Why Do You Believe?
By Joslyn Jayaram
22 On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. 23 Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.
25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26 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. 27 Do not work 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.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
Verses 22-24 may sound initially sound so great, crowds seeking Jesus! However, Jesus knew their true intentions. Verse 26: “You are seeking me because… you ate your fill of loaves.” I love how Pastor Chris broke it down this past Sunday. Meals equaled money. Eating to one’s content was a luxury. If the crowd didn’t have to worry about food anymore, they potentially didn’t have to worry about working or money! Doesn’t it seem that if we didn’t have to worry about food or work or money anymore all our problems would go away? In fact, when Jesus asked Philip where are we going to buy food to feed the crowd earlier in the chapter, Philip responded with the what instead, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little,” (John 6:7). To Philip, the answer in that moment was money.
In verse 28, the crowds get caught up in the what too. “What must we do…” they ask. This is what every religion in the world asks too. What do we pay for this eternal food? What is the cost, Jesus? Jesus had already told them that He will give them the bread of life that doesn’t perish. Now, they get caught up with the transaction.
Sometimes, we too, can get caught in the what of the answer to grow close to God, to gain eternal life. Sometimes, we too, just get caught up in what Jesus can give us. Food and money sound great, but these are only whats. Jesus wants us concerned with the where. Where would they buy food? Where is the bread of eternal life? The answer always needs to point back to Jesus. He is the bread and the life. He paid the cost at the cross, there is nothing left to do but believe.
Application: If you are solely seeking Jesus for the answer to your problems, you’ve missed the point altogether. Answered prayers are awesome, but its where those answers come from that is much more important. Seek Jesus, believe in Him, not because of what He can do for you, but where you will be with Him! He’s ready to spend eternity with you, life abundant, and He already paid the transaction fee.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, we want to be the type of people that are following you because of You, not because of the temporary good feelings we leave with after church or a momentary answered prayer. Help us to seek You in the noisy world where our wants and whats and hows of getting them can be so loud.