I Want to Believe

Opening Prayer

Select one or two aspects of Jesus’ identity and character; reflect on them and prepare to meet him today.

Read John 6:60–71

60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”

61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”

66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.

68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

70 Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” 71 (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.)

Reflect

Think of a situation that shook your faith in God. How did you respond?

We’d expect the Jewish crowd to dismiss Jesus’ claims as the blasphemous delusions of a local boy who had gotten too big for his sandals (41,42,52), but it’s hard to see people who have made some commitment walk away (66). If we’ve been involved with a church for a while we’ll know people who at one time seemed to be running the race of faith with perseverance but sadly turned away. Perhaps we’ve been such a person, and ultimately returned, discovering that even “if we are faithless, [Jesus] remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself” (2 Tim. 2:13).

At some point, after being attracted to Jesus by God’s grace (65), many of us hit a fault-line in our journey of faith that we struggle to pass beyond. It might be a “hard teaching” (60–62) that offends our beliefs, lifestyle or identity, or we might encounter sickness or loss that cause us to question God’s care. In this, we must look to God for perseverance and wisdom (Jas. 1:2–8) and “not move from the hope held out in the gospel” (Col. 1:23), by which we first believed and knew that Jesus is “the Holy One of God” (69).

Apply

Do you need to renew your commitment to Christ? Take a look at your faith life and ask God if anything needs to change.

Closing prayer

Pray for those struggling with belief to endure in their faith, so that they can finish the race for God’s kingdom (2 Tim. 4:7).

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Terry Schneider