Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. (John 6:26 NLT)

Why do we become Christians? Is it for our selfish gain? This passage in John 6 follows the feeding of the 5,000. These Jews were excited that Jesus could provide for their physical needs like God provided mana from heaven.

But like the Israelites in the old testament they miss the point of Jesus' provision. Jesus is not a divine miracle vending machine. He is the bread of life. We follow Christ not for what he can give us (blessings) but because we recognize who He is. Jesus performed miracles to help us get a glimpse of God's kingdom and our King, Jesus. Why do you want to be with Jesus? To be with Him? Or are we merely using Jesus to get something we want?


  1. Amen! Good thoughts. I have had to wrestle with this same question lately...I was wanting more from Him than I was wanting to be with Him....Thankful for His grace.

  2. This is interesting to think about, Erik!

    I do think it's curious how you set selfishness against being with and following Jesus for who He is. It seems, and I believe scripture teaches this, that we do come to Christ unashamedly for reward. Hebrews 11:6 describes faith as that. In conclusion, if only we were more selfish, perhaps we'd follow Jesus to gain full life and not just another day's meal!!

    C.S. Lewis puts it far better than I ever will:
    "...if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the
    staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on
    making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."
    -C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory (http://www.verber.com/mark/xian/weight-of-glory.pdf)

  3. That's interesting that you would see that Lewis quote that way. I don't see Him encouraging us to seek after the benefits of following Jesus but rather Jesus himself. It's an important distinction.

    I'm aware of the passages that speak about pressing on towards a prize, storing up treasure in heaven and the like. The question I'm trying to ask here is whether The person and work of Jesus an who he is - whether that is enough to love and follow him.

    I don't know about you, but I've met a fair amount of Christians that talk more about the benefits of being a Christian than who are enamored with Him for who he is.

  4. Sorry for the typos. On my iPhone.