Anglican Morning Devotion for 5 February 2022 Anno Domini
a ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? 61When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? 62What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? 63It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 64But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. 65And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. 66From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 67Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? 68Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 69And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. 70Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? 71He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.” (St. John 6:60-71; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
We live in a day in which folks are overly cautious not to offend anyone even if it means offending those who stand on biblical principles. In the name of political correctness, those who have historically sought to silence the voices of the righteous are gaining a wide audience. It is, of course, a shallow sham for there is an ideology behind that approach that is as old as the Serpent of the Garden. The example we have today is of the disciples themselves being ‘offended’ at the Words of Christ.
“Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?” That is, when they heard Jesus say that He is the Bread of Life that comes down from Heaven indicating His Deity. They did not confront Jesus openly, but murmured among themselves. Every time the Church takes on a grand enterprise, you can count on many murmurers to begin finding private fault behind the backs of those who are doing all of the work. These men would believe in miraculous healing and other wonders that only God could perform, but not the very Person of Christ. Many churches today are as the seven women in Isaiah chapter four – “And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.” (Isaiah 4:1) These churches do not want to eat the Bread of Heaven but they wish to eat their own decaying bread. they do not desire the Robe of Righteousness that Christ offers, but their own rags of filth; but they desire only to be called by His Name (nominal Christians) so that they may gain favor of men and respectability.
“When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? 62What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? 63It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 64But there are some of you that believe not.” Please note that Christ tells us that it is His very Words (plural) are spirit at giving life. This means that every Word of Christ is priceless. Unlike the corrupt translations of the Bible that suggest verbal equivalence (the big idea), it is the very individual words that give life. He says, “What and if ye shall see the Son of Man ascend…” Jesus already knew those who were faithful believers and those who were not. Some would not see Him ascend up for they would turn away, unable to accept the truth of the Gospel. It is the Spirit of God that gives life (quickened). A human body without the spirit is a dead body. Have you noticed the walking dead among us? They have no life because they have not the Spirit of God to quicken them. They are the dead who remain in trespasses and sins. (See Ephesians 2:1-3)
“For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.” Do you honestly believe that Christ could not know the hearts of men other than only those standing by at this moment? He knows your heart and mine now – He knows the hearts and minds of all who are born into this world. He also knew that there stood one among them who would do more than simply walk away. That man, Judas, would actually remain among them seeking the most opportune moment to betray Christ and make a profit in the process. Though the works of evil are never in accordance with the will of God, He will use this evil traitor to bring about His redemption of mankind. “Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! (Matthew 18:7) Woe unto Judas for it were better for him than that he was ever born. This should dispel the old heretical argument that Judas had no choice in his evil betrayal.
“And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.” Are you the first and only Christian who ever came of his own volition to Christ, or were you drawn by the Holy Ghost? ‘No man’ pretty much covers the gamut, doesn’t it? Even many of those faithless disciples standing by with their heels turned to go had come to Christ; they were not drawn by the Holy Ghost but for other diverse reasons. You may make a show of coming to Christ, but you cannot come when your heart is left behind. Only those blessed to be granted the privilege by the Father can come to the Son.
“From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” Suppose we decided to have a great patriotic war. We send out the heralds pleading for heroes to join the ranks. They come in droves seeking the shiny buttoned uniforms, flashy epaulets, glistening sabers, and glossy boots. They appear such fine specimens of soldiery, but when the clarion call to battle sounds forth, the greater number of these ninety-day wonders head for the nearest cover. They were soldiers in name only. So are those who flock to Christ and His Church in fair weather and head for cover at the first sign of trials and tribulations. It is one thing to look like a soldier and quite another to perform like a soldier. What a sad conclusion to these faithless disciples: “…and walked no more with him!” Down the shadows of time and eternity, these disciples never again will walk with the Lord. Their fate was decided on a dime!
“Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? I believe that Christ stands in the midst of every compromising circumstance peering deeply into your heart and mine and asks the same question: “Will you be bold for Christ, or will you, too, go away?” When the angry mobs of political correctness and social decadence scream, “Enough, away with Christ!” where have you stood and where do you stand today. Has Christmas become Winter Break; Easter – Spring Break; or Thanksgiving – Turkey Day for you. Have you abided the offenses? Or have you stood bold in redressing every offense against Christ?