Day 12 – (March 19, 2019)
60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” 61 But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But among
Jesus was a controversial figure. As people came to know him better they were strongly divided in their opinions about him. So, whereas they had begun to come to him in the thousands when they saw and experienced his amazing healing powers, they turned away from him in thousands when he challenged them with the deeper issues of life and what he had to offer. The number crunchers today would say that his ministry was a failure.
The opposition arose from Jesus’ words when he said of himself, “I am the bread of life” (6:35). In the conversation that followed it was clear that Jesus’ hearers didn’t ‘get it’ when he contrasted two ages, the one we experience now which perishes, and the age of eternity. ‘Which of the two ages is really worth working for?’ he asked. They were unwilling to listen to him when he spoke of the bread that lasts and what it would cost him personally to purchase it – a violent and humiliating death. Are we much different from those people? Are we too focused on political or economic solutions?
As the crowds departed, Jesus asked the Twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” We can feel his intense sadness at that moment. It is a sadness that all faithful ministers of God’s Word experience when people refuse to listen to God’s truth.
Responding on behalf of the Twelve, Peter said, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” Do we share Peter’s response?
Preserve your people, Lord God, with your continual mercy, for without you we will fall because of our frailty; keep us always under your protection and lead us to everything that makes for our salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP, Trinity 15 – adapted)
Daily Reading Plan
Read John 6:35-71