On hearing it, many of his disciples said, â€œThis is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?â€â€¦
From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
John 6:60, 66 (NIV)
Sometimes Godâ€™s teachings are just plain hard! OK, we may start laughing but if there is any Believer out there who has not thrown up their hands and thought, â€œI just canâ€™t get this!â€ or “I don’t want to get this!” â€¦please write me and let me know!
First letâ€™s notice that in both of these verses, John tells us that it is disciples who have determined that Jesusâ€™ teachings are hard and are now going to travel a different path than the one that Jesus is walking. They are not just fringe, hanger-onâ€™s or what we might say are â€˜nominal Christiansâ€™. They have been around Jesus long enough to be identified as with Him. They are more than Believers. They are His Followers. They have seen some â€˜stuffâ€™. They saw Jesus miraculously feed 5,000. They probably heard the rumor of how He walked on the water.
Nowâ€¦now they have hit the Believer Wall!
Each of us has been given a raceâ€¦a journeyâ€¦to complete. Each of us has a path. It is a path that Jesus will lead us if we allow Him to have the lead! Now the path has valleys and mountains. There are times when is flat and long. It has deserts. It has lush, beautiful gardens. Getting the picture? And then there is the Wall. It is that place that some might call a â€˜faith crisisâ€™.
I have had two Walls. One, not surprisingly, was on the path of my life marked â€˜Jamesâ€™. It was that moment on the path when I realized that despite my prayers, and the prayers of literally thousands of others, it was Godâ€™s plan for James to die sooner than later. â€œSometimes Godâ€™s teachings are just plain hard!â€ I think this is when I â€˜gotâ€™ my first glimpse of looking with Kingdom Eyes. What I do and how I live is about more than me and the â€˜momentâ€™ of this world. Itâ€™s about living as a doer of Godâ€™s Kingdom Work. James has a legacy of Kingdom Work. But thatâ€™s for another time to discuss. The second Wall had a big $$$ on it. Iâ€™m not proud of the fact that I have had trouble learning this lesson. I have searched the Scriptures with a fair amount of diligence to find Godâ€™s truth about money. What I have found is that very few of Godâ€™s anointed and blessed servants were wealthy. Most of them seem to have little interest in money and great interest in obeying God and completing the mission He had given them. The mission wasnâ€™t about making money! Jesusâ€™ definition of â€˜treasureâ€™ did not include gold or the U.S. Mint. When I looked up from what I â€˜lackedâ€™ and began to count His blessings â€“ I started to SEE my wealth! Going over a Wall may involve sweat and some skinned knuckles and knees â€“ but I can do all things with Jesus who gives me the strength!
â€œYou do not want to leave too, do you?â€ Jesus asked the Twelve.
Simon Peter answered him, â€œLord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.â€ John 6:67-69 (NIV)
And there is the Truth that brings us over the Walls we encounter. Godâ€™s Words are words of Life. Eternal Life. When we choose to Believe and Know that He is God â€“ then we know that there are no insurmountable Walls.