He [Jesus] said these things while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
Therefore, when many of His disciples heard this, they said, â€œThis teaching is hard! Who can accept it?â€
Jesus, knowing in Himself that His disciples were complaining about this, asked them, â€œDoes this offend you? Â Â Â Â Â Â John 6:59-61 (HCSB)
Lectionary texts: 1 Kings 8, Psalm 84, Ephesians 6:10-20, John 6:56-69
Jesus has just told His disciples a truth that unless they eat His flesh and drink His blood â€“ they will have no life. The disciples exclaim that the teaching is hard and many left Him because of this teaching. Jesus is not oblivious to their reaction. He even asks if they are offended but it is important to note that He didn’t back off or amend what He said. So what does this passage mean? Am I being asked to become a cannibal?
1 Kings 8. King Solomon brings the Ark into the Temple that has been built. The Lord now has a home to live in. And then Solomon prays. He reminds God of His promises and asks Him to remember His great mercy for His children who want to have a relationship with Him but continue to fall into wickedness.
Psalm 84. This is a beautiful psalm that speaks of how God lives right here with me. It is because of our close relationship and His many blessings that I have strength to make it through each day.
Ephesians 6. The armor of God. One of my favorite passages in Scripture because I can clearly visualize how God prepares and protects me for each day in this world. Each piece of God’s armor is perfectly fitted to my needs and life experience.
All of these passages are about God living intimately with me. I can try to keep God in some temple or church but He doesn’t live in a building but inside of me. I am His temple! I worship Him not in a building but in Spirit (John 4:21-24). And I am beautiful â€“ because where God lives there is beauty; there is strength; there is all the good of God.
And yet, here are disciples turning away from Jesus because â€¦ Jesus is telling His disciples that He is all that they need. And that is the hard teaching that keeps many from living as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Do I live with a home (a place that is my comfort and primary place of residence) here in the world or only in Jesus? Do I live like I know that I am an alien in this world? Do I live with an allegiance to both this world and my life with Jesus? Am I clear which is first in my life? Does how I live my life reflect that decision? Do I invitethe Holy Spirit to keep my ‘temple’ clean so that God is pleased and honored to live within me? Am I transparent so that others see only the One who lives in me?Â Am I offended because how I live is not about what I do and achieve but it is about what God does through me.
This song today is one of those that just washes over me. â€œBlessed is He that comes in the Name of the Lord.â€ â€“ Psalm 118:26
Baruch Haba B’shem Adonai sung by Paul Wilbur