Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Flesh Profits Nothing

John 6:59-71

These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum. Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?"

When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, "Does this offend you? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.

From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?" But Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?" He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.

Jesus has just talked about the eating of His flesh and drinking of His blood for eternal life. A difficult subject for many. Jesus spoke of a spiritual eating and drinking...a receiving only of Him as the way to eternal life.

His teachings sometimes seemed way out there, against the things people had learned and strived to maintain. He went against the flow. He came to turn the world upside down. And don't we know that today evil is considered good and good evil. And there are people today who find the words of Christ unpalatable and inconceivable. "Does this offend you?" We see for some it does.

When the Spirit of God works in the life of an individual the world view of things changes. Eyes are opened to the truth. Jesus is the truth and all He has said is truth. It cannot be disputed! He never changes, nor does His Word. If we receive Him and His Word we receive the truth and eternal life. If we scoff at His words, do not heed them, consider them of no account, we reject Him and we reject a chance at eternal life.

We might call ourselves Christians because we know who Jesus is and believe He was and has done all He said, but we go about our lives without regarding Him daily. To those people Jesus will say, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’" (Matthew 7:21-23)  This is sobering.

Jesus asked His own disciples if His words offended them. He knew not all would continue to follow because His words would become too hard to understand. And if we don't understand something sometimes, can't we just shrug our shoulders and walk away from it all? Many walked away...and many will walk away.

The Spirit of God opens eyes. Why all eyes are not opened is a matter of our own desires, our own
wills. We choose whether or not to take God seriously. And like the example shown of some of Jesus' followers, we will walk away because it's just too hard, His words are too hard to hear...or
understand. God calls all but not all will respond. It's called free will which God has given us. As has been brought up several times in church, there is only one way which is right. There are five references to this in Proverbs. Jesus is the way, truth and life. No one comes to the Father but through Him. That's why God sent Him and why Jesus spoke, to draw all men to Him.

His center twelve disciples knew. Twelve out of how many? They understood. There will be a few in the grand scheme of life also. They stayed and believed. They knew He spoke the truth and believed He held eternal life in His hands. He chose them...and He also knew that in order for all the events that needed to take place as prophesied in the Old Testament, one disciple had to betray Him. Yet, it was Judas' decision. The lure of money was greater than his love for Jesus. And it caused him much grief when he realized what he'd done.

The flesh profits nothing. What we deem so important in our lives is not what will give us eternal life. Only Jesus does. If our attention is on Him, He will show us what is truth that we may have life.

What grief there will be someday when those who have not taken the Lord seriously realize the outcome of their decision. Jesus still calls today. A decision can be reversed before it's too late. Lord, open eyes, minds and spirits that they might answer Your call today.

Proverbs 16:25 - There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.

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