Daily Archives: November 10, 2022

John 6:52-8:20

52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.

John 6:52-52, NIV

Very truly. Jesus is telling the truth. But many of the disciples don’t understand.

60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”

61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”

66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

John 6:60-66, NIV, emphasis added

In time, all Jesus says will make sense, but at the time, many did not, could not, would not understand.

After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him. But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” For even his own brothers did not believe in him.

John 7:1-6, NIV, emphasis added

The Jewish leaders knew enough about Jesus’s teaching to consider it a threat to either their own authority and power, to their own belief system, or to God. They wanted Jesus silenced permanently. Jesus’s own brothers did not believe him and wanted him to go public in their unbelief–perhaps to mock him or to justify themselves in their unbelief. Did they expected Jesus to fail? Did they expect him to fail big? Did they want him to fail big?

Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil.

John 7:6-7, NIV

When Jesus does go and speak at the Festival, I hone in on the crowd–some were amazed at his teaching; some wanted to discredit him because they knew where he was from; some said he couldn’t be the Messiah because no one would know where the Messiah was coming from; others downplayed the threat on his life by calling him demon possessed; some were trying to decide if his miracles were enough or if another Messiah would do more; they pick at each sentence, repeating it, but not understanding the ultimate context. As I read through the full of John 7, the reactions (to Jesus, to his teaching, to the truth) seem all over the place. And if this is how he was treated as he walked among them, why would the reactions be any different in his absence?

12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

13 The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.”

14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. 16 But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 17 In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true. 18 I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.”

19 Then they asked him, “Where is your father?”

“You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”

John 8:12-19, NIV

So much of this reading felt draining to me–the confusion, the arguing, the challenging, the denying (I guess that’s because so much of what I read on social media is much the same). But truth does not grow weary. It is not changed by questioning or attacks. It stands. Lord, I crave your light. Help me to keep my focus on you, renewed and strengthened by you, held-loved-known by you.

Courtney (66books365)


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