Does Jesus Make Life Easy?
It seems a common sentiment among Christians, to suppose life would be easier if Jesus lived among us. I confess. It would be pretty sweet to watch Him interact with people, healing the sick, raising the dead, doing the stuff we think typical of our Lord. Let’s be honest though. Sometimes, Jesus could make things downright weird.
Consider John 6:53-58 as an example. Jesus had just come off performing some amazing miracles. The day before, He multiplied a small boy’s lunch to feed thousands. Later that night, he walked on water, through a storm, to reach His disciples on a lake. I can’t imagine what his disciples might have felt when they saw Him coming. I can, however, gather some sense of how I might have felt If I was standing there the following day when he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you. But anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise that person at the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. I live because of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, anyone who feeds on me will live because of me. I am the true bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will not die as your ancestors did (even though they ate the manna) but will live forever.”
Excuse me, Jesus. Could we have a word for a second? Yeah, I’m not sure this is the direction I’d go here. How about we do some more miracles or something? I’m sure there’s someone here who could use some healing. Seriously though, I think you might lose some people with all this “eat my flesh” stuff. What does that even mean anyway?
If you think life with Jesus is always easy, ask the “rich young ruler”, For him, walking with Jesus would destroy life as he knew it. He was asked to give everything, a price he was unwilling to pay. The challenge here suggests our life was meant to be lived as complete sacrifice to God’s purpose. So… is it fair to insinuate that Jesus makes life difficult, or is it more accurate to say that we may not understand life as He intended us to live it? That life may not be easy, but it brings the greatest reward.