Carson Weitnauer: How can we discern who really loves Jesus?

From Reasons For God:

So many people claim the name of Jesus.

But sometimes, what looked like love for Jesus turns out to be a mask that conceals a lust for money, power, fame, or sex. It is a stunning and painful experience to realize that someone would intentionally violate our deepest values to take advantage of us.

So what if we could find out what separates those who love Jesus from those who want to use Jesus? 

In all honesty, sometimes we can’t. Cunning operators are often successful in their deception and manipulation. They tell us what we want to hear, and it works.

Still, in John 6, we have one story that can help us. 

A little boy offers his five little barley loaves and his two little fish, and Jesus blesses the weakness of this humble offering. We see the beauty of bringing together human weakness and God’s power: a crowd of many thousands eats their fill.

And why did Jesus do this astounding miracle? He explains it the next day, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” If you depend on Jesus to feed you bread and fish, then do you trust Jesus to satisfy your deepest longings? 

Sidebar: What are your deepest longings? Does Jesus fulfill them for you?

But what does the crowd want from Jesus? They want what they want! John tells us they are on the precipice of forcibly demanding that Jesus be their king. His powers are fantastic; he can overthrow the Romans! 

So what does Jesus do? He withdraws to a mountain by himself. And when the crowd chases after him, he challenges them.

Notice the contrast? 

Jesus draws close to the weak — and blesses them.

Jesus moves away from the power-hungry — and confronts them.

Read the rest here

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