Some Turn Away From The Teachings Of Jesus
Jesus’ teachings are not always easy to understand. For this reason we read in the gospel of John chapter 6, that many of Jesus’ followers began to turn away from him.
Jesus’ teachings weren’t—and aren’t—always easy to understand. As we saw previously, He spoke of the bread that came down from heaven. As a result, many of His followers left Him.
When He was alone with His disciples, He asked them a pointed question.
John 6:66-67 (ESV)reads as follows:
“After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, ‘Do you want to go away as well?’”
Simon Peter was quick to respond. He said in John 6:68-69,
“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
Following When It Is Difficult
These verses became very important to me a few years back when my dad died. I have been a Christian since I was a child—many year ago, but this event was difficult to handle. If you think of my belief system was a house, it was as if my dad’s death knocked the entire structure down and left me huddled on the foundation.
But that’s okay because I had arrived at the same conclusion as Peter: There was nowhere else to go.
When the disciple made this proclamation, I don’t think he understood what Jesus was saying about the bread and the cup any more than the others did, but I do think he knew enough to realize there was no other place to turn for truth, solace, and meaning.
In Luke 7:47-49, Jesus says,
“Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”
The storm that was my dad’s death and the emotional and spiritual turmoil that went with it battered my dwelling place, my faith, but no matter how the storm raged, I was secure on the Rock, the Foundation, my Lord and Saviour, Jesus.
Did this have anything to do with my efforts? Not really and here’s why. Yes, I had put my faith in Christ, but I wouldn’t have done so if God hadn’t drawn me to Himself, which He did because of His grace, not because I somehow deserved it. There were times I dug deep (through prayer and Bible study, both alone and with others). However, there were too many times I let these spiritual disciplines slip. But every time I asked for forgiveness, I found that He was right there waiting for me.
As it says in Luke 7:47, we are to come to Jesus, take note of His words, and do what He commands. Sometimes we take a beating and are left with nothing except the foundation of our faith. But Jesus is a sure foundation, and we can rest assured that we can again build on the foundation that will never crumble.
Uncertainty marked my life for a while—and I still have many questions that won’t be answered this side of eternity—but my foundation was secure, unshakeable. My foundation was—and is—Jesus Christ, the Holy One of God.
Steph Beth Nickel is eclectically interested and eclectically involved. In all she does, Steph seeks to nurture and inspire. She is currently working on the first book in a nonfiction series. Nurture and Inspire LOVE is a compilation of the first devotionals she wrote for HopeStreamRadio.
Steph is a freelance writer and editor. She is the coauthor of Paralympian Deb Willows’ award-winning memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances, published by Castle Quay Books. Deb and Steph are working on a follow-up book.
You can visit her website, stephbethnickel.com, to learn more about her.
Visit Steph’s contributor’s page or at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests.