John 6:22-27

What knowledge of man’s heart our Lord Jesus Christ possesses. We see in this portion of Scripture Jesus exposing the false motives of those who followed Him for the sake of the loaves and fishes. It may not appear that way to you, and me, as they followed Him across the Lake of Galilee. (24) At the surface level they seen to be ready to follow and believe in Him, but we will see in the remainder of this chapter this isn’t show. (v66) Jesus exposes the inward hearts because you cannot deceive the Lord. “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” Gal 6:7. He knows what our real character is, and He will judge us accordingly. Just as Jesus exposes their heart here, you cannot fool the Lord with your misleading affections. (v26)


The Bible says that multitudes followed Jesus. But these people followed Jesus for different reasons. The same is true today! Many people are willing to have Jesus as a part of their lives, just as long as it doesn’t cost them anything. Many will sit under false teaching and false teachers because the have misleading affections towards Christ for the wrong reasons. Prosperity gospel preachers would tell us that the point of the Christian life is to escape pain, suffering, and grief. But this not the gospel, Christianity is not about escaping suffering and pain, it’s not about simply getting our theology right or signing a salvation card by saying some prayer. Jesus tells us over and over again is, “If you’re going to follow Me, I am going to take you on a death path. There is a cross to carry.” We are never to settle for a relationship with Jesus, that is based on what He can do for me to live more comfortably.

God knows whose motives are wrong and misguided by the human heart and this should cause us to ponder about our God, and His truth this morning in our own hearts. Jonathan Edwards calls these religious affections which many of whom are unregenerate, attending only a few times a year to meet their self-prescribed church quota over true religion. True religion that God is seeking is as Edwards writes, “True religion consists of an emotional response to the whole truth about God, and about us. That truth includes the reality of sin and judgment, and the horrible, unjust death the Savior had to die to bring us salvation. We grieve over our sin, the pain it causes, and over Jesus’s suffering, before we get to the resurrection and heavenly bliss.”


Unfortunately, though! There are good intentional people in the church today, who are seeking the gospel of Christ for the wrong reasons, just as Jesus exposes the wrong motives of these followers.


Treating the God who gives then their every breath by seeking Him for…..

Profit, power and acknowledgment.

Seeking for an emotional experience.

Seeking for signs and wonders.

Seeking a Genie in a bottle.

Possessing a lucky rabbit’s foot or good luck charm.

Seeking a get out jail free card.

Seeking Him for salvation to escape Hell only; and not for daily holiness and inward change.


See it’s not hard to deceive ourselves and others at times! J C Ryle said “a little decent outward profession will often go long way. But it is impossible to deceive Christ.” Why? I Samuel 16:7 says “……. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart." Remember the confrontation that Jesus had with Peter when He restored him back for gospel ministry. “the third time, "Do you love me?" and he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep.” John 21:17. God will not be mocked or fooled by our schemes and motives. This truth applies here when the great number of people were seeking after Jesus on the other side of the Sea. Though the crowd sought Him out, they were never intended to worship or obeying Him as the Saviour who came to bare our sin. They only cared about their felt-needs being met! They wanted Jesus to serve them. “Give me what I want Jesus, or else”


This thinking and motivation is that…. “When I get my fill of you, Jesus, and something comes along that is better I will be jumping ship to bigger and better things.” No genuine act of commitment and obedience; it’s the mindset that says “If Jesus doesn’t work out; I always have my back-up plan.” Sadly, the reality is that there is NO BACK UP! It’s Jesus or nothing! This is true in the church, and especially in your life. Many so-called professing Christians live for the present, living for today earthly joys, and seeking for earthly goodness. But the Scriptures says we are called to live for the things of eternal value. “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:15-17


The Hebrew writer goes even further to explain that this is not our home. “So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.” Heb 13:12-15


Salvation comes, not through seeking the One who can provide physical food. But coming to the One who can, and does, supply the spiritual bread of life to those who come to Him in repentance and faith. These, so-called… Jesus’ hearers, or followers, were not satisfied with the true Messiah, but sought out one for their own makings.  This is still happening today. The words of Jesus in our passage reveals there are two kinds of food this world seeks!


One that perishes and another

one that endures.


First kind seeks their own interest; while the Second kind seeks the only One who gives eternal life freely to those who believe. The question for you [us] is! 

Which One are you seeking this morning?


Is Jesus only useful when it’s convenient for you?

Is Jesus only useful when it fits into your worldview?

Is Jesus only useful to keep your family and friends off your back?

Is Jesus only useful to keep you in your relationship with the opposite sex?

Is Jesus only useful when you need something as a last resort?


Their selfish materialistic hearts, were keeping them blind to their spiritual bankruptcy, and their false idea of hope.


Look what Jesus says to the multitudes after they found Him on the other side! (v25-v29) It’s not that Jesus doesn’t care about our physical needs, as we just saw previously to why they ventured across the Sea to see Him. Jesus’ major concern is mankind’s spiritual life…..our spiritual well-being is more important to a holy God, than our physical well-being. Sadly, they couldn’t see that; but Jesus could, and did. They wanted to enter into the feast, but didn’t want to enter into His suffering.


