In the gospel of John, chapter 6, Jesus says
“44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. 45 it is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me….47Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life….and 51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
Following Jesus’ saying
52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
And Jesus responded
53 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me.
And what follows Jesus final statement is at the heart of so much of post-modern faith that it is daily exchanging the truth for the lie about God, who He is, and how He has revealed Himself.
60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”
It is a HARD saying…who can listen to it? Apparently not many. How do we know this, because they killed Jesus for this and many hard sayings, and it seems that many today are covertly and overtly killing Him over again by misinterpreting, misrepresenting, and misappropriating scripture to make it say what they wish, because the saying is hard, so they refuse to believe it…even though they purport to be Christians.
I recently read this article. You will have to go and read to understand the nature of the remainder of this post.
As I read it I was saddened and confused at this blatant abuse of the scriptures, and their twisting it to be interpreted the way the author wished because the author can’t or won’t reconcile God’s grace and benevolence with the hard sayings regarding how those outside of Jesus will spend eternity. Below is my response which I felt made a fitting blog post.
Though I see the point he is attempting to make, it is derived from a blatant isolation of this particular text apart from those that precede it as well as those that follow it. With that said, even looking at it in the isolated manner by which you present it, it still does not say what you are attempting to make it say. Sorry to be so direct, but the “truth,” which is absolute and not to be placed on the sliding scale of post-modernity, is that you have misappropriated scripture to make your point thus making it say what you wish.
To the point–this scripture is delineating between Jews and Gentiles, not “non-believers and believers” this is not only a biblical interpretation of the text, but a historical one as well.
This is, as was often the case in many of Paul’s arguments, an argument for the salvation of the Gentiles [Romans, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Ethiopians etc.] over and against any adherence to the law, which the Jewish Christians were at the time trying to force on them. Issues such as but not limited to: dietary restrictions, circumcision, celebrating the Jewish feasts, etc.
Paul’s argument was clear…they have the law on their hearts, and a conscience given them by God, by which they will be judged. In that way, you were correct, but in that way only. You see the point Paul is making is that they don’t need to adhere to the law [of God given by Moses] to be saved in Jesus, why? Because their conscience, and the law God has “written on their hearts,” have compelled them to Jesus, so following [as explained above] the law is immaterial to their salvation.
The lynch pin in this text? “By Jesus Christ” that’s how God is going to judge. Don’t quote this verse for your purposes and forget to dissect that little phrase, for without it you lose everything, and without Jesus you lose everything. This leaves no room, no way, but One. And rationalizing around it brings us no closer to understanding the truth or who God is.
Regarding the closing, “Everyone must take this journey of faith for themselves, however they conceive God to be.” We must conceive God in the manner in which He has revealed Himself or we will as Romans 1:25, which precedes the verse you manipulated, “exchange the truth about God for a lie.” I write this in love, but with truth, as a brother, and I hope you receive it as such.
I end this post as I did the comment that has made up the bulk of it. I write this in love, and in hope that we will stop seeking wiggle room for the hard sayings of the bible, and reconcile them in the character, nature, and love of our good and gracious Father, and what He has done for us, His rebellious creation, in Jesus.