Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. [Matthew 5:8 ESV]
Why do I seek Jesus? Not, why do I follow Him? That is a different question. In John 6 Jesus confronts both questions. Jesus doesn’t actually ask a question but states the obvious to those who followed Him across the Lake after He miraculously fed them. Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.” [John 6:26 ESV] They wanted Him to continue to fulfill their immediate needs and wants. After listening to Him teach and witnessing “signs” they were more concerned about the rumbling in their bellies than the longing of their souls.
Does immediate comfort take precedent over eternal well-being? For those who have suppressed their comprehension of what eternal well-being suggests, yes, immediate comfort is more important. But, being created in the image of God everyone has the eternal tools they need to make sense of their spiritual longing. Still, making self the center is only natural in a world governed by sin, by rebellion against the Creator of the world. We have no right to do so. Simply being human and callous toward the presence and love of God does not remove Him from the center of eternity. There can be only one center. He is that center which means we are not.
Placing self at the center means compromising faith. He did not create us in His image for us to worry or strive after clothes and food and any of the necessities of life. He gave in the image an eternal perspective. For those who face the insecurity of place the striving for food, clothes and the necessities of life becomes paramount. For those who have achieved a level of comfort and security the demand for selfish desires grows stronger taking the place of met necessities. Wants become needs. There is a reason God placed “You will not covet” at the end of the list of statements in Exodus 20. Coveting is the foundation of all sin. Wanting anything more than wanting God is evidence of not trusting Him and an in-your-face-God act of rebellion.
Why did the crowd seek Him? Because they saw signs, watched Him heal the sick and were finally miraculously fed by Him. These same people who followed Jesus so He could continue to feed them had wanted to make Him king after feeding them the day before. “When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, ‘This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!’ Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself” [John 6:14-15 ESV]. As king He would feed them, heal their illnesses, drive away the Romans and protect their borders. They would live in safety and security.
With a focus on themselves and the present they missed their Creator and the eternal. Fickle are the emotions of people satisfied with a moment. As their focus upon Jesus waxed so it would have soon waned as their stomachs emptied. Besides, He would not let them. Jesus will not be used in such a fashion. If we seek Jesus with the expectation He will fulfill our basic needs we are seeking Him for the wrong reason. Reasons to seek Jesus are, by His nature, eternal.