His disciples were struggling with all that Jesus had just said concerning himself. He had been explaining that he is the bread of life, that he is the bread come down from heaven, that unless the Father draws someone they can't come to God, to feed upon Christ as it were.
Then, knowing that his disciples were grumbling about this, he said, "Do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is of no avail. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe," John 6:61-64.
We are sharing the gospel regularly with folks, speaking with them at different levels depending on where they are or what they've already been exposed to. Next week, Lord willing, I will begin hosting a six week study on the life of Christ. I feel a tremendous amount of anxiety. I long to say things well, to communicate the truth and facilitate genuine investigation. I want to see folks that I already care for experience the freedom that comes when we are reconciled to God and begin living life the way God designed.
As I read this portion of John's gospel this morning I was struck afresh to realize that when Jesus led bible studies there were some who did not believe. Why? How could this be? It is the Spirit who gives life.
Being mindful of this truth frees us up to take risks of love for others. It frees us up to be ourselves as we share the gospel with those around us. It frees us up to continue to share with others in the future if we don't see the response that we hope for. Certainly it is true that we must do all that we can to remove every barrier in our communication of the gospel. But it is also true that the Spirit gives life; the flesh is of no avail.
I'm going to pray right now that God's Spirit will lead me to those people in whom he is working to give new life. Will you join me in praying for that as well?