Devotional

“Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.” They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?” Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” – John 6:26-29

In the John 6 passage, we encounter a crowd of people who watched and ate when Jesus fed 5,000 people plus their families with 5 small barley loaves of bread and two small fish. Naturally, they looked for Him the next day after such an awesome event. Now we might think that Jesus would be happy that people were following Him. But not so much. Jesus sees their inner motivation.”…Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.” They were more interested in the blessing than the blesser. They sought Him because they wanted another free meal for their stomachs. Jesus then encourages them to use their efforts for something of a more eternal value than bread and fish: “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” (John 6:27)

That was not the answer the crowd was expecting. They reasoned that if Jesus wasn’t going to feed them again, they wanted some of this power for themselves so that they could do the multiplying thing themselves, so they asked, “…What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” (John 6:28 ESV) One more time they didn’t get the answer they wanted: “Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:29). In other words concentrate on the blesser not the blessing. 

What blessings are you seeking? What kind of stuff are you pursuing? Maybe it’s a new job, a spouse, or a new business venture. Whether it’s big or small, these things aren’t bad things. No, they’re good things. But what’s our approach in those pursuits?

Do we want Jesus for the miracles, the food, the house, the job, the spouse, or some other thing we desire? Will we be like those in Biblical times who turned away from the blesser because they wanted the blessing more? There is nothing wrong with wanting to be blessed and have blessings, but when the blessing becomes our god instead of the blesser, we have missed the miracle.

It is not a blessing that we need. It is the blesser. It is Jesus, who loves us, that we need to seek. So my prayer is that today, we will focus on God, on the blesser not the blessing. He is the blessing.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Psalm 37:4: Matthew 6:33: and Matthew 7:9-11: What do these verses say about those who would seek God and the blessings He gives?
  2. What do we need to do today to focus on the Blesser rather than the blessing?