Accept or Reject Jesus?
I read John Chapter 6 which doesn’t sound a lot; one chapter, but there are 71 verses, some major stories and some deep stuff to get your head around!
These are the major stories and deep truths:
· Jesus feeds five thousand
· Jesus walks on water
· Jesus is the true bread from heaven
· The Jews disagree that Jesus is from heaven
· Many disciples desert Jesus
I was struck by the fact that, as familiar as I am of the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand, it was a child who provided the small basket of fish and bread to Jesus. A young child was used to assist in this miracle; just goes to show that it doesn’t matter how young or old you are; you can be of service to God.
I was saddened by the fact that so many people gave up on Jesus when they didn’t like what they were hearing. In John 6, one minute multitudes of people are following Jesus to watch Him heal the sick, then they get excited about Him being the true Prophet they were waiting for and want to take Jesus by force and make Him their King, but Jesus knows and disappears further up the mountain alone. Then people couldn’t believe He was from Heaven and started muttering about this, than many of the so-called followers left Jesus; turning away from Him. These people may have realised that Jesus wasn’t going to be this conquering King they wanted, or maybe they didn’t like it that Jesus wouldn’t do things the way they wanted or maybe they didn’t like the concept of faith rather that working your way to heaven or maybe they just found the teachings too hard to understand.
In fairness to the Jews, they did seem to struggle with the shocking message to eat the flesh of Jesus and drink His blood.:
‘So Jesus said it again,“With all the earnestness I possess I tell you this: Unless you eat the flesh of the Messiah and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you.But anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him at the Last Day.For my flesh is the true food, and my blood is the true drink.Everyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood is in me, and I in him.’ (John 6:53-56)
The Religious leaders, of course, could not tolerate this statement from Jesus because the law forbid them to drink blood as is written in Leviticus 17:10-11, but Jesus was not talking about literal blood, of course. Jesus was clearly saying that His life had to become our own lives. And Paul later uses the body and blood imagery in talking about communion:
‘For this is what the Lord himself has said about his Table, and I have passed it on to you before: That on the night when Judas betrayed him, the Lord Jesus took bread,and when he had given thanks to God for it, he broke it and gave it to his disciples and said,“Take this and eat it. This is my body, which is givenfor you. Do this to remember me.”In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new agreement between God and you that has been established and set in motion by my blood. Do this in remembrance of me whenever you drink it.”For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup you are retelling the message of the Lord’s death, that he has died for you. Do this until he comes again.’ (I Corinthians 11:23-26)
I guess many people still turn away from Jesus today for much the same reasons that followers deserted Jesus in the verses in John 6. And there are others who pretend to follow, going to Church for status, votes or even business contacts. But there are only two real responses to Jesus; you either accept or reject Him.
I have accepted Jesus and I did this over 20 years ago; best decision ever!