Motivation. No one does anything without it. We all need motivation to get up in the morning, motivation to go to school or work, motivation to turn off the TV and get up off the sofa. It has never been otherwise.
When Jesus, the king of heaven, was walking here on earth, the people that ran into him had many different motivations for seeking him out. There were probably as many motivations as there were people.
- For some it was the miracles. John 12:9 says that “Much people” found out that he was in Bethany. Perhaps we could say today that hoards of people found out that he was in Bethany and came “not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.” So, it wasn’t really for the truth, but because of the stupendous miracle that Jesus had done.
- For others it was the food that he provided. John 6:26 says that the people did not look for him because of the miracles, but because of the bread that he had given them. They were hungry and the bread had filled them up for a few hours.
- For Judas, it was the money. He appeared to be concerned with the poor, but the apostle John noted that, “This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein (John 12:6).”
- For a very few, it was the truth. Jesus told a crowd of people that he was the living bread and that they had to eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood or they would have no life in them. (John 6:53) Some people thought he was a nut case and said, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Even his disciples had no idea what he was talking about. The spiritual correspondence flew completely over their heads, but Peter, in spite of his confusion, said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life (John 6:68).” Here’s a guy that was there for the truth, nothing else.
It’s clear from these examples that the majority of the people in Jesus’ day were not motivated to find Jesus for the truth’s sake. What is motivating our lives? Sometimes we deceive ourselves about our motivations. It takes a careful, clear and objective view of our lives to find out why we do the things that we do. Are we looking for approval? Do we want a lot of “likes” on social media? Is our reputation the main focus of our lives? Is money the reason we head into the office in the morning? We all do need money to live, but is that the only reason we go? Some are looking for power and others for control. Every one of these reasons is a sham.
If every shred of natural, material motivations are taken from us, if our religious or spiritual life does nothing to improve our outward natural life in any way, would we still love Jesus just for his truth alone? The Scriptures below make it abundantly clear that it’s the truth that needs to be the focus of our lives.
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Jeremiah 45:5 And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not:
The Scriptures say that it is the love of the truth that saves us. 2 Thessalonians 2:10 “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”
John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.