ODJ: the offence Jesus brings

June 21, 2015 

READ: John 6:53-69 

Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe . . . you are the Holy One of God” (vv.68-69).

In 2014 in America, a man opened fire with a handgun during a meeting with his caseworker and psychiatrist at a hospital. Sadly the caseworker was mortally wounded, while the psychiatrist—who returned fire with his own handgun—received minor injuries. The gunman, who was subdued at the scene, indicated that he opened fire because he’d been offended by the hospital’s “no guns” policy.

Jesus once offended a crowd of disciples with some difficult words (John 6:61). Many of His followers “turned away and deserted him” (v.66). What caused them to bail? Jesus stated that only those who would “eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood” would receive eternal life (v.53). Perhaps stunned by His cannibalistic-sounding words or upset that Jesus wasn’t going to be the militant, conquering Messiah they had expected they turned away, unwilling to surrender to Him completely.

Jesus, of course, wasn’t speaking of literal flesh and blood. He was simply exposing the deserters’ lack of faith and their unwillingness to accept His life and ways as their own (v.64). As He watched the doubting disciples walk away, He “turned to the Twelve and asked, ‘Are you also going to leave?’ ” (v.67).

That’s a question we must all answer: will we turn away from Jesus when His words and truth offend others? Will we deny His teachings to avoid conflict, pain or embarrassment?

Peter replied, “To whom would we go?” (v.68). Jesus is the true Son of God who alone provides eternal life.

—Tom Felten

365-day-plan: John 4:1-42

Read 2 Timothy 3:10-13 and consider what Paul says about suffering for Jesus. 
What hard teachings of Jesus do you have difficulty accepting? What will help you to not bail on Him—even when others take offence?