Friday, October 3, 2008

Scandalous (part 1)

Wow...So Jesus has just fed the 5,000.  He now flees, because, if you remember, John has told us in 3:25, "he knew what was in a man," and Jesus knows they intend to come and "make him king by force."  Following a miraculous quick trip by foot back across the lake (Sea of Galilee), the people find Jesus again.  He teaches some VERY hard stuff, leaving the religious leaders grumbling and the people confused.

Then get this, verse 60, "On hearing this, many of his disciples said, 'This is hard teaching.  Who can accept it?'"  Then Jesus responds, "Does this offend you?...The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.  Yet there are some of you who do not believe."  Now here's the kicker, verse 66, "From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him."  Not only that, then Jesus asked the Twelve, giving them an open door to leave as well.

What in the world!  In our world people would be called out left and right.  Not just for HARD teaching, but it doesn't seem to bother Jesus very much that his teaching is causing people to leave and not follow.  Now I don't believe for a minute that Jesus is unconcerned about those who have turned back, but what has he talked about that has the people so distraught.  Yes, he said some things about eating his flesh and drinking his blood, but that isn't the main point at all.  I think the theme that has them confused and angered is continued from Jesus' conversation with the woman at the well, and now advanced after the feeding of the 5,000.  Jesus says, "I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty."

To be continued...