There are times that I don’t like what Jesus teaches. I mean, who really wants to live life according to the Red Letters? His teachings stand in opposition to the very cultural thread that makes the American Dream. Yet, I somehow follow Him. I take these bite-size pieces of His calling for me and try to live them out. I know full well that not everyone likes my lifestyle, or agrees with it, or even understands it. I’m fully aware of it. Yet, this Rabbi calls me to Life Eternal, which begins now.
In John 6, Jesus does a few miracles. He feeds thousands of people from a couple fish and a few loaves. He then walks on water. And then He teaches about Himself and the sacrifice He is called to make, and what it means to respond to Him. Hearing those words about the Eternal supper, the people begin to walk away, disappointed, disheartened. After the miracles, in the long run, His teachings were difficult. They required faith that those people were unwilling to have. And so they left. The crowds that were so enamored with Him, so ready to make Him king, leave their Teacher because He asks too much.
So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?”(John 6:67)
I can imagine that even though Jesus came here knowing He would be rejected, He as a man was hurt. I imagine that He asks that question fully knowing what the twelve are thinking and isn’t able to look them in the eye. The people adore Him for His miracles; they reject Him for His teaching. And there’s silence that fills the air as they think, do we?
I know I’ve been that way. After the miracles of Christ, I don’t want to walk the hard line of faith. Loving that person is too much. Forgiving someone who doesn’t “deserve it” isn’t what our culture says I should do. Seeking humility over pride isn’t going to get me anywhere. I sometimes worry that I am confused that this walk of faith is about me and not about a Savior who longs for me to be more like Him. Eating the bread and drinking the cup…it’s a meal that I’d rather not eat.
But after a moment of a little tantrum or argument with God, I realize that I can’t walk away.
68Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. 69 We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”
In the long run, He holds the words of eternal life. His teachings, however hard, breathe life into my existence. And beyond the miracles, beyond the teachings, He is the Holy One of God. He alone provides purpose and meaning.
So my heart is to recognize the Holy One of God, even when the teachings are beyond what I want to do, even when I feel like I will be rejected with Him by my culture for my obedience. I long to live the Red Letters. Because the resounding question is still the same 2000 years later.
Lord, to whom shall we go?