If Jesus sat down with us for some one-on-one time, what would we ask Him? More importantly, how would we respond to His questions?
Knowing He is omniscient God, the Living Word of God [John 1:1-3] who knows the “thoughts and intents of the heart” [Hebrews 4:12], compels us to answer honestly and fully. No hiding, deflecting, or excusing. Just honest answers.
John’s Gospel records several questions Jesus asked in His earthly ministry. By personally considering each of His questions, we face His same probing truth. By responding truthfully, may we be drawn into a more intimate walk with Him.
5th Question – Does this Offend You? Do You Want to Leave Me?
We live in a sensitive culture. Political correctness and perception of offense override honesty and wisdom. We tip-toe around truth and honesty for fear of offending someone’s preferential sensitivities.
Thankfully, Jesus didn’t worry about offending with the truth. As the Only Truth, He knows we need the absolute truth of His Word. Especially in a world gone mad with moral relativism and blind acceptance of immorality. Yet, at times He gave provocative illustrations to shock people from deception’s indifference.
Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you?” From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” [John 6:54, 56, 61, 66-67, bold text added]
On the surface, Jesus’ message seems rude, counter-cultural, and in the face of religious taboos. Cannibalism? Drinking forbidden blood? Who would think up, much less promote, such disgusting practices? Hence, His questions: “Does this offend you? Do you want to leave me?”
But Jesus wasn’t referring to the superficial meaning. He was revealing the intimacy of a personal relationship with Him. Jesus identified Himself as the source of abundant provision and life. “He who feeds on Me will live because of Me” [John 6:57]. Later in His ministry, He elaborated by describing how grape branches depend on the main vine for life and fruitfulness.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me [John 15:4].
Following Jesus is not easy. Self-denial. Cross-carrying. Tribulation. Offense of the Cross. Hatred by unbelievers, media, and the world system. Jesus’ questions examine personal commitment. Though we may not fully understand His ways or His Word, He deserves our consistent, determined faithfulness. He gave His all for us; we can do no less.
May we be deliberate in our response to His questions. “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ” [Romans 1:16]. “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast” [Psalm 57:7]. May we “continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast,” not departing from the hope of the gospel [Colossians 1:23].