SEEKING GOD FOR WHO HE IS, NOT FOR WHAT HE PROVIDES
Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.
Life in Christ. It’s not the promise of a chicken in every pot and two cars in every garage.
But in Jesus’ day—and still today—many have viewed religion from the perspective, “What’s in it for me?”
But Jesus rebuked such self-seeking individuals in John 6. And the result of this hard-hitting sermon? Many turned back and no longer followed him.
Albert Barnes examines the motives that would cause people to be such fair-weather followers.
WALK WITH ALBERT BARNES
“To seek him because they had seen miracles and were convinced by them that he was the Messiah would have been proper. But to follow him simply because their wants were supplied was mere selfishness—and selfishness of a gross kind.
“And yet, many seek religion from no better motive than this. They suppose it will add to their earthly happiness. Or they seek heaven only as a place of happiness, and regard religion as valuable only for this. All this is mere selfishness.
“Religion does not forbid regarding our own happiness, or seeking it in any proper way. But when this is the prevailing motive, it is evidence that we have never yet sought God aright.
“If so, we are aiming at the loaves and fishes, and not at the honor of God and the good of his kingdom.”
WALK CLOSER TO GOD
It’s true that in Christ you have ample reason to be happy. After all, you’ve received “every spiritual blessing” (Ephesians 1:3)—and many material ones as well (see James 1:17).
Like the fish-filled crowd, you might be tempted to seek Jesus for the supply he provides. But what if there were no feast tomorrow? Would you still pledge allegiance to the living bread?
The psalmist said it well: “Earth has nothing I desire besides you” (Psalm 73:25).
What do you say?