The Hard Sayings of Jesus

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Jesus offers up some “hard sayings” in the Gospels. Indeed, the Bible is full of things that are either 1) difficult to understand or 2) hard to accept. Jesus taught His disciples that He was “the bread of life” and “whoever eats of this bread will live forever” (John 6:58). Upon hearing this, many of his disciples said,

“This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” (John 6:60).

When Jesus explained that some of them did not believe in Him, and that they were not called,

“many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.” John 6:66

They seemed to think that the “hard saying” was a deal-breaker. If Jesus stayed on this path, they weren’t going to follow. He asked the remaining disciples,

“Do you want to go away as well?”

The disciples’ answer did not indicate that they understood, nor even accepted everything Jesus said. In fact, further Gospel accounts indicate that they neither understood nor accepted all of Jesus’ teachings. But their answer did indicate a trusting faith, a commitment, a willingness to follow in order to gain understanding later (which, they did):

“Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.'” (John 6:68-69)

They would come to understand Jesus and His Gospel. At this time, however, they trusted Jesus, and that was enough for them.

In the next few weeks at Mountain View, we are going to look into some “hard sayings” of Jesus. Some are matters that need clarification, others require a commitment to accept and obey, while others may be teachings that have been hidden behind tradition and custom.

If there are “hard sayings” that trouble you, please feel free to contact me here. I might even include them in my next sermon (don’t worry, though, I won’t mention your name)!

We meet for worship and preaching every Sunday at 11 AM, at 118 Limeridge Road East, Hamilton, Ontario.

 

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God’s Presence

Owens on Omnipresence

The omnipresence of God is grounded on the infiniteness of his essence. If God be infinite, he is omnipresent. Suppose him infinite, and then suppose there is any thing besides himself, and his presence with that thing, wherever it be, doth necessarily follow; for if he be so bounded as to be in his essence distant from any thing, he is not infinite.

John Owen, The Works of John Owen, ed. William H. Goold, vol. 12 (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, n.d.), 96.

Psalm 139:7–10 (ESV):

7 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 9 If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.

Jeremiah 23:23–25 (ESV):

23 “Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? 24 Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord. 25 I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’

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This Sunday at Mountain View, May 3rd.

First of all, thanks to all who helped get the landscaping improved today. It looks great, and we had great weather for it. Two trips to the dump (trailer full + stuff in the van) means that things look pretty cleaned up, and the old kitchen cupboards are gone.

20 years ago, Jerry M. and I installed that kitchen–it was an Ikea floor model that they sold off in auction. We wanted simple white, and while the really fancy kitchens had higher bids, we got the whole thing for $1100. Problem was, it was all metric, and Ikea was getting out of the metric kitchen sizes. So we installed the metric on one side of the kitchen, and when we needed more cabinets, non-metric was installed on the other side. At any rate, it’s all gone now. They weren’t made for the extreme use in a daycare and church setting, and were getting pretty rough.

I saw Aunt Dorothy this evening, and she may get to return to her home tomorrow! She is very happy about that–please pray for her.

Tomorrow I will be preaching Ephesians 4:1-3, a decidedly more “practical” text, but remember, God’s Word is always “practical,” because truth is practical:

1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1–3 (ESV)

 Scriptures tomorrow:

Psalm 22:25-31

Acts 8:26-40

1 John 4:7-21

John 15:1-8

 

 

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