A couple of days ago I finally picked up the Message Bible and it’s rocking my world. I’d been going throught the book of John in my NASB trying to get a picture of who Jesus was. Some good stuff came out of it, but coming from the Message, it’s changed my perspective.
Reading John 6 I was struck in the face with a reality I’ve never questioned before. If I was there when Jesus walked the Earth, would I have really taken Him seriously? I mean, today we can read the Book to the end. We see how He fulfilled the scriptures, we can cross reference and discuss. However, living then would not have provided the luxury.
To be honest, we have it pretty easy. Most of us start out knowing at least something about Jesus. But these people had no idea. Placing myself in their shoes got me wondering if I would’ve stopped following Him that day. Here’s what I may have thought:
I mean, the guy starts telling me I need to eat his flesh and drink his blood. What? He goes on and on about it and I start thinking the guy is nuts. John the Baptist was pretty wack, but I attribute that to too much desert sun. I can be awed by the miracles and his heart for people but this is to much.
I would’ve walked away. Unless he looked me in the eye…but I know myself well enough to say I would’ve been a skeptic. Sadly, I would find myself among the crowd watching a bloody, cross-carrying man walk to his death at the hill of the skull. I would cringe as the nails broke through the muscle and bone of his hands and feet. And when he took his last breath as the sky went black and the earth shook, I would quietly ask if I was wrong about him.
And maybe when people started dying for him I would start to ask more questions. And maybe then would I believe. What a sad day to know I could have spent those questioning moments right by the side of Jesus, but instead I suspected insanity.
It tears my heart up thinking how much I still take Him for granted when I have the priviledge of knowing His story. It breaks my heart to know I wouldn’t have believed Him. But the beautiful thing is I’m here today and I do believe. And as crazy as His words sound, or as crazy as I might look to some people for following Him, I have to.
Because He has given Himself up for me. He is life, He is breath, He’s all I need.