Backing up on our walk with Jesus…
Backing up on our walk with Jesus is something we are all tempted to do at some point in time. It could be reasonably argued that even the twelve closest to him at least took a turn South when Jesus was securely enclosed in the tomb. During the span of Jesus’ three year earthly disciple-making ministry, there were likely many notable times when other disciples bailed on him and certainly the account in John 6:53-54 did something to thin the ranks.
The closely following crowds thought Jesus worthy of coronation and counted on him being willing. They had seen him feed over 5,000 by miraculously multiplying five loaves and two fish. Having walked three or four miles on the sea to catch up with his twelve who were struggling to cross to Capernaum by boat, these disciples closest to him were further captivated by the exercise of Jesus’ unimaginable powers. With Jesus and the twelve having landed across the sea, multitudes that had witnessed Jesus mighty acts or heard about them came by boat to again see the signs and wonders Jesus produced. Can you imagine the energy and sense of expectation of just being in the presence of this miracle worker?
It was then Jesus gave them cause to pause in their enthusiasm. Fresh off the memory of receiving “wonder bread” from the hands of Jesus, Jesus spoke of bread in a different context. Just as the taking of bread was a staple for physical sustenance, Jesus preached the necessity to take him in, to internalize him in as a necessity for spiritual “life.” Jesus shocked them by saying “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” Imagine hearing that yourself. What would your first thoughts have been? Those listeners thought the same thing!
As a result of Jesus statement, “many of Jesus’ disciples withdrew and were not walking with him anymore.” (v.66) I get that. But then Jesus said to his twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Peter, despite his up and down understanding of and faith in Jesus gave a timeless reply . . . “Lord, to whom shall we go?” Would you benefit from taking a look behind you? Where were you in life before Jesus met you? What was your life like? Was it better? More hopeful? More peaceful? More challenging? More loving? More satisfying? More content? More purposeful?
If these “mores” describe your “pre-Jesus” life, then you’ve possibly aligned yourself with someone or something other than the real Jesus, the “abundant life” giver. (Jn. 10:10) Or, equally disastrous, maybe you never really have surrendered your life to Jesus, seriously inviting him to rule and guide your life with his transforming grace and genius. Only you and Jesus would know what’s true here. If you have any question about this at all, now is an opportune time to ask yourself who truly and fully reigns in your life and settle the matter for all eternity. It may not be an easy transaction, but it is a simple one. Seize the moment. You simply talk to God, acknowledging that you have fallen short of his perfect standard and that you cannot remedy your predicament in your power. Simply and sincerely ask for forgiveness for being at odds with your Creator and ask for his help to turn your life in the direction of his guidance. At once you receive his forgiveness and favor, along with the gift of the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide you through a lifetime of transformation into Christlikeness.
Perhaps you have had an unsteady “walk” with God or aren’t certain you’ve made that saving “connection” that secures your eternal relationship with him. Today is an opportunity to move forward and cross that threshold, maybe for real for the first time. Simple, but not always so easy. The steps are in the paragraph above. Just follow them. To whom else can you go? Think About It.