“Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.” John 6:26
Why do you follow Jesus? If we’re not mindful, we can fall into the pattern of seeking God’s blessings rather than seeking Him. Of course, God designed us with physical needs, such as the ability to feel hunger, and He promises to be our Provider. But if we’re easily satisfied by having our physical needs met, then we can lack or neglect hunger for the spiritual.
The people in John 6 were following Jesus because He previously met their physical need. He satisfied a hungry crowd of over 5,000 with only two fish and five loaves of bread (John 6:9-12). In other words, they were seeking Jesus because He fed them. So, Jesus made an observation—hunger for the physical had blinded the crowd to their greater need, which was spiritual.
We’re all born with spiritual needs as well as physical needs. Neglecting either leads to malnutrition. Jesus told those listening, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst” (John 6:35). Our spiritual hunger can only be satisfied through a saving and growing relationship with Jesus Christ. You see, salvation is the beginning of our spiritual journey, not the destination. As we follow Jesus each day He satisfies the longings of our souls. And we grow healthy and strong spiritually by regularly feeding on His Word.
So, why do you follow Jesus? It’s not wrong to ask God to provide for our needs. In fact, Christ tells us to do so (Matthew 6:11). However, prioritizing the physical over the spiritual is shortsighted. Lasting satisfaction comes by seeking the Giver rather than chasing after His gifts. God’s faithfulness should whet our appetites to enjoy His fellowship now and eternally.