Hard to Understand
19 December 2016
Reading: John 5-6
60 Even his disciples said, “This is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?” 61 Jesus knew within himself that his disciples were complaining, so he said to them, “Does this offend you? 66 At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. 67 Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you going to leave, too?” (John 6: 60-61, 66-67 NLT)
Many people were drawn to Jesus because they heard of his miracles and wanted to see a demonstration of supernatural power. Some had eaten the miraculous bread and fish and wanted more free food. The excitement level was high with the expectation that “anything could happen!” As long as there was a possibility of free lunch, they were on board.
When Jesus began intentionally to speak to them of hard-to-understand matters, to challenge them about sacrifice and submission to the Father’s will, their enthusiasm waned, and many of them began to drift away.
I’m drawn to Jesus because he loves me, because he cares for me, and because he is there to hear and answer my prayers. That part doesn’t change. But there’s more. Jesus challenges me to be a disciple, a follower who listens and learns and keeps following and learning even when the course becomes challenging and the immediate rewards seem few.
There are things in the life of a Christian that are, and will continue to be, hard to understand. If our commitment is only to receive the free lunch, and if we feel we have to always understand everything that happens, we’ll be tempted to drift away, just as many of Jesus’ followers did in today’s reading.
What will you do with the “hard to understand” things that come your way? Let’s keep following and keep trusting, friends! Jesus will not fail us!
Jesus, I’ve called you Savior and Master and Lord and I mean it. There are things I don’t understand and needs I’ve not yet seen the answer for, but I want to follow and serve and grow. Thanks for choosing me to be your disciple. I’m not leaving! Amen!