22 ¶ The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one whereinto his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone; 23 (Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks:) 24 When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. 25 And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither? 26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. 27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
Note the key piece of verse 22 missing from modern Bible versions based on the Critical Text of Westcott and Hort in the heritage of German Enlightenment Theology and the fallacious “science” of Textual Criticism. The only boat was the one, “whereunto his disciples entered,” until other boats came from Tiberias.
The people are determined to be where Jesus is. Would it were so that American Christians had such a determination and desire to be with Jesus every day; where He is in attitude in obedience to the Father and where He is in presence in His written word, and where He is in eternity, in the Heaven of heavens. The crowds also passed over the sea in boats to pursue Him. When they found Him they asked when it was that He had passed over the sea. But, He didn’t answer their question directly, only questioning their motives.
Jesus tells the crowds to work for food that doesn’t rot away, food that leads to eternal life, setting up later statements. He then declares that that food comes from Him, calling Himself the Son of man, and that God the Father has sealed Him as that deliverer. As Peter said;
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
The son of man with a small “s” is used several times in the Old Testament to refer to man in the flesh, born by natural processes (Numbers 23:19; Job 25:6; 35:8; Proverbs 8:4, etc. etc.) The Son of man, capital “S,” is used in Ezekiel, chapter 2 and beyond, as the prophet himself is called by God. Along with the small “s” son of man, the phrase is used over 90 times in the book of the prophet Ezekiel referring to the prophet as a human person born of natural processes and particularly as a special Prophet born in the flesh accomplishing God’s special purpose.
It is established in John up to this point that Jesus is not only the Creator (John 1:1-3), but also God in the flesh, the only time this ever happened in history (John 1:14-18), and He is the Messiah, the Christ (John 4:25-26), and the Prophet that Moses predicted (John 6:14). This is probably one important reason why scholars have tried to separate the Gospel of John from the canon as it is so clear in its declarations of Christ. It is also stated clearly that to believe Him, on Him, and in Him is the key to salvation and to deny what He has said is to bear the wrath of God.
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.