Sunday, March 4, 2012

Offended at Jesus…….

“Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?”   Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life.”    John 6:67-68 NLT

Sometimes the Bible has teachings that are hard to understand.  For example: “Eat My flesh, drink My blood or else you will have no life in you” (John 6:53).

Never mind the “stumbling in the dark” Pharisees, Jesus had disciples who were just as spiritually insensitive and unseeing.  He had to put them to the test.  The test is always this; at what point do I refuse to accept what Jesus is saying and take offense at Him?   That’s the point at which I draw back and twist His Word to justify my disobedience or interpret the Word to fit my desires or it is at the time I decide to walk with Him no more.

Like it or not, Jesus will constantly make Himself an offense to us.  To take offense is the mark of an untrue disciple, to take no offense is the mark of a true disciple.

The antagonist relationship is always necessary when the training of minds, souls or lives is at stake.   The classroom teacher is an antagonist, the drill sergeant is an antagonist and the coach of Olympic champions is an antagonist.   Where love enters the picture the antagonism is greater because love desires the greatest growth for the loved one.

We will never have a more demanding taskmaster than Jesus.  The voices of the world, the flesh and the devil are soft and wooing. They beg us to indulge:  “take your ease; eat drink and be merry.”  That is why the wise preacher says, “It is wise to go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting” (Ecc. 7:2 KJV).

The house of feasting is the self-indulgent, easy, soft, no sacrifice way of living that results in death even while the person is still alive (I Tim. 6:6). 

The house of mourning is the way of life hammered and shaped into His image by ceaseless discipline and endurance.   Every Christian has a choice: I can keep my life only to lose it, or lose it for Christ’s sake only to find it again.

“…for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.  Phil. 2:13 NKJV

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