Some of Jesus’ teachings are very hard to understand and accept. I confess that I have been offended by the Word of God at times. It is offensive to my flesh, my sinful nature; because when I hear It I am without excuse.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.” (Romans 1:18-23)
It was offensive to me because the Holy Spirit was showing me that I had many idols in my life; sports, music, celebrities, money, and fame to name just a few. I thought if I could achieve fame (through my writing) and/or fortune I could do so much good for the Lord. But the Word is also instructive and healing…
“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.” (Ephesians 3:7-9)
When I realized that my feelings are deceitful and untrustworthy and through faith the Word of God is perfect, I stopped trusting my feelings and allowed Scripture to have its way with me. It is not pleasant all the time either.
“For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.” (Psalm 66:10)
To refine silver it must be heated and melted so the impurities can rise to the top and be scraped off; when we are refined by the Holy Word it is at times very painful. When we realize all the impurities we have in our hearts and our lives it is very difficult to let go of some of them; we don’t want to let go of the sin we hold so dear.
In John 6:35-59 Jesus was teaching in the synagogue about His being the Bread of Life. This is when many of Jesus’ disciples deserted Him because of His difficult teachings:
“Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, ‘This is a hard saying; who can understand it?’ When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, ‘Does this offend you? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. And He said, ‘Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.’ From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.” (John 60-66)
The Greek verb for “understand” is akouo and it means “to hear, pay attention; obey; accept.” The deserting disciples did not understand that Jesus was not saying they had to literally drink His blood or eat His flesh; it meant they had to surrender all to Him and allow Him to nourish their souls. Their eternal salvation would require Jesus’ beaten flesh and poured out blood. The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross would be required and we must partake in that flesh and blood if we are to be assured of salvation.
People do not like to hear that their notion of salvation is unacceptable to Jesus. Jesus is love and He looks at the totality of our lives, at the legacy we leave behind here on earth, at all the good we did for humanity and all that we faced and His love overcomes all that and He accepts us. That makes us feel good and it fits just about everyone’s needs, but it is not scriptural unless you’re reading from the New Touchy Feely Version © (NFTV) Bible.
Jesus knew from the very beginning who the true believers were following Him. He still does.
“Then Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you also want to go away?’ But Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’” (John 6:67-69)
He who has ears let him hear…
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