The prompt for Five Minute Friday this week is: QUESTION. There are so many penetrating questions throughout the Bible. For instance, when Jesus asks the adulteress woman, “Where are your accusers?” Or when He asks the lame man waiting by the pool if he wants to be healed, or the many times He rebukes the Pharisees with the question, “Is it not written…?” Then, as well, there is the serpent’s questioning of God’s word to Eve. And so many more. But this is a five-minute writing exercise:) However, I recently finished reading the gospel of John and have been struck with the question Jesus asks his disciples in chapter six…so I will focus today’s thoughts on that question.
“Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? John 6:67
GO – The day after a miracle feeding of thousands, Jesus is addressing and teaching a group that has gathered. Jews, Pharisees, and disciples, or followers of Jesus. Many, if not most, are there in order to see, and benefit from, another miracle. Jesus begins to instruct them regarding being a true disciple of Christ. And much of what He has to say is not only difficult to hear but is offensive. Jesus told them plainly that He was God. Many thought that was blasphemy. He said salvation was a gift and not at all a reward for their works. They were insulted. Although He offered them eternal life, the idea of true discipleship was too much for many of them.
“From that time many of his disciples went back, and walk no more with him.” John 6:66
They walked away. They were challenged to the point of being offended. Some may have disagreed. Some were insulted. Others may have been angry and some may have just not been willing to stay with the minority. In many ways, we could equate it the political correctness mindset of our culture today.
However, truths found in the gospel have been offensive throughout time. It was a stumbling block to the Jews – just as Jesus predicted it would be. Truths regarding man’s depravity, none of our works sufficient for redemption and the necessity to deny ourselves – or even being willing to suffer – in order to follow Christ still cause resistance today. And have caused many to seek another way.
STOP- but I need to finish up…because Peter’s response is critical. He affirms that Jesus is Lord and that they (His closest disciples gathered there) believe. He is resolved to follow Jesus. We know he did not do everything right – none of us will – but he determined to be a follower of Christ. A Christian. A disciple. We need to have the same resolve and conviction. Otherwise, we run the risk of being offended ourselves or, certainly, can too easily be caught up in the political correctness of our society and pulled away from walking with Him. Like Peter, we need to be fully persuaded!
“Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to who shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou are that Christ, the Son of the living God.” John 6:68-69