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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

This teaching is difficult

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.” He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum.

When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, “Does this offend you? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But among you there are some who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Fat ~ her.”

Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” ~ John 6:56-69

I'm with those disciples! Sometimes, Jesus' teaching sure seems difficult: difficult to understand, and difficult to follow through on.

Like, yeah...eating Jesus' flesh? Drinking Jesus' blood? That sure does sound offensive when you put it that way!

Yep. Sometimes Jesus' teaching even offends.

Let that sit for a while. What teaching of Jesus offends you? Because I guarantee there is something that sticks in your craw a little bit.

Maybe it is to love your enemy.

Maybe it is to forgive over and over and over again.

Maybe it is that the peacemakers and the meek and the poor are lifted up as blessed: that it isn't the powerful or the strong or the rich who hold sway in God's kingdom.

Maybe it is being called to give of ourselves fully.

Maybe it is the Jesus' call to be innocent as doves but wise as serpents.

Maybe it the idea that sinners are who Jesus tended to hang out with.

Maybe it is the idea that our God took our violence to a cross and saved us with it.

Whatever it is, it's pretty certain: if nothing Jesus says or does offends you, then you just might not be paying attention.

Holy One, when I am offended, help me to reach toward you for greater understanding. Amen

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