There are many today who claim they are seeking Jesus. However, they are far away from the truth. What they are indeed seeking is not Jesus. Their pursuit, if you dig deep into, will reveal what it is they are truly seeking; the material things of this world. Only they have spiritualised their greed by appending Jesus to it. They may exhibit a form of godliness, but their heart is far from seeking Christ.
In describing who we are as a group–The Gospel Network–we indicated that “In every generation, there are those who pervert the gospel for selfish gains. Our generation is no different. A form of Christianity not founded on the complete teachings of Scripture–Sola Scriptura, Scripture Alone–and a deviation from biblical Christianity has gained grounds across the world and in Ghana…This form of Christianity places man at the centre and God only exist to make us happy and comfortable, a far cry from the biblical teachings of man’s need of salvation from sin and reconciliation unto God”
This is not an exaggeration. You only need to visit a Sunday service and you will be amazed what is been offered as gospel. Listen to sermons on TV, radio, podcasts and youtube videos and you will get a picture of what is been offered in the name of Christ. Sadly, many, if not the majority, have bought into this perverse and watered down gospel which promises anything from a life of health, prosperity and comfort in the name of Christianity.
In the gospel of John, there is an incident which teaches us a number of lessons about how people can get it wrong when they put pursuit of things above a pursuit of Christ Himself. We are introduced to the first miracle Jesus did at a wedding in John Chapter two. Then as the narration concludes, we are told that
Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man”.(v 23-25).
In this text, we learn some crucial lessons about seeking Jesus.
1: Faith Can Be Superficial
There are many today who are seeking Jesus for the wrong reasons. They want a breakthrough, a miracle, a healing…they are seeking for bread instead of the bread giver. We see here, the people came because of the signs and miracles they saw Jesus performed. However, Jesus being God and omniscient, saw beyond their facade. He saw their hearts; the shallowness and insincerity of their faith.
This is an indication we can seek Jesus for the wrong reasons. He says in Matthew 6:31-33 that “Therefore do not be anxious , saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear ?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness , and all these things will be added to you.”
Is your pursuit after Jesus and the Kingdom of God?
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 6:27).
2: Jesus Sees Our Hearts
You might have heard Jesus can give you healing, a breakthrough, a miracle. You truly might have a need and you have been made to believe Jesus has the answers to your problem. However, your heart seeks after only what you can receive. But not a heart willing and ready to submit to Christ’s Lordship. We can be hypocritical with people. We can have double standards. We can deceive people with our piety and religious fervency. But before God, we are bare and naked. We can’t hide our true self. We can’t hide our motives. We can’t hide our intentions. He sees beyond all that: “And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”(Hebrews 4:13).
We hide from God Always.
In the garden of Eden when Adam disobeyed God, Bible tells us “they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.”(Genesis 3:7). Why did they do this? They were hiding their shame. The shame of their nakedness– a representation of their fallen state. Ironically, the loincloths didn’t cover up their shame. They still sought to hide themselves when they heard God. “…the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.”(Genesis 3:7). Is your heart sincere? What are you hiding from God while you seek His blessing? It is time to unmask and come face to face with the reality of your sinful life. Come because you need forgiveness of sins and you will not be cast out.
3. Salvation Is Our Utmost Need.
Whatever reason prompted you to seek Jesus is not greater than your need for salvation. Every problem is just symptomatic of humanity’s sin problem. We live in a fallen world in a fallen body. Our need for fulfilment, breakthroughs, miracles e.t.c are all a yearning for a void in our hearts to be filled. Augustine said it rightly; “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee”.
What we need is Christ Himself: the bread of life, the water that quenches the thirst of the thirsty, the light that lights the dark paths and the air that sustains our breath. Nothing else will satisfy our famished souls.
Money won’t satisfy. Healing from a disease won’t satisfy. Temporal solutions cannot be applied to an eternal problem. Your need is rooted in a far more higher need; the redemption of your soul, reconciliation to God and standing justified before God. If you are coming to Christ for anything apart from these, you are trifling with your soul. It is not surprising that in the next Chapter immediately following John 2:23-25, we read of Jesus’ interaction with Nicodemus. What Jesus told him is of great significance here: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3).
Seek Jesus. Not the benefits of the gospel.