Coming in early June
I was reading John 6:60 in my devotions this week. Many disciples of Jesus had just heard Him speak to them about their need to accept Jesus as the very bread of life from heaven. He taught a whole range of things at this time, many of which were quite offensive to their Jewish sensibilities.
In verse 60, many of His disciples are heard to say, “This is tough teaching, too tough to swallow.” (Msg)
But instead of trying to soften the teaching, Jesus presses further and tells them that if they can’t accept this, there are things far harder for them and they’d never accept those things.
At this, the Bible tells us that many left Him.
As His disciples, the difficulty in the message of Jesus is rarely as a result of a lack of understanding. The difficulties we face in the teaching of Jesus is that it challenges us to live lives that are beyond our natural ability and require supernatural empowering to live.
Jesus requires us to live inconvenient and selfless lives. He requires us to change our priorities from our comfort to the advancement of His Kingdom. He requires us to live with a generous attitude toward the people around us. Jesus teaching requires us to extend grace to people we deem undeserving. He requires us to work things out with our offended brother rather than ignoring it and them. Jesus teaching requires us to confront our own self-focussed and selfish desires and sacrifice those for the sake of others – even others that seem ungrateful at times.
The teachings of Jesus are hard because they go against everything our human nature leans toward.
Which makes me ask the question of my own life … If the teachings of Jesus don’t seem that hard to me, is it because I’m living so cleanly within their graces or is it because I’m not reading them closely and applying them to my life and the relationships I find myself in?
Sometimes, when the Christian life seems tough – and maybe even unfair at times – it’s a good sign that you’re on the road of following the teachings of Jesus. Because self sacrifice is never easy.
Looking forward to a great Mothers Day on Sunday – make sure you invite someone along.
Alex and Sarah