"The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one whereinto His disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with His disciples into the boat, but that His disciples were gone away alone; (Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks:) When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither His disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. And when they had found Him on the other side of the sea, they said unto Him, Rabbi, when camest Thou hither? Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek Me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for Him hath God the Father sealed." John 6:22-27
God can be sought for the wrong reasons. This principle is clearly taught in the Bible. As God's servants we must beware of allowing people to continue in an illegitimate search of God when it is obvious that their motives are not pure. Rebuking bad motives in people is not unloving; in fact, it can save their souls from certain death.
The crowd that had just tasted Jesus' miracle bread was astonished to find Him missing the next morning. They knew that only one boat had been there, and they also knew that Jesus had not gone into that boat with His disciples. So where could He be? After taking shipping themselves, they find Christ on the other side of the Sea of Galilee. When they had found Him, they asked Him, "Rabbi (Master), when camest Thou hither?" The very fact that He was on the other side of the sea when He had no boat to get Him there forced them to come face to face with the reality that some miracle had brought Him over. At this point, this group of people had every reason to believe in the divine Person of Christ. He had fed them to the full with five loves of bread and two fish. He had miraculously traveled to the western side of the Sea of Galilee, and yet, their hearts were still hardened toward faith in His Person. This fact is revealed by Christ's rebuke.
He says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek Me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled." What an amazing statement! Most people would have answered the question instead of dealing with the root issue. Christ did not coddle them in their unbelief. He was not satisfied with the mere fact that they were looking for Him. He took the situation a step further and dealt immediately with their issue of unbelief and carnal desires. If people are simply left alone to bask in their misguided motives they will never be helped. True, Biblical Christianity is confrontational. It is loving. True love is confrontational, because people have a sin problem, and sin cannot be dealt with apart from confrontation. Jesus declared to them their heart condition because He loved them dearly and desired their true conversion. At this point, most so-called Fundamentalists would have been content to have such a following and would not have cared about motives, but this is not God's way. He wants true followers and will accept no substitutes.
The Lord then gives them direction for their misguided hearts. He says, "Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for Him hath God the Father sealed." Their interest in Jesus extended no further than their carnal desires. Little has changed today. Most people become interested in Jesus out of a desire to have some fleshly lust fulfilled. He shifts their focus from the temporal to the eternal, from the physical to the spiritual. Though they had seen such a notable miracle done by Him, their hearts remained hardened. How destructive and prideful is man's unbelief! It will send him straight to hell! These people were not seeing Jesus Christ for Who He is; therefore, He directs their attention to Himself as the Giver of this eternal bread. He uses the title, "Son of Man." This title bespeaks especially of His role as man's substitute for sin. Only a man could die for the sins of a man, and this Man has the special approval of God the Father. The phrase, "for Him hath God the Father sealed" speaks of God's divine approval of Christ. The Father has given only the Son the authority to impart eternal life. Jesus is the true bread which will forever satisfy the spiritual hunger of the lost and dying soul.