“…many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.”
John 6:66 (NIV)
While I am a public figure in the religious community and have travelled to several countries to preach and teach, I have never found the spotlight to be especially of interest to me. I grew up as an independent person who never desired leadership or notoriety. I did spend some time involved with petty thieves but readily quit that lifestyle while some of my friends went on to bigger and more dangerous things.
For the most part, in my earlier years as I grew up, I was a loner and greatly enjoyed my own company. Reading books about science and the world around us captivated my attention and I made weekly trips to the public library for more books to devour.
Now, as a minister of the Gospel, I actively seek audience with people to tell them about Jesus and His love for sinners. When Jesus got hold of me I was the most surprised and yet grateful person in the world.
It took some time for me to really believe my Creator had the slightest interest in me. Once I made that discovery I wanted to share the good news with everyone.
Now I was willing to be up front where everyone could see me and I had the opportunity to speak about the greatest Man who ever lived. I absolutely love to preach Jesus Christ and the message He gave us. I never preach a sermon without encouraging people to believe in Him as their Saviour and Lord.
But on one occasion recently, the message I preached offended some of my listeners and they decided to stop coming to hear me speak. Their statement was kindly worded, yet it made the point clear that I was no longer of interest to them nor was my message acceptable.
I was most distressed by their new view of me and what I was trying to say to them. Their departure from my ministry saddened me greatly. This has happened various times to me over the years and it never gets easier.
Jesus often found Himself in a similar situation to mine and that is what the verse for today is stating. Jesus had preached a sermon difficult for the vast crowd to accept. Many among them did not like what He had to say and so stopped following Him.
We all get messages from time to time that we do not like. Sometimes it is from a police officer on the side of the road as he/she hands us a speeding ticket. Perhaps it is from a doctor who relates to us that we have a very serious medical condition. It is silly to be angry with the police officer who gives us a ticket for breaking the law. It is equally foolish to ignore the warning of the doctor and refuse his/her recommendations on how to treat the problem.
So it is with the Gospel message I preach. I must give people the bad news that we are all sinners and in need of a Saviour. I must also give the good news that Jesus died and rose again for sinners and calls on all of us to repent and come to Him for forgiveness.
Are you resisting the bad/good news because it offends you? Please reconsider your rejection of Jesus. If you persist in rejecting Him, then He will ultimately reject you in turn. Come to Him and come today.