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?” John 6:66-67
What caused the crowd following Jesus to turn aside? It was Jesus’ words about eating His flesh and drinking His blood. They were content to eat the bread He offered as long as it was a physical provision. When they were hungry, they consumed the loaves and fishes but as soon as the topic turned to spiritual food, their interest faded. The concept was too radical and the cost too high.
Today, I can be equally repelled. I can pray for the miraculous provision necessary to pay an overdue bill but then reject the living Manna that promises to expose, then heal, my anger. I will embrace bread for the body but reject bread for the soul.
Whatever landscape Jesus touches will change. I am shortsighted if I only desire Him in the physical and not the spiritual. I may ask Him to bring peace to my home but then forfeit the opportunity for Him to bring peace to the tormented places in my mind. I may ask Him to bring healing to my body but still live in want of the inner healing of my deepest childhood wound. I may ask Him to provide the next meal for my family yet fail to eat the sumptuous spiritual meal He wants to prepare for me each day.
Following Jesus is to embrace all of His teachings. While He will allow me to pray for superficial things and give me the choice on whether or not to go deep, the only one who loses when I choose superficiality is me.
I don’t want to go away, like the crowd. Your questions are hard, Your bread sometimes threatens the places where I’m comfortable, but I eat of You today. I am hungry. Amen