This isn’t just a rhetorical question. I am asking it of myself this week. Why do I follow Jesus?
The question came up during my daily Bible reading in the sixth chapter of John. Jesus had just fed more than 5,000 people with just 5 small loaves of bread and 2 little fish – a miraculous, supernatural feat that displayed Jesus’ power and authority.
The next morning the crowds came looking for Him again. But they didn’t come to worship or to seek the things that only He can give.
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”
They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”
Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”
They answered, “Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What can you do? After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
John 6:26-31, NLT
The people looked for Jesus because He had filled their bellies, not because they had allowed Him to fill their souls. They missed the point of the miracle. They failed to see past their own physical circumstances. And even after Jesus pointed out their eternal, spiritual need, they simply asked what else He might do for them.
They asked for less. They looked for things that don’t last. It was all about a full belly and the here and now.
Sometimes I do the same. Often I am consumed by my temporary, physical circumstances and turn to Jesus solely because I want Him to “fix” things. I lost sight of the bigger picture. I allow the short-term to overshadow eternity. I spend all my energy worrying about things that don’t last when instead I should simply come to Jesus for the spiritual food only He can provide.
What about you? Why are you following Jesus today?
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“Sometimes I do the same. Often I am consumed by my temporary, physical circumstances and turn to Jesus solely because I want Him to “fix” things. I lost sight of the bigger picture. I allow the short-term to overshadow eternity. I spend all my energy worrying about things that don’t last when instead I should simply come to Jesus for the spiritual food only He can provide.”
That pretty much sums up where most of us “live” as believers Kathy. I don’t think I am speaking out of turn here either because I have heard from so many Christian women who worry, myself included, about our income, our looks, our relationships, our kids, our houses, and more. All of these things are temporal but that’s where we tend to fixate. It would be SO nice to get up in the morning and pick up my Bible with a “whatever you say is enough for me” attitude. I am rarely in that frame of mind and I doubt I am in the minority.
Thank you for reminding me (us) that we can follow Jesus for reasons other than what we’ll get from Him. We (I) know that, but we forget it very quickly and need to be gently nudged to challenge our thinking. So thanks for being today’s “nudger”!
Thank you Connie for sharing from your heart! It is way easier to talk about having an eternal perspective than it is to actually do it. The physical is always “in our face!”