Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Shrinking Disciples

Here’s an excerpt from Our Journey this morning. The author is Crawford W. Loritts and his comments are worth a read.

It’s just as true today as it was during the time Jesus walked on earth. We all tend to want a Christianity that will confirm us right where we are. (You know—the kind that makes you feel good and doesn’t require too much from you.) I fight this battle just like everybody else.

Jesus doesn’t call us to a happy, comfortable existence. Following him is not always easy—but it will surely cost us something. As I’ve studied the idea of New Testament discipleship, it’s interesting to note that whenever Jesus called people to another level of commitment the crowd got smaller. People would figure out a reason to step back.

On hearing it, many of his disciples said, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?"

Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, " Does this offend you? What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. He went on to say, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him."

From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

"You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve.

Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."
(John 6:60-69 NIV)



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