Monday, December 23, 2013

Customized "Faith" 12/23/2013

"As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore."  John 6:66

Jesus had attracted quite a following of people from all walks of life.  Some were attracted by his teaching, others by the miracles they saw or heard about and still others by the miracle of his feeding 5000 with 5 loaves and two small fish.  As he moved from place to place, the people sought, found and continued to follow him.  When Jesus addressed them, he began making the case for belief.  There were those who were attracted to him for the available benefit, but not all accepted him as the Son of God.

The people charged that they knew God because of the miracle of manna that was given to their ancestors.  They demanded additional miracles that would no doubt benefit them as the recent feeding had done, to prove his claims. Jesus responded that he was himself the bread from heaven that brings life. Further, if they did not believe this and therefore eat of his flesh and drink of his blood, they would have no life in them.  At this very difficult saying, many ceased to follow him.  It should be stated that Jesus was not being literal but was speaking of believing and accepting him wholly and without reservation.

Beloved, far too often, we practice ala carte religion.  We select the different aspects of the faith that we like and agree with and ignore, explain away or reinterpret that which is not consistent with what we think or who we are. When challenged by the truth of the whole word, we continue on in some mutated form of Christianity (which is not Christianity at all) or leave the faith altogether.  It is a sad commentary that there are those who are attracted to the Lord because of his many benefits but willing walk away from him because of their unwillingness to accept who he truly is and what he says.

We can, however, find kinship with true believers.  When Jesus was left standing there with just the twelve apostles, he asked if they were planning to leave as well.  "Simon Peter answered Him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.  We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God,'” John 6:68-69.



No comments: