SCRIPTURE TEXT: John 6:24-40
INTRO: To claim to believe in Jesus Christ as Savior seems like an easy thing to do. But saving faith is much more than mere “assent or agreement to His being real and being the Son of God.” What makes faith or believing in Jesus legitimate lies in one’s motivation? Why do you believe and what does that belief demand from you? That is the focus of our message tonight.
I. THE MOTIVATION OF MANY SEEKERS OF JESUS.
A. CONTEXT: It is the day after Jesus miraculously fed 5,000 people and they were so pleased they determined to make Him king! But Jesus is not pleased. Why not? That is what our text teaches about. He knew their motivation for their plans was not from God, but from selfish desire.
1.)Vss. 24-25, The people awoke to find their new “king” gone and when they found Him they were confused about His reluctance to accept His offer. So He decides to give an answer to their real question: why are you not letting us lift you up?
2.) Vss. 26, “You are not looking for Me because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled.” Like so many would be followers, they followed Him because they wanted Him to supply their physical desires with His great power.
ILLUS 1: People tend to pray, not for God’s will, but for God to do their will. They don’t want what God wants, but what they want.
ILLUS 2: How many voters do you suppose don’t always vote for the best candidate, the one who can take the nation in the way it should go, even if it is going to be difficult. Instead, they vote for the one who promises to meet their desires.
II, THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE MOTIVATION FOR SEEKING JESUS.
A. 1.) READ Vs. 27, Jesus explains that their real need is spiritual and that seeking only physical satisfaction doesn’t last long.
2.)READ vss. 28-29, a.)The people recognize that Jesus is telling them that they, like Him, must do, not what they choose to do, but what God calls them to do. “This is the work of God — that you believe in the One He has sent.” What does that mean?? b.) We all need to understand the implications of what Jesus said. i.) “This is the work of God”= what God wants accomplished. ii.) “that you believe in the One He has sent.”= Knowing Jesus and making Him known to others is the work God intends for every person.
3.) READ vss. 30-31. If the people already believed because He had fed them, what other sign is needed? Just give us more food and we will believe in you!”
- There are number of people in our world today who claim to believe in Jesus and their claim is sincere – but they are wrong! WHY? Because claiming to believe and truly believing are two different things.
ILLUS 3: Political illustration: claiming to be a Democrat doesn’t matter if you don’t vote for a democratic candidate. All your claims make no difference because your actions don’t support them.
You can claim to be a follower of Christ, but, if you are not sold out to Jesus, holding Him as the foundation of every other thing you do, living by His word and trusting in His forgiveness, and sharing His love with others who need Him, your claim may be illegitimate!
III. THE RESULTS OF ONE’S ULTIMATE MOTIVATION FOR SEEKING CHRIST.
- Vss. 32-66 is a long passage, but we will choose certain pivotal sections to prove our case.
1.)READ vss.32-40, Just to expect what Jesus offers is not legitimate faith. Saving faith comes from having a deep conviction from God that you must fully give yourself up to Jesus.
2.) READ vss. 53-59, Believing Jesus is the Provider of a meal is not enough, you must accept Him as the meal itself!
3.) READ vss. 60, 66-68. See how many who thought they believed in Him turned away? They did so because they realized following Him required a lot more than just lip-service.
- Simon Peter states it clearly, “Lord, who will we go to? You have the words of eternal life (what You say is true). We have come to believe and know that You are the Holy One of God!”. His closest disciples (except for Judas, to whom He refers in vs. 70-71), were totally sold out.
A casual belief in Jesus proves little. IT IS THE MOTIVATION BEHIND OUR TURNING TO CHRIST THAT MATTERS. Our motivation must be an acceptance that God offers salvation only through responding to His call for full and complete surrender to His Son, Jesus Christ. That alone must be our motivation for believing.