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The Unsuccessful Jesus

By Jack Earl

We usually measure success in religious circles by numbers. Those preachers with the largest following are assumed to be doing it right. Those who see little fruit from their ministry are thought to be failures and must be doing something wrong.

In John, chapter 6, we read concerning Jesus, that “from this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.” (verse 66) What brought about this apparent failure on the part of Jesus’ ministry?

If we read the earlier verses we discover that Jesus had just taught a rather difficult sermon filled with some strange symbolism about His being the bread of life who came down from heaven. This started the Jews to begin challenging the origin or Jesus reminding Him that He was a carpenter’s son.

Jesus rebuked them for their blind ignorance and pointed out to them that they could not accept this truth unless they had been drawn to Jesus by the Father in heaven who sent Him. He elaborated further which caused His followers to rethink their commitment and many choose to leave Jesus and go back to their villages and jobs.

With only the twelve apostles left, Jesus turned to them and asked, “Do you want to leave too?” (verse 67).

Simon Peter spoke for the small group remaining, “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.” (verses 68-69)

Then Jesus reminds them, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve?” (verse 70).

So what do we learn about Jesus from this episode? Most importantly, He did not color His message so as to make it acceptable to the masses. He spoke the truth, even though it meant that it would cause Him to loose some of His followers. He would not make a successful politician.

So what do we learn about the nature of people, especially people who make an initial attempt to start out at becoming a follower of Jesus? Most importantly, only those who last are those who have been chosen by Jesus. They are the ones to pass the tests of difficulty. Many will fall by the wayside and go back to their previous ways. But those who have been chosen will remain faithful. They will be the ones who say, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

Jack Earl is a retired Christian Bookstore manager, a graduate of Moody Bible Institute. He now lives in the Seirra Nevada Mountains in central California. He may be reached at jackmearl@volcano.net

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITER

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