John 6:26, 27
Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves, and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man shall give to you, for on Him the Father, even God, has set His seal.”
Alternative motives, hidden agendas and self-serving behaviors are the natural outcome of a sinful heart. Although you and I are very aware of these sins in our current culture, they were just as prevelant in Jesus’ day as well. He had some direct and honest advice to those who lived such a life. At the beginning of John chapter 6 we witness the story of Jesus miraculously feeding the multitudes with five loaves of barley and two fish. The next day, recorded in verse 26, Jesus woke up to find that the crowds had followed Him across the Sea of Galilee to the town of Capernaum. At first sight you would most likely be impressed; I think I was. It appears that Jesus had developed a large crowd of followers. I might even have counted this as a milestone in the Lord’s ministry. People finally recognized the truth of His teachings and longed to hear more. Christ, however, was able to see directly through their false motives. He knew that the multitudes did not follow Him in search of spiritual wisdom, but to fill their bellies with food. Verses 28-65 record the conversation Jesus had with the multitude. He explained to them that He was the bread of life and how important it was to put their faith in spiritual food and not the bread that He provided. In the end, much like the saga of Joe the construction worker, this is not what the crowds wanted to hear. Verse 66 says that many of those who had followed Jesus across the water left Him upon hearing His teachings.
Christ sends the same message to us today. What is the inward motive for your “being a Christian”? Do you go to church to hear the latest from your friend or to hear a Word from your God? Is this the only place you listen to God? If so, I suggest that your motives are no different than the crowds that followed Christ for food.