SCRIPTURE ~ John 6
KEY VERSE ~ John 6:15 ~ Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.
KEY VERSE #2 ~ John 6:60 ~ On hearing it, many of his disciples said, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?" 61Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, "Does this offend you? 63The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.
OBSERVATION ~ WOW!!! There is just so much in this chapter; and there are so many verses that strike me. Jesus was such a Master with His words, actions and ways of talking to all people. It didn't matter if you were a disciple (one of the 12) if you were part of His inner 3 (Peter, James and John); if you were part of the 120, or a casual follower. His words always had meaning and intent. Sometimes I think we wonder if He ever just hung out.
Do you think Jesus told jokes with the disciples, laughed with them, just told stories about life and the silliness in the ways we approach life?
APPLICATION ~ I'm jumping to the application to quickly focus on a few verses. First is John 6:15.
It is usually when we are struggling and things are not going well that we need to find time by ourselves with God. Our spiritual reflexes are to wait until something is going wrong before we find time alone with God. Not Jesus. The crowds are increasing to an all-time high and they want to see Jesus do miracles and listen to His teachings. Things are so out of hand that it looks like they might make Him their king whether He wants to be or not and what does Jesus do? He withdraws to a quiet place all by himself to spend time with the Father. This is a great reminder. The time when we need God the most is not just in our desperation, but also in our success. In some ways it is during our times of great success that we are most vulnerable. We tend to think we have done this on our own and that if we just continue to do what we have done more and more success will come our way. Success is a kind of drug that keeps us from feeling the spiritual pangs in our life. I need to withdraw from it all to be with God everyday. Success or failure I need to hear from God everyday! How about you?
Finally, the disciples proclaim the message of Jesus is hard. He has just told them about eating His flesh and drinking His blood. Words that seem contradictory to what the Jews are supposed to eat according to dietary laws. This was tough stuff and Jesus was cutting to the chase, He wanted to separate those who would follow Him and those who were too weak and wanted the road most traveled. Jesus' question in verse 61 still apply today . . . do His words offend us? In many respects, I feel they should. WHY? His words are always hard, they offend our normal ways of thinking. Do we really want to forgive? Do we really want to love those who offend us? Do we really want to go the extra mile? Do we really want to give and give and give? It is difficult, yet we gain our strength when we draw closer to Jesus. He is the only way for us to survive in this world.
PRAYER ~ Father, after being on vacation and asking myself some questions, I need to withdraw to be closer to You. To seek Your will, Your plan, Your dreams and vision for me, my family, FBC. Help me to make the time to slow down, to seek you and to experience You. And Lord, I know Your message, the actions You call me to take are never easy, so give me the patience, the wisdom, the courage to do what You call me to do. Amen.
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