Summary: Sometimes we see Christ as a street beggar, if we throw him some change, we expect him to rejoice. But Christ is not begging, he is giving a choice. Take me or leave me, it is up to you.
NO WHERE TO GO
TEXT: JOHN 6:60-71
THEME: REALIZING THE NEED FOR JESUS.
Sipping on Tim Horton’s coffee in New Minas, Stacey and I were having a spiritual conversion. I was a recent convert, having arrived back from Texas, freshly minted as a new Christian. Stacey a friend for years was a catholic girl who attended church until she was 14. Stacey was about the only friend that I had that had any type of spiritual thoughts. So there we were, discussing the great faith issues over coffee and a doughnut, but of course she did not eat one, too fattening. I was telling her of my conversion, and some spiritual thoughts, this sounded a lot deeper back then, then it does now to me. As we continued to drink more coffee, and me sugar, Stacey informed me that she was thinking about becoming a Buddhist. This seemed too cool for her, all those gods and a little fat man to rub his belly. At that time, new age ideas were entering society, and Stacey wanted to explore the various concepts of God. I guess the Catholic religion was becoming boring to her, now that she was in college. So she wanted to sample some of the world’s religions. She was tired of dinning on the Catholic faith of the buffet table of life. She wanted to try on some Buddhist faith, and if she did not like it, I guess she would have taken it back like a pair of unflattering jeans. As we sat there, full of sugar and coffee, maybe not the best combination, I thought in my head. “This is fine, Jesus doesn’t need you anyway.”
It seems today in Christianity that some people believe that they are doing Jesus a flavor by having faith. It almost seems that people expect Jesus to come begging them to commit to him. That Jesus is so desperate for disciples, that he is happy with you no matter what. Now Jesus incredibly loves, and desires all men to be saved. He has a deep love that is beyond understanding towards man. But some people picture Jesus as a street beggaring asking for some change, and if you give it them him he is thankful. The invitation to follow Christ is there, but he is not forcing you to be faithful to him. It is your choice. Some people think that they come to church and Jesus should be happy with that. There is a sense of pride in people, like Jesus is so elated that they came to church on Sunday. That Jesus is rejoicing that you have come to church every now and then, and you feel that Jesus should be thankful. You at least came to church. A little devotion must be better than no devotion to Jesus. Some think they are doing Jesus a flavor when they come to Him. People feel that it’s like helping Uncle Bill move; I am such a great guy to help him out.
But this is not the picture that is presented in the Bible. It seems that Jesus is completely serious about total devotion to him. Not a half-hearted effort, but a complete conversion. He wants man to be completely dedicated to him and his cause. In fact, Jesus is disgusted by mediocre Christians. Revelation 3:16 “So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” All through the Gospel Jesus is demanded total dedication. Jesus is serious about people getting serious about their Christianity.
In John 6:41-58 Jesus talks about total dedication. “So Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever." Jesus refers to himself as the true manna from above. This is a reference to the Jews in the wilderness. The Jews ate the manna and lived physically, but Jesus is stating that the Jews must eat of him to life spiritually. This way Jesus starts to tell the Jews about eating and drinking his flesh and blood. This is abhorrent to a Jew. The Jews were commanded to refrain from drinking blood or eating human flesh. The teaching of Christ is shocking and disgusting to the Jews. The teaching also pictures a violent death. The Jews are familiar with blood. Blood represents death and pain to the Jews. The Jews understand that Jesus is talking about total surrender of the self. The Jews will have to die to self to life for Christ.