Written by: Tim Wood
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.” (John 6:26 ESV).
Simon Sinek has written a New York Times best-selling book titled, “Start With Why”. His premise is that inspiring leaders start with why instead of how. Start with why something is done a certain way rather than how it’s done. Sinek points out that we cannot assume people know why.
Jesus doesn’t assume anything; he knows everything. Jesus offers challenging words for the people following him. He had just fed 5,000 families with five loaves and two fish. Many of the people who ate this miraculous meal followed him to other side of the lake. It was there that Jesus addressed the issue of why. “You’re seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.”
Some were following Jesus for self-serving reasons. People who were filled with urgent needs and knew that Jesus could provide. Some people were following for sensational reasons. The thrill of seeing the miraculous. The excitement of a mountain top experience. The emotional high of conquest.
Everywhere Jesus went he healed the sick, he exorcised demons, he provided for the needs of people. As a result, great crowds followed him, but why were they following?
What an inspiring question for us to ask ourselves – why am I following Jesus? Am I following for self-serving reasons?
One day Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16). Peter’s answer is why we follow Jesus. He’s the Christ. We primarily follow him because of who he is, not for what he can do. This noble reason to follow him goes past sensationalism, selfishness or emotionalism. It’s a deep recognition that Jesus is the Son of God and therefore worthy to be followed.
When we know why we follow Jesus, everything else falls into place. It’s not what Jesus can do for me, it’s who he is that brings lasting satisfaction to our deepest hunger.
Why are you following Jesus?