“This is a hard saying; who can hear it?” — John 6:60
The very declaration by Jesus that he was the Bread of Life, was a contentious and tough piece of manna for his disciples, his followers, to chew. It caused many to turn away and desert him. What their minds could not perceive, their hearts would not receive, and they rejected rather than accepted the salvation from God which they seemingly so desired. They were prepared to accept from Jesus’ hand his healings, his deliverances, and his provision of food. But when it came to them accepting him as their Lord and Saviour, it was hard to chew on and even more difficult to swallow. Their chests closed and indigestion rose. They found it tough to accept, and their ears became stopped with disgruntlement, disdain and disapproval. How often is it the case today amongst Christians and non-Christians alike that when God speaks it is said, “That is a hard saying [teaching], who can hear [accept] it?” For the non-Christian it could be at the call to repentance and salvation; for the Christian it could be at the call to sanctification and renouncement of self. Whatever it be, such teachings represent a true and accurate litmus test for the condition of the heart. It is often the case that in our perception, that which seems to be the hardest to digest is in fact the choicest fair. Frequently we fail to recognise that the choicest food the world has to offer is plastered with fake dainties, and tarted up with false hopes and promises. It is covered with the devil’s same deceitful allurement that made the fruit appealing and tempting to Eve, yet was poisoned to its core with destruction and ultimate disillusionment. Nay that God’s saints be drawn to such perils! Beloved, be strong and resolute though the teaching may be tough and seemingly hard to accept. Know in the depth of your heart that all the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto those who keep and obey His covenant and His testimonies. Saint, “eat” of the good Lord, and let your being be filled and nourished with His life, through His Holy Spirit – for it is the Spirit that makes alive; the flesh profiteth nothing. Jesus also said that if we love him, we will obey his commands. Christian, do you love your Saviour? May our Lord not find it necessary to ask us if we would also like to leave, but may we pray along with David: Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me; for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.