Imagine the crowds Jesus could have had during His ministry if He had promoted and advertised His miracles. Let’s say one of His disciples passed out flyers that read, “Come to the meeting tomorrow, and you will see Jesus walk on water, move a building, and pick up a mountain!” Let’s understand that Jesus did His miracles to help people and to reveal His power as the Son of God. They were never to “show off.” He knew that if people followed Him only for entertainment or for personal gain, they would quickly fall away. In John 6 we read of Jesus feeding 5,000 interested followers. From five small loaves and two fish, Jesus multiplied the food to meet all the needs…with plenty left over! Immediately following this, the crowds followed Him to the other side of the lake. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill” (John 6:26). Considering life today, we see that times have changed, but the human heart remains the same. How many people want to follow Jesus only for what He can do for them? How many people only want to hear about His blessings—but never His commands. Jesus refused to fall into the trap of being the chief benevolence provider. Yes, He is willing to bless and to provide, but He did not come to give us an easy carefree life. He came to save us and give us His Spirit so that we might follow Him. After Jesus’ hard sayings about the need to “feed” on Him rather than pursue material things, many in the crowd left Him. Their thinking was, Jesus is supposed to make me happy, and, if he doesn’t, I’m out of here. At the end of this encounter, only the most dedicated believers stayed with Jesus. Peter, speaking for the rest of them, said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68-69). Motivation is critical. Will we still love the Lord when the blessings are not visible? Will we still follow when others go their own way? Jesus is Lord…and He is worthy of our total allegiance. Are you totally in—no matter what happens?
Pastor Mark Boucher