By Ronald G. Davis
Turning points sometimes come in a roar. Turning points sometimes come in a whisper.
In modern history the roar was heard in the deathly din of D-Day. And the course of modern human history was changed.
In biblical history, the whisper was heard by Elijah when he had fled in cowardice from an interloper in the messianic line. God called him with “a still small voice” to return to his ministry in the court of kings. And the course of Israel’s history was redirected toward a Messiah.
John 6 pictures just such a dramatic turning point. The roar is heard. Thousands gather with the excited buzz of those who think they have found what they have long awaited, a Messiah to resolve all their earthly woes. Fascinated by possibility (and later, food), they seemed eager to hear the words of Jesus. Yet, soon, the whisper of one friend to another might be overheard: “This is just too hard. Let’s go home!” And the crowd thinned drastically, for “from this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him” (John 6:66).
Jesus’ teaching about himself and one’s relationship with him had echoed over those Galilean hillsides and across the waters of the sea. And it had set the heads of many to a ringing confusion. “Bread of life? Come down from heaven? How can one find and eat that?” “His body and his blood? What could that possibly mean?” “That just boggles my mind. I am a simple uneducated peasant. I’m going home!”
And we have come to his table. To ponder his body, his blood. And our minds are aswirl with confusion. We do not fully understand. We do not completely comprehend. But this we know: Jesus died for our sins. He is the risen Lord. So we have come to obey his words: “Do this to remember me!”
We can always walk away like some mentally lazy Galilean. Or we can simply say, “Yes, Lord, whatever you say!” Away from the roar of daily life. Here where we hear him whisper, “I love you.” Here where the body and blood of Christ are the clearest to us, we eat. And our personal histories are redirected to the life in Christ, the life spiritual.
Ron Davis loves “standing at the cross” reverently and thankfully each week at the Lord’s table of grace and sensing God’s love.