The people started grumbling about him, because he said, ‘I am the bread that came down from heaven’. So they said, ‘This man is Jesus son of Joseph, isn’t he? We know his father and mother. How, then, does he now say he came down from heaven?’ Jesus answered, ‘Stop grumbling among yourselves. People cannot come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me and I will raise them to life on the last day.‘ (verses 41-44)
Read John 6:41-59
Jesus’ claims flew in the face of reason. What rational person could believe that Mary and Joseph’s little boy had grown up to be God incarnate? The God these people knew (or thought they knew) just didn’t operate like that.
God continues to work in frustratingly inexplicable and sometimes worrying ways. How, for instance, are we supposed to believe in a loving God when thousands of children are washed to their deaths in a tidal wave? What are we to believe when science and Scripture collide? Are we supposed to push our intellect aside in order to believe in God?
Jesus said we must be drawn to God in order to believe. No-one can believe in God from a safe intellectual distance. Faith is not a product of satisfactorily resolved argument. God is not a theory to be explained but a person to be known. To believe, then, we need to see God in our loving saviour, Jesus Christ. For to know him is to trust him-even if we never can completely understand him!
Dear God, by your Spirit lead me through my valleys of doubt and confusion to know and trust you as my loving Father. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
by Linda Macqueen, in ‘New Strength for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 1998)
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