The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
According to John chapter 6 Jesus was not one to avoid a conflict. He would say things which made his listeners uncomfortable. He would offend them. Not only did many people depart from following him, but John 7:1 says quite clearly that the Jews were seeking to kill Jesus. Judea had become a dangerous place. He would be killed.
Why is this a problem to Jesus? After all, John portrays him going deliberately to his death a little while later. Yet Jesus still had work to do. He was still preparing his disciples. It was not yet the time for his death. He was unwilling to be taken at this time. He retreated to Galilee rather than remaining in Judea. It was time to step away from the immediate danger, at least for a time.
Is the message of Jesus radical enough that people would embrace or reject the Gospel regardless of the consequences? Are people offended by the message that Jesus has come to take their attempts at self-justification and self-deliverance away from them and do what they couldn’t? Is Jesus’ claim to be the Lord who is the only redeemer controversial? May the Lord give us grace to make Jesus’ actual claims clear enough to stir up our world.
If this brief meditation was helpful to you, I hope you will check out the other materials on our website at www.WittenbergCoMo.com and consider supporting us.