-393