Jesus had done an incredible miracle in feeding 5,000 people, and the crowd were so amazed they wanted to take Jesus by force and make Him their king. Jesus knew that this wasn’t His Father’s will for Him, and so He’d withdrawn from the people and gone up into the mountains to pray.
The next day, the people, still awestruck at what had happened the day before, wanted to find Jesus. No doubt they were hoping for some spectacular sign. So they got into boats and crossed over to the other side of the lake to find Him.
I was looking at this passage recently in my daily readings, and I was struck by Jesus’ reply to the people. In essence, He was saying to them that they were seeking Him, not because they wanted to be with Him, but because they wanted something from Him. He’d fed them, and now they wanted more signs and wonders.
It was in 1970 that I first came to put my trust in Jesus, and, like the crowd, I was wanting something from Him. I wanted a purpose for living, I wanted peace in my heart, and I wanted healing. It’s not wrong to come to Jesus because of our needs, He invites us to come to Him if we’re hungry, thirsty, or weary. But, as I read this well known passage again, I was challenged afresh. Do I come to Jesus just because I want to be with Him, to listen to Him, like Mary did, when she sat at His feet?
It’s so easy to come to Jesus with a list of things we want Him to do for us, and there’s a place for that. But it shouldn’t end there. I want to grow in my relationship with Jesus, so that I come to Him just because I love Him and want His companionship.
Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is within us. He also said, ‘Seek the Kingdom of God above all else and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need’ (Matthew 6:33). This means I must keep submitting every area of my life to Jesus and be under His authority. He must be King of my life.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, I’ve been challenged by Your words to the crowd when You said they were seeking You because You fed them. I want to seek You for Yourself, and not just for what You can give me, because You said that, if I put You first, You’ll meet all my needs. I love You, Lord. Please change my heart and make it more like Yours. Amen.
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