‘Taking Jesus in’ Aug 15
‘I am the living bread’ – Taking Jesus in John 6:51-58
I don’t think there can be anyone in the nation at the moment who doesn’t understand that what we eat matters.
What we put into our bodies affects its performance. Our Team GB Olympic athletes who have done so well, live on a carefully controlled diet of fine healthy ingredients in order to reap maximum performance from their bodies. What is true for the body is equally true for the soul. What we ‘feed’ ourselves with matters. What we take in and consume with our eyes and our ears has a consequence in our thinking and in our behaviour. It was Nelson Mandela who famously said that ‘No one is born hating another’ … it has to be taught … what we put in to our lives affects the way that they are lived.
‘I am the living Bread’ says Jesus. Eat this bread and you will live … without this bread there is no life in you’. Jesus is making bold, direct and clear statements that what truly matters is that we ‘take Him in’.
What does that mean? What does that look like? Essentially it’s all about trust. Trusting that what Jesus says is true, worthwhile listening to and responding to. That He will change our lives – healing for the past, hope for the future and blessing for the present.
We trust the food we eat to do us good, to sustain us and nourish us. In the play ‘Ghost Sonata’ by August Strindberg, the household cook boils all the nourishment out of the food before she serves it to her masters. They eat it and it looks like they are eating well but they are slowly withering away and dying and nobody, other than the cook, knows why.
So many people live their lives in this way. They think that they are ‘eating’ well, that their lives are good but they are consuming ‘empty’ food. They are withering and dying.
Into these situations the words of Jesus speak loud and clear. Unless you trust me and ‘take me in’ to your lives then ‘you have no life in you’. Scripture and the words of Jesus himself instruct us that it is only faith in him that will save us from this mess. He is the only one who can satisfy the searching, the hunger and the longing of the human heart. He is the essential sustenance that we need. Once someone takes a decision to trust in Jesus their lives are transformed but this needs living out. It’s the difference between being attached to Jesus and committed to Jesus. There is a very real danger that we want to have just enough of Jesus to keep us out of Hell but not enough of Jesus to make a difference to the world in which we are living.
Jesus calls us to be ‘Salt & Light’ Math 5:13-14 to keep ‘feeding’ on Him that we might make a difference. We can do that through prayer, joining others for worship, reading and studying his word in the Bible and enjoying spending time in his presence. We can also help others by challenging gossip, misinformation and lies. When there is something on the TV or in the press that goes against what Jesus would desire for our lives then we should challenge it. Write to the broadcasters, write to the editors – if we don’t challenge a situation that we know in our heart is wrong and needs addressing who will?
Let’s take Jesus at his word and enrich our lives with good things. Let’s take Him in.
August 15 2021