The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples, but that they had gone away alone. Then some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus. John 6:22-24
The pieces of the puzzle slowly came together for the crowds. Where did Jesus go and how did he get there? Were they seeking the free food or was there something else they were excited about?
Missionaries, and to a lesser extent, rescue missions have had to wrestle with that question for ages: are the people coming because I’m providing meals or are they really coming to hear the Gospel? Sometimes it’s a mixed bag. The general theory is that better they’re hearing the gospel on a full belly than never hearing it at all.
Still, though, there are people seeking truth everywhere we go. We can dismiss some because they are clamoring for the freebie but some want to know the truth. No doubt there were both in the crowds eating the food.
Never give up hope on people who seem to be a lost cause. You never know when that person will be seeking the Light and are tired of the darkness they are in.