John 6:60 on hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”
What was Jesus talking about that elicited such a response? Does it matter? Sooner or later we all come up against that part of God we don’t understand and with which we are not comfortable. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” so says Isaiah (55:8, 9). And it is true. There is a trite old saying that I’m embarrassed to repeat it’s so trite. Did I mention it is trite? Here it goes: “If God was small enough for our minds he wouldn’t be big enough for our problems.” I told you it was trite! Things become trite because of the kernel of truth contained in them and really this saying (this trite saying) expresses a similar thought as Isaiah (never trite). You can have a philosophy of life that fits all your expectations- just make it up. People do. You probably already have in part. But if you look at life in all its complexity it seems, well…, complex. Jesus says some hard things. We can brush them off or water them down or pretend they mean something other than what seems obvious. Some of the folks in this story walked away from following Jesus. You can try that too. The ones who stayed realized there was nowhere else to go- Simon Peter answered him, “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” (vs. 68, 69). This is a God big enough for our problems (tell me I didn’t just say…, write…, that!). What sort of teaching will you encounter this week? What sort of God will you encounter this week?