Sitting on the couch this afternoon I was reminded once again just how hard Christianity can be.
In John 6:60 the disciples find themselves standing between Jesus and the crowds of people who followed him. Jesus claimed to be the bread of life, the manna from heaven.
"Whoever feeds on my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:54).It wasn't an easy teaching. In fact many of the disciples following Jesus grumbled among themselves.
"This is a hard saying, who can listen to it?" (John 6:60)The disciples were right. It is a hard saying.
Of course, 2000 years later we know exactly what Jesus meant. His body and blood offered for us on the cross are the only way we can have eternal life. We become partakers of his body when we accept him as Savior. When we believe in him, we are promised eternal life through his sacrifice.
But the disciples just didn't understand. And I don't blame them. In fact, sometimes I just don't understand.
Homosexuality is a sin. But what if they can't change the way the feel? They just love differently...
Marriage is a covenant for life. But what if I'm miserable? I just can't love him anymore...
Forgive as you've been forgiven. But how do I forget what she did to me? How do I just let that go...
Be generous in your giving. But what if there isn't enough to pay the bills? I worked hard for that money...
Live peaceably with all men. But shouldn't somebody say something? I'm just an outspoken person...
The crowds following Jesus were constantly angered at His teaching. His words were hard and his truth cut to the core of their sin and brokenness. Many of them turned away. They stopped following him because they just didn't want to accept the truth.
However, I'm encouraged by Simon Peter's words to Jesus.
So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” John 6:67-69There are days when I don't understand. I struggle with just how to apply scripture to everyday life. I know that the words of Jesus are true, but they contradict everything the world teaches, everything my sin nature clings to. Dying to myself and living for Christ seems impossible. I want this to be easy!
However, like Simon Peter I find myself making the decision to follow Christ daily. Not because I understand everything Jesus' said, but because I understand who he is. I don't have all the answers, but I do know in whom I've believed.
I believe the Bible contains the words of eternal life, and I believe that Jesus is the Holy One of God, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I believe that there is "no other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
There will be many times in our lives when we doubt the goodness of God. We will doubt His promises. We will even doubt His teachings. We will have times of confusion and misunderstanding.
But please dear friend, never forget who it is you follow.
His name is Jesus and he came to save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).