This is a hard teaching, who can accept it? part 2
By Kevin Probst
After the thousands had deserted Christ at Capernaum, there were only twelve left standing and one of these was a devil, Judas. These eleven were true disciples of Christ. They believed what he said. John 8:31 ”Then Jesus said,…. ‘If you continue in my Word, then you are My Disciples indeed’”.
There seems to be a sort of Jesus cult in our society today. They sing Jesus songs, they wear Jesus T-shirts and they wear Jesus jewelry but in many lives there is very little evidence of any true transformation. For many its the same sinful life lived under the Jesus banner.
Real true discipleship is that which accepts and believes the words of Christ. It is not a preoccupation with his person, it is not a demand for more miracles or constant emotional stimulation, it is embracing the truth of his words!
I teach high school students who sometimes get taken up in the Jesus cult thing. I will ask them:
“Do you know Jesus?” “Oh, yeah. He’s the man. Jesus is so cool.”
“Do you know Jesus said you shouldn’t have sex before marriage?”
“Yeah…well, I don’t know if anyone can really do that.”
“Do you know that Jesus said he is the only way and there is no other?”
“Yeah…well, I think that may be wrong.”
“Do you know that Jesus said if you are a follower of his you have to step down from the throne of your life and give him total control?”
“Yeah….well, I’m not sure I’m ready to do that.
The problem is, they accept the person of Jesus, he is really cool. But just don’t let him make any demands of me. I like who he is, the son of God…whoa! But I don’t want him commanding me to do things I don’t want to do.
A true follower of Christ hears and accepts all of his words. He hears his condemnation of sin, he hears his call to moral purity, he hears and responds to his call to separation. Most men don’t refuse Christ because they don’t understand, the plan is simple, he made it so an eight year old can understand. They refuse Christ because they feel condemned by his words and they refuse to listen, they refuse to believe.
Jesus asked them in John 6:61, “Does this offend you?” Is this too much for you to swallow?
They had two majors problems with his words: He claimed to have come from heaven and they didn’t like the idea of eating him!
So Jesus addresses these problems: “You don’t believe I came from heaven? V. 62 “What if you see Me go back there, would that help you with your unbelief?” Pretty good reply. You’re hung up on the idea I came from heaven. When you see me ascend back into heaven will you then believe? In Acts 1 he went straight up into a cloud. “I’m going back the same way I came.”
Jesus addressed the second problem. “You don’t believe I am talking literally about eating my actual body, do you?” I’m going to ascend back into heaven. I’m going to be physically intact, not eaten!”
Jesus then nails it in v. 63. “It is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh profits nothing.” I’ve come that you might partake of my Spirit. It is not my physical body that needs to be in you, it is my Spirit that needs to be in you. It’s not the outward me, it is the inward me that you need.
Jesus saw the thousands walking away. Then, one of the most poignant passages of scripture in all the Bible, he looked at his true disciples and asked, “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Can you feel the brokenness of Jesus? His heart hurts when anyone walks away from him. When he sees a soul walking toward eternal death he knows what that is and it crushes him.
Faithful Peter, the impulsive one, who often spouted off foolish words stepped up and said exactly the right thing here, v. 68 “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
My father passed away over 25 years ago. Do you know what I remember most about my father? I remember his words. Almost every day I remember something my father said.
Peter was saying, it’s not about your person, it’s not about your miracles, it’s all about the truth embodied in your words.
There are only two ways anyone can go here. You can either reject his words: “This is a hard saying, who can receive it.” Or, you can accept his words, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”