Rational Thought

Today I was reading John chapter 6. Currently, I’m digging through the book of John one chapter at a time just discovering the nuances of John’s descriptions of the life of Jesus. John really digs into the divinity of Jesus, and in this reveals challenging stories and words from Jesus. It’s quite interesting to see many walk AWAY from Jesus, even those that are called “disciples” by John. There is no shortage of miracles, and explanations of those miracles being used not as ends to themselves, but as indicators of Jesus’ divinity, which is really important to the end of the story….Even in the midst of watching these miracles performed Jesus’ words turned people away. Beginning in v. 51 Jesus begins to talk about how we must eat of his flesh and drink of his blood. For folks like me who grew up within the Christian tradition, I think we can have a tendency to gloss over these passages, but if we take them at face value, they’re crazy! Eat flesh & drink blood! That’s crazy at best, something much more sinister at worst. At least if taken out of context, and devoid of the rest of the story. The story that ends at the cross and resurrection. In v. 66, John says many of his disciples walked away. Not just the rabble looking for a free handout of bread and fish, his disciples. Granted, these weren’t the 12, but the fact that they’re called disciples means these were, up to that point, true followers that walked away. Where I think the breakdown happened was their attempt to wholly line up rational thinking with what Jesus was saying. Understandably, rational thought helps us survive everyday. When I make the rational decision to wait at a red light so I don’t get mowed down by a dump truck no one argues. But when following a person like Jesus, rationality breaks down. Immediately before this event in John 6, Jesus walked out on the Sea of Galilee and hopped in the boat with these same disciples, and then, they immediately arrived on the other side at their destination. Rational? Right before that, Jesus fed 5000 people with a couple of pieces of bread and some fish that had been hauled up the mountain in some boys satchel, that I have a feeling did not include one of those nice ice packs to keep everything fresh….Rational thought is out the window at that point, what the disciple did have was the reality that was truly staring them right in the face. A man telling them that unless they ate his flesh and drank his blood they would always hunger. Many walked away, but Peter in all of his great humanly wisdom says this, ” Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” Those are the most rational words I know…

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