Ministering the truth is not easy, no one knew that more then Jesus. John chapter 6 paints us a true picture of the reality that is God’s work. The chapter begins with the story of the miracle of the fish and loaves. Jesus ministered good news, performing healings and great miracles, and many came. The masses were drawn from far and wide to witness and be part of this great new ministry that had come to town. Then it gets even better! Jesus miraculously multiplies a few fish and loaves of bread, feeding thousands to the delight of all!
However, most people stop reading the story there and miss the very sad exchange that follows. The next day or so after the free fish and bread feast, Jesus traveled to an other shore. The people, realizing that He had left, came seeking Him. He was gaining quite the following. However, Jesus knew their hearts. It was not the truth of God that they were loyally seeking, but selfish gain and free food.
“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 6:26-27
The text continues to detail the exchange of words between Jesus and these “followers”, with the people trying to trick, manipulate, and obligate Jesus into serving them with more free bread. Jesus gets quite disgusted with this arrogant and selfish behavior and begins to simply lay out the truth. No more side dishes, no more dessert, Jesus goes straight to the meat of the Gospel. He’s going to see who is their to serve God and who is there to try to manipulate God into serving them. He’s going to separate the sheep from the goats and by the time He’s done speaking they have all turned on Him and left, all but the twelve. Yet the twelve that stayed, changed the world.
When it comes to true ministry, it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. That multitude that was chasing after Christ for shallow, petty, and personal reasons, were worthless to the body because their thoughts were inward. Jesus knew that He could accomplish far more with a devoted, obedient, patient, and selfless few that truly believed, then with a multitude of the prideful and selfish who in their hearts truly did not, (as was evident by their lack of submission and humility).
Likewise, even now, this has not changed. True ministry isn’t about the quantity of people you speak to, but rather the quality of ministering you pour into the few that truly believe and are hungry to receive. Surely, you can do more for the kingdom of God with a few true, obedient, and fully equipped disciples, then with a multitude of fakers, fans, and followers.
So in conclusion I would encourage you to seek God daily for discernment that the enemy not deceive, discourage, or distract you with the disingenuous. But rather, invest God’s time wisely. Seek out those who are more concerned with serving God and building His kingdom, then those who are looking to find ways for God to serve them and build their kingdom. Preach to all, but pour into those, that they may in-turn pour into others. If each one can reach just one and see it through, we can change the world.
“From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” – John 6:66-69
(Read all of John chapter 6)