By: Carole L. Haines
How much do we really believe that Jesus is the Savior, The One and Only of God? Our answer to this question will be tested with the hard things of life. It was tested for many of Jesus’ followers in the Scripture we will look at today.
60 So then many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This statement is very unpleasant; who can listen to it?” 61 But Jesus, aware that His disciples were complaining about this, said to them, “Is this offensive to you? 62 What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh provides no benefit; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray Him. 65 And He was saying, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”
Are we following Jesus just because of what we think we can get from Him? Or have we seen that He is truly “The way, the truth and the life?” (John 14:6) Jesus will speak unpleasant things to us, but good things. Hard truth brings us out of our soft, squishy. Immature faith and into the strong, enduring kind. Hard truth and Hard times are often the plough breaking up the tough soils of our hearts and preparing them for seed. That seed “falls into the ground and dies but yields a crop of tremendous fruit. ” (John 12:24)
Let’s look at the disciple’s responses to Jesus’ “very unpleasant” statement.
66 As a result of this many of His disciples left, and would no longer walk with Him. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to leave also, do you?” 68 Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. 69 And we have already believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:66-69)
Where else would we go, Indeed? We all need to get to that point in our faith. A place where Jesus has allowed something to happen that is so unpleasant, that our faith will either strengthen or fail. I have been through several of these things. But I have walked with Jesus so long, that I know He will always work it for good and His glory. I have lived it over and over. But when it first began to happen in my younger faith, I was bitter, angry, resentful toward God, controlling, manipulative. But God did not throw me away, nor did I throw Him away. He confused me, but He never let me down. I was mad sometimes, but I had come to know, as Peter stated, “Lord where would I even go, You have the words of eternal life. And I have believed and come to know that You are the Holy one of God.”
When I asked Jesus to “grow me up in all things in Christ Jesus,” (Eph. 4:15-16) I had no idea the price I would pay for that desire. But O, the joy of knowing Him more. He has spoken hard things to me like when we lost everything after my husband was laid off work. I cried out, “God this is killing me?” His answer was, “That’s because there are things in you that still need to die.” It was unpleasant, but it was true and I have grown to love Him for the hard things He speaks to me. Hard truth and Hard times have been God’s greatest chisel in my life, to chip away at the outer trappings and bring out beauty hidden inside this piece of stone called ME. Yield to His chiseling hand in your life. He will truly make all things beautiful and good in His time and way. Be Blessed Dear Believers.