Hard Things Jesus Said: Would We Have Walked Away?

Jesus said some hard things. Would we have thought of Jesus as a novelty and enjoyed His company and teachings until things became “real”? Or would we have truly loved Him and understood that His words were true and life? Just what would we have done? Consider each of these hard sayings. How would you have reacted?

Listening to Jesus, we would have heard him say the following:

·        Love your enemies. Matthew 5:43-47

·        Turn the other cheek. Matthew 5:38-42

·        God and Money: You can’t serve both. Matthew 6:24

·        Only a few find the gateway to life: Matthew 7:13-14

·        You must deny yourself, take up your cross daily, and follow Jesus. Luke 9:23-25

·        To be His disciple, you must love Jesus more than anyone else and more than your own life. Luke 14:26-27

·        Jesus is the only way to God. John 14:6

·         Take sin seriously. Matthew 18:9

·        Be perfect. Matthew 5:48

·        Being angry is the same as murder. Matthew 5:22

·        Jesus came to divide. Luke 12:51-53

·        If you don’t follow Jesus, then you are against Him. Matthew 12:30

·        If you don’t acknowledge Jesus, He won’t acknowledge you before God. Matthew 10:32-33

·        You’re forgiven; now stop sinning. John 8:10-11

Many Disciples Desert Jesus

Many disciples deserted Jesus after hearing His words set out in John 6:53-59

53 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. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

What did Jesus mean when He declared that He was “the bread of life” and that one must “eat his flesh and drink His blood” to have eternal life? Were these words meant to be discerned spiritually or literally?

Jesus explains in John 8:47 that those who don’t belong to God can’t hear God. Paul in 1st Corinthians 2:14 echoes this when he says that those “who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit.” He says that “It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.”

Perhaps those followers who walked away left because they didn’t truly belong to God.

Jesus’ Words: Spirit and Life

Jesus said that the words He spoke were “spirit and life”; they were truths from God’s Spirit. To those who did not belong to God, Jesus’ words sounded foolish and were not understandable. But to those like Peter, who belonged to God, His words were discerned spiritually and gave eternal life.

Whether or not we would have believed Jesus’ words 2,000 years ago is impossible to know. What we do know is that His truths never change. Many things Jesus says require us to step away from ourselves and step towards God in faith. We can trust that what God says is true and although His words may at first seem counter to what we know, when we believe, these words prove powerful and living and true.

Prayer: Thank you that Your words are spirit and life. Thank you that we can speak those words confidently, knowing that they are true and they never change. Lord, although I may not always understand, today I choose to step towards you in faith. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.



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I am a truth seeker by nature. My passion is studying God's Word and sharing His Truth with others.

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