Jesus as eternal manna to live
The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So, Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.
When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”
After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the Twelve, was going to betray him. John 6:52-70
Here, we find Jesus teaching in a synagogue in Capernum. There were believers, there were unbelievers, and there were some in between. And the striking truth here… Jesus told it like it was. He didn’t sugarcoat anything because there were unbelievers or those who kinda sorta believed in His midst. He simply spoke the hard truth that the only way to God was through Him.
Do we do that? Do we share the Gospel with everyone in the same way, or do we try to water it down for someone who is a new believer, or a non-believer, in hopes that we don’t scare them off? The reality is, God doesn’t want us to sugarcoat it. He wants us to tell the truth so the people in our community know, without a doubt, how to get this gift of eternal life. How to get the gift of Jesus living in them and them in Jesus. How to get the gift of His power in their life.
Our mission is to reach EVERYONE for Christ. In order to accomplish this, we must be honest and bold. Jesus taught us to do the hard stuff! And we need to follow His lead to truly reach people.
He also showed us that He showed NO discrimination. The scripture clearly states that He knew there were those among Him who didn’t believe, or kinda sorta believed, or were planning to betray Him anyway… did He scoot them off to the side and NOT share this life-giving message with them? No! He kept them in the fold and told them the truth about eternal life too! The kicker being He was sharing this gift of truth with the one person who would betray Him in the most horrific way, leading to the cross. But He didn’t kick Judas out of the group. He still told Him how to gain eternal life with the Father.
So, even if we think someone is a lost cause, we shouldn’t give up on them. We should share with them just like we do with the one who is truly seeking Jesus. Everyone deserves this chance at internal life. We don’t get to pick and choose. We just get to share!
Gracious Father, I thank you for the gift of your life and your power in each of us. I pray that as we move through our days and encounter the people you place before us, that we lean into Your power and offer the Gospel with boldness and truth. And I especially pray that we not let our earthly thoughts of who is deserving and who is not creep in. I pray we share this gift with everyone you place in our path. You put them there for a reason, so I pray for courage and boldness to share our lives and you with them. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen
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