Day 19: John 6:37-59

To me, this is one of the most comforting passages in this chapter. Using the analogy of Jesus as the good shepherd, he is telling us that those who believe in him have been given to his care. We, indeed, are his sheep and we know his voice when we listen.

But there were some in the crowd who grumbled about what Jesus said. I can picture a wave of whispers going through the crowd. They just didn’t get it. We may look at Jesus’ teaching here and wonder why the people didn’t understand. But, I think they interpreted his words according to what they were looking for. The imagery of Jesus’ body as bread to be consumed and his blood as a drink was repugnant to the Jewish leaders. We might see these words as being symbolic of our communion remembrance, but those who first heard these words probably thought how this was a defiance of Jewish dietary laws. In a deeper sense, Jesus is telling them that he is going to shed his blood in giving up his body as a sacrifice for sin. But, they don’t understand.

As you look at the ways people responded to Jesus, in this passage and in other parts of this chapter, consider what you might be looking for and think about your own response. Verse 40 demands a personal faith decision.

Questions:  Imagine yourself in this crowd, listening to Jesus’ words. What is your response?

How do you see this as an eternal life or death matter?  

Prayer:  Lord, as I read Scripture open my eyes to see and my ears to hear your Word. I pray that the difficult teachings will not form doubts, but rather stretch my faith.   Amen.

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