Does This Offend You?

03 Aug Does This Offend You?

After our studies of the last two days, we are ready to look more deeply into John 6:60-69. However, I am not sure how far we will get because verse 61 stops me short. Jesus’ disciples are grumbling about the teaching we discussed yesterday saying it was too hard to accept. In verse 61, Jesus said, “Does this offend you?” Why, yes, if I am honest, it does.

While I do look for nourishment in The Word of God, I must admit that quite literally I am too concerned with physical food. It is something that affects my health and is a constant struggle in my life. When that is pointed out to me, it is offensive. Sometimes it makes me mad; Sometimes it produces guilt. Sometimes I just ignore it. My guess is that Jesus’ disciples were tempted in all those ways when Jesus confronted them about their concern for the flesh rather than the Spirit. After all, that is a fleshly response – anger, guilt, denial.

I realize that I took this Word quite literally and that it is about so much more than what you eat, but that is an area where Jesus wants to work in MY life, so it was too obvious to avoid. I must also confess that my prayers for “daily bread” are all too often requests for Jesus to preside over my fleshly kingdom than for Him to provide what is needed to further His Kingdom. My concern is far too often for the satisfaction of my own or others’ temporal needs rather than for spiritual sustenance.

So yes, this Word offends me. It points out my sinful nature. It brings it up into my face where I am forced to look at it and choose THE WAY or MY way. Even the words that the Holy Spirit gives me to write about it prick my own flesh. Can you relate to such an offense? Has a pastor’s message ever “plowed a little too close to the corn?” Has your spouse’s observation of a sin in your life ever caused you to be defensive or angry? Has a Bible Study or life group lesson ever made you want to escape scrutiny and hide behind your justifications and excuses?

What is your inclination when your sinful nature is pointed out to you – when it is put up into your face and you are forced to look at it.? In John 6, we see two different responses. Verse 66 tells us that from this time many of His disciples TURNED BACK and no longer followed Him.

They chose death.

The other response follows in verses 67-69. Jesus asked the twelve, his closest hand chosen disciples, “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Simon Peter spoke up, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” Peter and the twelve submitted to the offense and learned from it. They TURNED TO Jesus. They chose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

I read a quote on Facebook this week that puts it perfectly:

“Sometimes God will offend our minds to reveal our hearts.” Havilah Cunnington

When Jesus offends your mind, what will be revealed in your heart?

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24