Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Wednesday October 5, John 6.60-69
60When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” 61But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, “Does this offend you? 62Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64But among you there are some who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. 65And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.” 66Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. 67So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” 68Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”
Thoughts: Lord to whom shall we go, you have the words of eternal life--Alleluia! This passage has always fascinated me because John clearly tells us that many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. The words of Christ can be offensive, confusing and downright terrifying. Why is this? I think because we have the eternal breaking into the mortal, the sacred into the profane, the holy into the secular--and these worlds operate under different assumptions, core values and rules of engagement and because of this there is always a bit of angst when contemplating the things of God. Lutherans deal with this tension by talking about the 'two kingdoms' and that as Christians we learn to life in both the kingdom of God and the kingdom of the world. We don't try to make this kingdom the same as God's kingdom, but we do pay particular attention to that in which our loyalties reside---Christ. The 12 here are the epitome of faith and Peter leads the way! They too I'm sure had their concerns, but they have come to see Jesus as the way, the truth and the life...and so they confess, even perhaps in their discomfort, "where else shall we go?"
Quetions: Do you think you would have left Jesus at this point? Do you ever find it a struggle to be both a person of faith and a citizen of the world?