John 6:26-27 – Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”
Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of pastors all over the US and the rest of the world preach a supposed gospel of prosperity. Look at any person whose gospel message does not include the forgiveness of sin before a holy God, and you will see someone who is, instead, offering to people a false gospel of prosperity. Preachers call on their followers to name and claim their blessings, to explore their wild hearts, or to live their best lives now. However, these preachers miss the main message, a message that Jesus highlights in the passage above.
Immediately after feeding the 5,000, Jesus went to the other side of the lake. The crowds, after realizing where Jesus went, followed him. When they approached Jesus, he rebuked them for seeking him for the wrong thing. They were not seeking the glory of God. They were not seeking the forgiveness of sin. They were not seeking to do the will of the Lord. Instead, they were seeking another free meal. And Jesus, after identifying the false motivation of the crowd, called them on their false motivation and spelled out for them the true gospel.
What you and I should learn from this is simple: Jesus is not interested in calling us to lives of ease. He is not calling us to himself so that we can then turn around and revel and the fleeting pleasures of this life. Jesus is not offering us salvation in order to give us better-behaved children, happier marriages, and financial blessings. Jesus is calling us to himself, plain and simple. He is calling us to find our hearts’ satisfaction in his glory. Jesus is calling us to find forgiveness for our sins in his shed blood. He is calling us to new life in his resurrection. He is calling us to share his cross in order that we might share in his eternity. Jesus is not calling us to a life focused on this world, but one focused on the world to come.
Today, set your mind on things above, and not on earthly things. Set your heart on eternity. Think about heaven and the glory of Christ. Check yourself. Ask, “For what am I living.” Turn from earthly satisfaction, and find ultimate fulfillment in Christ.
(For a nice thought on heaven, read Corey Reynolds’ blog entry at http://wanderlustintheword.blogspot.com/2007/08/what-must-we-do-in-holy-place.html .)