Monday, November 02, 2009

Feeding on Christ?

Read John 6:52-71

This is one of the famous “hard sayings of Jesus.” Many great philosophers and pious Jewish teachers would intentionally make their lessons hard to understand to weed out the pretenders and prideful. Jesus was and still is seeking genuine followers, not shallow consumers! This passage centers around Jesus’ great miracles of the feeding of the multitudes and then His walking on water. Now, He gives a teaching that seems repulsive or impossible.

Jesus is using an illustration to get them to think and go beyond their literal understanding to make a deeper existential connection with God. The meaning here was that to grow in Christ, we have to move from what we perceive in the concrete, what first comes to our minds, or is found in our own ideas and experiences, and move to the abstract, making a deeper connection with the principles of God’s Word to our lives, thinking, and behavior. We are enabled to grow when our lives are transformed because we feed off Christ’s precepts and life and get away from our self absorption and distractions to apply ourselves to Him as He applied Himself for us. Whereas, if we remain in the concrete thinking, only seeing what affects us personally or what hinders us or not seeing above and beyond were we are, we will remain in the world of selfishness and absurdity, as life will not make sense so that all we retain will be stress, despair, anxiety, and boredom. All this will be attributed to our alienation from God and/or our refusal to put our faith into practice when we do know Him. When we feed on our Lord, we will live an abundant and fulfilling life; then, we can cross the obstacles and overcome life’s ills and sin.

Feeding on Christ means we consume His work and principles both for living now and for eternity. This helps us have real meaning and a purposeful life. The Romans and other groups would also misinterpret this and use it to persecute Christians, but Christ used these situations to prove faith. We have a call to heed the simple message of the Gospel. Jesus also helps us infer indirectly who and what He is and does directly. That is, that we capture a parable, then ponder on it and then see how our lives can conform to His Truth. All too often, we can’t understand or we confound the simple or fail to see what is important because we do not want to in our overly busy and what we think is important lives.

Our sinful nature hates and fears true Truth, loves what feels good and is easy, and has a hard time trusting what is not tangible and believing in what is not clearly seen, which is what faith is all about. Yet, God demands a belief that is trusting and that is followed by obedience so we can overcome sin and receive His Redemption. Ironically, what Christ offers is the easiest of all; He does all the work and we respond with our trust. The hard part is our pride (1 Pet. 2:6-8; 1 John 2:19).

For us to develop trust and break down those barriers that hinder us, we must grow deeper in Christ; we have to realize what He is doing and trust Him. We have to see that His truth, which is for us today, and His work, will continue; allow it to give us hope. God is working; He is willing and able to work in you! He is working in our internal lives and external events; He is working through the pressures and problems that come to each one of us; He is working in the very circumstances in which you find yourself today, whether at home, work, school, or in relationships. What you need to know is where God is moving in your life, and then work with Him. Allow Him to carry you over your pride, hurts, fears, circumstances, anxieties, or any other barrier so you can be His instrument to yourself and others. Then, allow this choice to endure—to be in line with what God does. Only God's work will last. He desires for us to become good and to grow, and He provides the means for us to do so!

Questions to Ponder

1. How has Jesus challenged your faith and loyalty? If he did now, what would He find? What do you need to do?

2. How one thinks and processes information will help his or her understanding and growth in Christ. Why is there no excuse for not understanding and applying God’s Word? How would this help you build a better faith and life?


Post a Comment

<< Home