Jesus said some pretty hard things…hard to hear, hard to take and hard to understand. What are 4 of Jesus’ hardest sayings? What ones would you include?
Eat My Flesh, Drink My Blood
Can you imagine hearing Jesus say to all who were listening “Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” (John 6:56)? “When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” (John 6:60) and “After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him” (John 6:60). The first century persecutors of the church accused Christians of being cannibals because of this saying by Jesus which referred to the coming Passover Meal where He established a new and better covenant.
Let the Dead Bury their Dead
When someone once approached Jesus about being His disciple the man said “let me first go and bury my father” (Matt 8:21) but what did Jesus answer him by saying? He said “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead” (Matt 8:22). At first glance, this seems very cold and harsh but this man’s father was not even dead. He wanted to wait until his father died, possibly waiting to receive his father’s inheritance. Jesus may have also been speaking figuratively because those who are not saved are actually spiritually dead…dead in their sins (Eph 2:1; Col 2:13).
You Be Perfect
One of the most difficult things to accept that Jesus said was “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt 5:48). When those who were listening to Jesus heard this, they must have been astounded because they had to realize that no one was perfect. Far from it, so how in the world could they ever be perfect? Paul answers this in 2 Corinthians 5:21 “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Surely, if we have the righteousness of God that means that God sees us as having the same righteousness that Christ has. We will never be perfect but God renders unto us the perfection that is in Christ by His giving Himself for our sake…by His become sin for us.
I Came to Bring a Sword
In Matthew 10:34 Jesus said “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword” but wait, didn’t Jesus say in John 14:27a “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you?” Yes, He did so what did He mean by saying that He didn’t come to bring peace but a sword? Jesus was surely not advocating a violent overthrow of the Roman government was He? No. We must always look at context because context is always king. Jesus explains what He means in the following verses “I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household” (Matt 10:35-36). This proved to be true as many would not accept their family member’s faith in Christ and their family rejected them, even disinheriting them. Today, we members of the Body of Christ are united but the same Christ that we unite in divides…a man from his wife, a wife from her husband, a father from his daughter and a daughter from her mother.
I believe that Jesus spoke hard words to soften hearts because soft words only harden hearts so I say to you “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion” (Heb 3:15). Repent and put your trust in the Lord and you will be saved.
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman[ssba]
Image source: CC BY Waiting for the Word
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