I know, its been a couple weeks since my last blog.
But for those concerned, I’m much better this week.
And this blog comes a few days late due to my connection being down Wednesday, and traveling on Thursday.
Here it is posted today, just as promised.
Since it has been a while, lets pick back up with the last serial post.
Jesus had been teaching the crowds of his way, the way of truth for a while.
They couldn’t get enough.
They were so enamored with his speaking that they didn’t even bother to remember to bring their lunches.
That is, of course, except for one young boy.
A couple fish, and a few loaves of bread.
A poor kid, probably.
There is no record of this detail, just my opinion.
They probably weren’t even large fish.
And the loaves were more likely to be likened to rolls.
And not even old school Quincy’s big fat yeast rolls.
But those school cafeteria, too small and burned kind of rolls.
We later see Jesus dividing the masses into smaller groups.
And God takes this small boy’s lunch as an offering and multiplies it for the good of his people.
These people saw Jesus do amazing things.
Healing the sick.
Mending the lame.
Turning water to wine.
And now, feeding thousands with so little.
No wonder they wanted to make him king.
This was the messiah they had been waiting for!
But it wasn’t his time.
So he left the crowds to be alone.
Going to the hills to pray.
The next time we see Jesus, he is walking on the water toward the disciples boat.
This is where I want to pick up this week.
The twelve disciples are on the boat going on to Capernaum.
And they encounter a storm.
Now, storms are scary anyway.
But at 3:00am on a rickety boat the fear is even more evident.
Now, we all know the story of Peter walking on the water toward Christ.
I’ve preached that message multiple times.
However, that isn’t recorded in John’s gospel.
So we’re not going to look at that aspect of this story.
Instead, I want to focus on one question:
Where was Jesus?
Have you ever noticed that?
The disciples just left him there.
Going on about their way.
It was an incredible thing he had just done.
All was well in their little bubble.
And they have walked away from the one who made it so.
They left Jesus behind.
I told you guys that this week we would talk about the two occasions we turn our backs on Christ.
Well, here they are:
1. when our world is shaken up and confused.
2. when everything in our world is well as it should be.
The twelve here show the latter.
But Jesus presses on, in pursuit of his followers…
In pursuit of his friends…
He defies basic physics as he walks across the lake toward their boat.
But after that, once they reach the other shore and are found by the masses…
This is when things start to get really shaky.
Jesus starts to accuse them of ill advised motives for following.
He claims that he is being followed because of what he could do for the crowds.
He was being followed because he gave them bread.
They didn’t love him.
They loved what he could do for them.
And this isn’t unwarranted.
After all, they did ask him what signs he would perform, what he would do for them.
Slapped a WWID bracelet right on him.
Then he starts making wild statements.
Like, Moses didn’t provide food in the wilderness.
And that he, himself, was the bread that God provided.
Making a statement like that against Moses in those days would be like calling Washington a pansy.
He was easily, if not the most, one of the most respected men from the Israelites storied past.
But he did it.
And the people don’t like it.
And it doesn’t stop with that.
He tells them that to have life, they must eat his body and drink his blood?!
Is this guy for real?
The more he talks, the less people are liking him.
Their worlds are being shaken up.
They’re being forced to make a choice.
Is it going to be the old way with Moses?
Manna every morning that would spoil.
And no matter how much they ate, they still died.
Or would it be the new way with Christ?
Partaking in his body, in his blood, in his Life.
That in doing so, their spirits would not die.
I believe this is the turning point of Jesus’ ministry.
This is when people started losing interest.
When he offended with the truth.
When he started saying things they weren’t ready to hear.
When he began stepping on the toes of those around him.
Many walked away that day.
Likely never to cross paths with the Rabbi again.
And certainly not to take him seriously.
And as the crowd is quickly thinning, something else happens.
Just like in a movie.
The big scene where the protagonist disappoints those around him/her.
And one by one, they turn to walk away.
Not the ones that followed because of nothing better to do.
These are the guys that followed Jesus because he chose them.
They were special.
They were more than disciples.
They were friends.
And now, they are leaving…
For the second time in as many days.
But why now?
Because they were confused.
Because they had been taught one thing throughout their lives.
And now Jesus is challenging it all.
I really don’t think they knew what to believe.
So they did all they knew to do.
They were leaving Jesus behind.
It took a bit of a jolt for them to come back to him.
A direct question from Christ to the twelve, and to us also.
“And what about you? Are you going to leave too?”
So here is the issue.
Where do we stand?
Are we walking daily with the Savior?
Or, are we leaving him behind?
And when (not if) we leave him behind, for what?
What are we putting ahead of him?
College football? Other sports?
Yeah, that last one stings me a little.
And I know that so many of my friends can probably relate.
But seriously, what are we doing?
Claiming to be close to him.
Claiming to follow him.
Claiming to do anything for him.
But realistically, we fail.
When all is well, we forget that it is he who worked the situation.
When everything is shaky, we forget who it is that gives us comfort.
And what for you?
At the end of the day, when all is said and done, are you leaving Jesus behind?
And what will it take to change that?
Peace and love.