Why didn’t Jesus answer their question

to how He got there? (v25)


He wanted to address their motives, because He knew what awaits those who follow after their own desires! His eternal Judgement and wrath for all eternityThey wanted the benefits, but no sacrifice, or obedience to Christ. They didn’t want the Saviour King, who would save them from the judgement that is to come to those who don’t truly believe and follow Him alone. Jesus addresses them with their wrong worldview who are dissatisfied about the direction of their lives. “I’m just working to put food on the table.” Get up in the morning, get dressed, go to work and do that everyday to realize, “Is that all there is” when you reach 60 years of age. We are to invest things that don’t perish and to store up for ourselves treasures in heaven. Life is so much more than food that perishes. Jesus said, “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.” (v27)


Have you ever asked yourself what you are doing with your life? Do you wonder why you live the way you are living? Unfortunately, many in this world seek the things that perish and according to Jesus, it profits them nothing. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” Matt 16:26. Paul says this kind of person who is misguided is storing up wrath. “But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed. He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.” Romans 2:5-8


What do we learn from this portion as it introduces us to one

of the great I AM statement?




Why? It leads to selfish, and self-seeking interests, which ultimately it leads to damnation. We see things the way we want things to be, so long as I get what I want, when I want mentality. Prov 14:12 speaks about this and the outcome of this type of thinking is destructive. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” A prime example of this is found in the life of Christopher Hitchens “Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.” But sadly, the consequence for that kind of thinking is destructive. “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked.” Gen 3:1-7

As the way of sin and wickedness does, it promising much carnal pleasure and fun and there is a great deal of company in it. It’s a broad road many take, and its pleasant to the eyes, and seems right, but it leads to destruction in the end. So is… the way of the hypocrite and Pharisee that trusts to his own righteousness, and despises others and even the righteousness of Christ found in the gospel. What does it result in? “….'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'” Matt 7:23. It blinds, and binds, you to the truth found in Christ alone; and leaves that person lost, and helpless.


Matthew Henry wrote, "It appears fair, but is filthy; it appears pleasant, but is pernicious; it promises much, but performs nothing." Paul explains this loud and clear to the church of Corinth that it’s impossible to be a follower of Christ and not understand His truth. “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Cor 2:14. The Scriptures are very clear about the danger of misguided affection. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,” 

Rom 1:18


“suppress the truth” literally means “to hold down or to quash.” The natural man and woman has a built-in, natural, compelling desire to suppress and oppose God’s truth. Every person ever born possesses innate "Anti-God energy!" This is a person who know the Gospel, which is "the truth", and do not profess it openly or if they do profess it, do not live up to it in their lives. In essence they hate the truth of God and the God of the gospel. Why? The gospel confession requires a change of life, from the old self by putting on the new self, found in our gospel profession. Paul reminded Timothy that we will see this more and more in the local church as time goes on. “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” 2 Tim 4:3-4

We always have to remember! To never assume that everyone in the church is saved. Only God can see the true heart of conversion found in the gospel and the one fakes it please parents, keeping a relationship or to feel morally superior. A prime example of Misplaced affection and false profession is found in the church of Laodicea. The bible says, “…because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.” Rev 3:17


These people who confronted Jesus on the other side of the Sea, are identical to ones in Laodicea, only satisfied in getting their personal needs met. They could care less about who Jesus truly was, and what He really came to do; which was to give His life to be a ransom for some. In Matthew’s gospel Jesus said this, “as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Matt 20:28. Misguided intentions separate you from the Saviour and the eternal grace found in the gospel. “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.” Isaiah 59:2


When Isaiah writes “have separated” this conveys the idea of division, usually by a curtain or a wall! The problem isn’t with God’s power, His knowledge, or His love, or His lack of interest in saving image-bearers. The problem is with our iniquities. Sin has separated you from your God as a curtain separates the you from seeing the other side. This statement is still true for millions of people today, they didn’t care about their sin….they  only concerned themselves with the NOW.


John MacArthur said in reference to the crowd that followed Jesus. “The crowd was not motivated by faith, repentance, or genuine love for Him.  On the contrary, they followed the Lord because they saw the signs which He was performing on those who were sick . . . . They were thrill seekers who failed to grasp the true significance of Jesus’ miraculous signs . . . which pointed unmistakably to Him as the Son of God and the Messiah……They flocked to see His works, but ultimately refused to accept His words.  They sought the benefits of His power in their physical lives, but not in their spiritual lives.” And this is the road that leads to destruction as Jesus spoke of in His sermon on the Mount as the multitude gathered to hear Him preach.

What keeps an unconverted soul

from finding Christ?


Their love for sin, and their inability, or desire, to acknowledge they have sinned against a holy God. Ignorant to the fact, that they are accountable before a holy God; and all things will be revealed about you in coming Judgement. Refusing to repent and walk by the faith given in Christ through the gospel. Refusing to rest in the One who is authorized to give bread that comes from heaven, and His promise is utterly sure for all who believe in Him. These people that came to Jesus for all the wrong reasons, and this is happening today. Blinded by superficial desire of food and miracles, that they miss the spiritual significance of what Jesus came to do! To give life for sinners. Listen to the heart of Isaiah. "Why do you spend money for [what is] not bread, And your wages for [what] does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat [what is] good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you - The sure mercies of David." Isa 55:2-3


We need to be careful that we don’t get swept away with what Jesus could do for us over what He came to do, and that was to die for sinners like and me. Man’s blindness does not keep or prevent God’s grace from working….that’s the beauty of the God of the gospel. But we need to remember He didn’t come to give you your best life now! He came to give you eternal life through His Son. Why do you follow after Jesus? Is it because you want your carnal desires filled? Or is it because you desperately need a Saviour, because you’re a sinner who desperately needs saving? Jesus did not come just to make sick people healthy, or bad people good,

He came to make dead people alive.          


Popular posts from this blog

Names of God's Children