John 6:64b – 71(CEB)
66 At this, many of his disciples turned away and no longer accompanied him.
67 Jesus asked the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”
68 Simon Peter answered, “Lord, where would we go? You have the words of eternal life.69 We believe and know that you are God’s holy one.
After some difficult teachings early in Jesus’ ministry, the Gospel of John tells us that many of Jesus’ followers walked away. He offers an out to the twelve as well. Peter, speaking for the group, tells Jesus that they aren’t going anywhere. In a sense, what he is saying is that the road may be tough, but there’s not other place we’d rather be than with you, Jesus.
In pre-marital counseling, especially with younger couples, I try to be sure that they understand that life isn’t all peaches and cream. Bad things will happen. Difficult situations will challenge them and their soon to be covenant relationship. Marriage is hard work. Some days it will feel like running into a brick wall, but at least you do it together.
Some of you will face the brick wall today. For one of my friends, his wife is having surgery today. This will be a hard day. The brick wall is in front of them. Yes this will be a difficult day, but Jesus is with them, helping them over, around, or through this brick wall.
If following Jesus was only about the eternal bliss in the heavenly ever-after and prosperity in the here and now, and easy, everyone would be doing it. Who doesn’t want the benefits? Following Jesus isn’t invitation only, it’s also challenge. It is the way of the Cross.
What are the brick walls in front of you today? Name them. God is ready to face them with you, and see you through. It won’t be easy. Neither was the cross.
Prayer: Lord, this day will not be easy. Following you will not be easy. Neither was the cross. Give us the courage and strength to trust you, to follow you, to live for you and with you today. Amen.