“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 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.” – John 6:26-27
We like to think that if we had lived in the time of Jesus it would have been easier to believe in him. We assume that the physical presence of Jesus would increase the likelihood that we would follow him with pure motives. In reality, Jesus constantly found himself followed by people who did not truly believe in him but approached him with mixed motives. They saw many benefits in being near him, but seeking eternal life through him was not always one of them.
The human heart is complicated and as we know, “deceitful above all things.” This makes us dependent on God to expose to us what our motivations really are. The Parables in Mark’s Gospel are an example of Jesus doing just that. The difficulty of his teaching exposed those who were genuinely seeking him and those who were not. The genuine pressed in and pursued the answers to the things they didn’t understand, while the others went back home to pursue an ordinary life.
As Christians today we face the same battle within our hearts – to pursue Jesus, not simply for what he offers to us, but because of who he is. Know that he understands the difficulties we face and is ready to call those who deny themselves and follow him today, “blessed.”
“Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” – John 20:29