“From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. ‘You do not want to leave too, do you?’ Jesus asked the twelve.” (John 6, 66+67/NIV)
Love “believeth all things”. Here we read of people who had been following Jesus in order to hear all his teaching and to learn from him. Yet at one stage many of them disliked what he said:
“On hearing it, many of his disciples said, ‘This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?’” (Verse 60/NIV).
In the beginning of the chapter we read of Jesus feeding the five thousand. People were marvelling at this sign. They came to think that Jesus was the prophet that one day would be sent by God.
Yet Jesus went away from them. He understood they intended to force him to become their king. They wanted to make him a king according to their own understanding of the Holy Writings. They wanted to make him a king after their own preferences and liking. (Cf. John 6:1-15).
On the next day they found him on the other side of the lake near Capernaum. Jesus told them they had come because they had been satisfied with earthly food. Yet there were more important things than eating and drinking.
They would need a different kind of food that would strengthen them for eternity. He began to point them to the fact that he was going to lay down his own life for them.
Similarly as we know it from celebrating the Eucharist Jesus told them they would need to eat his flesh and to drink his blood. Only in utter dependence on his sacrificial and vicarious death they – and we – would attain unto that kind of life that is acceptable to God.
You may think you are not that bad. You may even rely on practices of the Christian religion. Yet what really counts is whether you receive Jesus and the forgiveness he offers to you.
You may have enjoyed some church services. Perhaps you have liked listening to some lively preaching. You could also be a fan of modern Christian music.
Some even might get excited about some miracles as the Jews had been impressed by being fed from five loaves and two fishes. Yet all these outward experiences do not make you acceptable to God.
We need to accept Jesus himself into our lives. He in His divinity and holiness wants to become your Lord and saviour. We need to receive the new life He offers to us. We must always remember how much we need him. That is where real faith begins!
Are you willing to believe all things that Jesus intends to teach you? Are you eager to learn from Him?
“Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.”(Verses 68+69/KJV).