21 DAY CHALLENGE - Day 6
Day 6 – Ouch!
Where do we start today?
It would be easy to take the feeding of the 5,000 men (not including women and children in attendance), or Jesus walking on the water to talk about today. Those are two stories that I never get tired of reading or hearing about. They’re amazing!. Inspiring! Exciting! Our imaginations are given toward racing with images of what it might have been like to be there. Much of the crowd that followed Jesus came for these amazing, inspiring, exciting moments. That said, there is so much more to Jesus than signs and wonders..otherwise known as, “the cool stuff”.
The crowds in each one of these stories were clamoring for more of Jesus. They were waiting with bated breath for the next BIG thing He might do. They were all about the signs and wonders. The people were enthralled with the excitement and the anticipation of what more this Jesus guy could do. The problem was many of them couldn’t take His teaching. They didn’t like it. Even some of Jesus’ closest followers found His words incredibly hard to swallow. This is a real danger for us today too!
In the last half of chapter six, Jesus teaches what some of his followers called a “hard teaching”. He spoke distinctly on “eating His flesh and drinking His blood”. Say what?! Jesus was basically saying, “You’ve got to take ALL of me or NONE of me. There is no in between.” In fact, Jesus said in another recorded conversation, “You are either FOR me or AGAINST me.” OUCH! That’s hard to swallow! It’s not glamorous. It’s not exciting. It’s not “cool”.
After Jesus made this incredible statement in John 6, the Scripture records that some of His own followers, His disciples replied, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” At that point people started dropping like flies. Why? And what does that mean for you and me?
One of the keys to following Jesus is understanding that there will be times when it’s hard to accept His teaching. There will be times when it’s not all about the amazing, inspiring, exciting miracles, signs, and wonders. There will be times where the only thing that we can do is to do what Jesus says, even when it doesn’t make sense and might be a real stretch for us. This is incredibly hard at first, but when we come to understand that God is infinite in His thinking while we are incredibly finite, it makes listening and obeying more tangible.
When Jesus turned to his twelve closest disciples and asked them “Are you also going to leave me too?” Peter spoke it best; “Lord, to whom would we go? You alone have the words of eternal life.”
We will have “ouch” moments in this spiritual journey. It’s our decisions in those moments that will define WHO and WHOSE we are.
As you read John 6, ask yourself these questions…
1. What teachings of Jesus are hard for me to swallow? 2. How am I reacting to the teaching of Jesus in my life? 3. What is one step that I can take today to be intentional in living out the teaching(s) of Jesus? 4. What questions do I have?
Jesus, please help me to take on ALL of your teachings and leadings EVEN when they are “ouch” moments and hard to swallow. I don’t want to neglect ANYTHING you are asking me to do. Help me to take the cool stuff with the tough stuff. Amen.
You can e-mail Pastor Andrew with any questions about this study: firstname.lastname@example.org