Summary: There are three types of people that respond to the truth, which kind are you and are you willing to take the next step in your journey with Christ?
“Crossing the Line”
Have any of you seen the old Disney film, “Davy Crocket”? It is one of my all-time favorites. There is a scene in that movie, at the Alamo, when Col. Travis draws a line of the ground and asks the men that want to stay and fight to the death to cross that line. I think God does that to us. Every time we are confronted with God’s truth, a line is drawn and He asks us to cross it. He never forces us, He just draws the line. I want us to look at a situation in the Gospel of John that shows three responses to that drawn line.
Background for the Text…
Jesus had tons of followers because he had just fed the five thousand. People were flocking to Him from all over because of the signs and wonders He was performing. Most of His followers had a shallow commitment, they were just following Jesus to see what they could get out of it. Once they were faced with a truth crisis, they demonstrated their commitment, or lack thereof. Right before the text we are about to read, Jesus is teaching the people and telling them that He is the bread from heaven and that to have eternal life, they must consume his flesh and blood. This caused many of the followers (maybe as many as 10,000-15,000) to question why they were following Him. Let’s pick up there…
Read the Text: (John 6:60-71)
Review the Text:
The first person I want us to identify is the quitter…
The Quitter (v. 60-66)
So why do people quit? Why do they give up?
Notice why these people stopped walking with Jesus. They quit because they were having trouble with the things He was saying. (This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?) They had become offended by the truth. Sometimes the truth can be offensive. When we are living in darkness and the light of God shines in, it can hurt. Have you ever been sound asleep, in a pitch black room, and someone flipped the light switch on? Oh, what a horrible way to wake up. It is certainly affective, but the light causes pain to your eyes. God’s word can be like that at times. These people were offended by what Jesus was saying because it was true and they were under conviction. When we come under the conviction of the word of God, we have two possible responses: we can rebel, we can repent. The people here chose to rebel because they found the truth offensive.
I think they also decided to quite following Jesus because He did not meet their expectations. They were looking for an authoritative King to come and rescue them from the Roman rule. Jesus was in fact the King of Kings. No king has ever had the authority of Jesus, but they didn’t see it. I think many of us have false expectations. Some people teach that when you decided to follow Jesus, life become easy. It doesn’t. Some people believe that when you live for Jesus, you won’t face any trouble. You will! Some people believe that God will give you everything you want. News flash…He won’t! Those expectations will never be met in this life. I think one reason why a lot of young people fall away from the church and stop living for Christ is because they are fed a lot of fluff as teens and they have a bunch of false expectations as a result. We need to preach and teach the truth, not just things that people want to hear.
Here are two ways we can make sure we stay on track.
Two ways to stay on track:
We are born with stinking thinking. We naturally see things differently than God does. We need our minds to be transformed, renewed, through the word of God. Instead of trying to change the word of God to fit our situation, we need to allow the word of God to change us, to make us right-minded. Romans 12:2 tells us that when we have a renewed mind, we can know the will of God. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to trust in the Lord and not to lean on our own understanding. In other words, get rid our your own personal perspective and expectations and just trust that God knows what is best and obey His word. When we acknowledge God by following His word, we are shown the way we are to go. We can stay on track. We need to be right-minded to stay on track.
Be receptive to the truth
It isn’t enough to just hear the truth, we need to receive the truth. I said earlier that we need to allow the truth to change us. This means that we must be teachable. Our desire should be to seek out the truth. Most people want the truth, but once they hear it, they do not always accept it. Whether you accept the truth or not, nothing can change it, it is still true. What good does it do anyone to reject the truth? Jesus is the truth (John 14:6)! Everyone needs to receive Him! When we are following Christ, we need to remain teachable and humble. We need to allow God to mold us and shape us into the people God would have us to be. That is not always easy, and often times, it is very difficult. We need to be willing to be stretched and shaped by the word of truth. Be receptive to that.