John 6:60 says: “On hearing it, many of His disciples said, “This is hard teaching. Who can accept it?” They could only understand Jesus speaking in human capacity. Jesus explained by asking, “Does this offend you? Then what will you think if you see me, the Son of man, return to heaven again? It is the Spirit who gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life. But some of you don’t believe me.” (John 6:62-64)
They were challenged! I wonder what their thoughts were when they did see Jesus ascend into heaven? Were they thinking in human terms then?
Imagine that moment in time when all travel plans stood at a standstill. Can you just hear Jesus saying: “Friends, are you with me or not? Do you believe in the Gospel message or not? At one point Jesus did question the disciples saying, “Are you going to leave, too?”
The promises of God are very sure you know. Jesus promised that he would send the Holy Spirit in His absence when the time came to enter back into heaven. God knows those who are His. There are those who hang on in the times of doubt, there are those who remain in the truth despite those who may ridicule, there are those who are willing to follow whatever the cost, and there are those who truly believe that Jesus is the Son of God who came to offer eternal life.
Sad to say though, that some folks did turn away and discontinue the journey. That still happens today doesn’t it? And it is still sad to hear. The disciples and the rest of the followers continued on. That good news still brings joy. There’s a song that says: I’m going on, I’m going on, I’m going on toward the mark toward my goal, so many things depend on what I do, give me the strength dear Lord, I’m going on for you.
That sounds like determination. When you live for God and decide to follow, He will provide strength and endurance for the journey. God is really with those who are with Him! As we all travel toward our goal, Jesus will never turn back and leave us there in the middle of the road with no direction. Neither would he have bypassed the cross where He suffered and died along the way. He detoured up the hill and lay His life down for His followers and all who would follow after. You and I are included in that provision.
So when the journey gets tough, and you feel that the Christian life is too hard, and you too ask the question, how can anyone accept it? as the disciples asked, then I say to you, focus your thoughts toward faith in the true God who provides strength by His promised Holy Spirit. If we try to comprehend the Gospel message by our own human efforts, then we may not accomplish the Gospel mission that leans toward eternal life. Instead lean on the Holy Spirit who will take you through to the end.
Copyright 2007 Janice Keats