Jesus knew how to disperse a crowd.
He had over 500 disciples sitting, listening to his teaching. Thousands followed him to see healing and miracles. Many in the Synagogues recognized him as having authority unlike anything they had seen or heard and yet when he dispersed truth, he dispersed the crowd.
Jesus words were truly anointed by God and his words were pure wisdom. But when he told them he was eternal life, and that you must drink his blood and partake of his body, many disciples left him. Thousands unfollowed him. The authorities began to plot against him.
Actual verse in John 6:54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them at the last day.
He explained in this teaching that he was the bread of life. He spoke of the manna that came from heaven in the wilderness as not being the true bread as they still died.
He explained He is the living bread which anyone may eat and not die. This bread is my flesh, he told them, which I will give for the life of the world.
On hearing this truth, many of his disciples said, this is a hard teaching, who can accept it?
From that time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. Jesus asked the twelve, his inner circle, you do not want to leave too, do you?
The passage doesn’t end there, because Jesus is only getting started in teaching his disciples that they needed to accept his teaching that HE is the Bread of Life. HE has the words of eternal life. He is the Word of God. Anyone believing in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.
He chose the twelve disciples and yet one of them was the devil. One was preparing to betray him.
Jesus never hid truth. There is a cost to remaining with him, following him.
He never backed up on teaching the cost of eternal life. He paid it for anyone who chose him, but he still allowed the choice to unfollow him.
Christ’s disciples must make their relationship with God the focus of their life or unfollow him.
It is such a paradox really. Believing he the bread of life is easy, but living it out….. fully trusting …..is going to take all you got. Because trials and tribulations and loss will rip through your life like a bad storm. Things will break your heart, but cannot break your trust when your heart is devoted to Him.
Today 2000 years and more later, I hear the question, do you want to stop following?
Jesus asked his disciples the question and Peter answered and acknowledged him as eternal life. He said we know and believe your words.
But the cross was coming. One of them was preparing to betray Christ and his brethren. Loss was coming, the greatest pain imaginable was being planned. And Peter never planned to but he would unfollow Christ.
It broke Peter’s heart, but it didn’t break Jesus heart. He already knew. He knew Peter would be hurt but he also knew it wouldn’t break Peter.
Fast forward: Two thousand and twenty. The year 2020.
Jesus is eternal life, We love his word. We believe we are true disciples. Yet deception, betrayal, grief and loss is coming.
We (the church) , had no idea then what was in the hearts of man or what God fully had planned.
Separation happened. The wheat and the tares illustration became real life. The distinction was made, between wickedness and righteousness. We observed the breaking of hearts in many, many ways.
My word of encouragement is to Praise God! Keep following. Be grateful.
Expect a rebound. Revival is coming. Feel the Resurrection power pulsing on the inside. It’s almost time, we are in the waiting room.
He is alive and well, he’s preparing a place for us. For now, devote your heart anew to Christ. It will be enough to keep your feet on the ground, your journey cautiously carefree.
The Bible foretells more is coming. Don’t put your trust in men, you have a foretaste of what they are capable of. Count the cost and be prepared to allow his life to show through you. Don’t worry about the crowd that left your life. Put your trust in God. He will never leave you or forsake you.