“I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you” (John 6:26-27).
Jesus had just miraculously fed a crowd of thousands, amazing and thrilling the people. They were ready to eagerly follow this wonder-working Messiah — until he challenged them about what they were really after. Then their adulation turned to scorn, and they turned and left him by the droves.
A question that every Christian faces early on in his walk with the Lord is, “Who is in charge of my life, me or Jesus?” Do we allow God to have total direction of our lives or do we try to determine for ourselves what God wants of us?
The people in this scene were quick to follow Christ but they were just as quick to reject him. Jesus knew this would happen, that’s why on the heels of performing a great miracle for those multitudes, he confronted them: “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs” (see 6:26).
Is the same true of us today? What happens to our faith commitment if things don’t come to pass for us as we anticipated? Do we follow Jesus mainly because of who he is or because of his blessing? The Lord won’t bend to our lusts to give us everything we want, when we want it. His desire is to have a relationship with us — an ongoing, long-term relationship that bears lasting fruit. His blessings are signs of his faithfulness and compassion.
As the crowds began leaving, Christ turned to the twelve disciples and asked them, “Are you going to leave as well?” (see 6:67). This is a question for every hurting Christian today — everyone whose prayer hasn’t been answered the way they’ve wanted; in other words, everyone who is disappointed with God. In such times, we are all tempted to give up and turn away.
Praise God, our faith commitment isn’t based on what God gives us but on our relationship with him and who we know him to be: compassionate, merciful and faithful. And best of all, this relationship doesn’t hinge on our performance but on his faithfulness. Friend, hold on to your faith! Your heavenly Father is continually at work on your behalf.