by Kevin Rutherford


Five thousand people sat down before the Lord by the Sea of Galilee.  For this multitude Jesus turned five loaves and two fish into enough food to feed everyone and still have five baskets of food leftover (John 6:1-14).  Truly this was a spectacular miracle and an obvious sign that Jesus came from God.  And yet, the people didn’t get it.  They didn’t recognize this as evidence.  Later, after Jesus had crossed to the other side of the Sea of Galilee some of those whom He had fed came to speak with Him.  In response to them Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do riot labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life.. .(John 6:26, 27).”  These people followed Jesus because He had fed them.  Not because they realized He had performed a miracle and must be from God.  They were concerned about being fed physically with the food that perishes but they were not concerned with being fed spiritual with the food that endures to everlasting life.

These people were shallow indeed.  How could they miss the fact that a great sign had been given to them?  How could they not draw the proper conclusions from the sign and desire spiritual food that would save them?  They were blind to the truth.  Later, in their conversation with Christ they suggested Jesus should give them a sign to prove that He was from God (John 6:30).  They were so focused on physical things, and they were so blind to the facts that they did not realize such a sign had already been given to them in the miracle of feeding the five thousand.  Are our hearts as thickly covered in fat as theirs? Surely not, we would think.

Before we conclude that we are not as hard hearted as they, perhaps we should examine ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5).  Members of the church are often seeking to get as much as they can from the church by putting as little as they can into the church.  We want salvation, but we don’t want to help the church with its work.  We want to enjoy the social company of Christians, but we don’t call on the sick, shut-in, or needy.  We want to enjoy good preaching, but we don’t want to teach others.  We want to enjoy worship, but we mumble our way through the songs and focus our minds on sports and lunch.  We want the church to “fix” our kids when we have failed in the home.  We want to see what we can gain physically and emotionally from the church while giving very little concern over that which we can gain spiritually.

We have failed to realize that Christianity is not a “give me” religion.  It is instead the one true “give to God and others,” faith.  Didn’t Jesus teach us this when He said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35)?”  The Lord’s church is filled with lethargic, apathetic, self-absorbed Christians who are into Christianity to see what they can get out while putting little in.  We should desire to get out of Christianity spiritual growth, salvation, peace, contentment, joy, etc.  However, we should not think we deserve these things, and we should not think they should be ours when we give God very little. Furthermore, our focus should always be on what we can gain spiritually and not physically.

When we need help we should not be afraid to ask the church for it (Galatians 6:2).  But when we can help ourselves we ought to do it (Galatians 6:5).  It is true that you should gain much from Christianity, but woe to the person who is only seeking Christ for the loaves and fishes.

The prosperity religion of TV evangelists is a farce.  It is nothing more than a moneymaking scheme for them.  The ironic thing about it all is that those who have fallen for the false doctrine of the prosperity preachers have done so because they want Christianity to make them rich.  They are giving up their money and making these pompous parading peacocks wealthy.  They are seeking the loaves and fishes and are not seeking the truth.

Why are you seeking Christ?