your biggest critic
In John 6, Jesus describes himself as the bread of life who will satisfy hunger and thirst and give eternal life. Doesn't that sound good? So why did so many people walk away and stop following Jesus (v66)? Why do so many people still walk away? Why do so many people sit in churches lifeless and unchanged? It's because Jesus makes it clear that there is nothing that we can do to gain this in our own strength. All we can do is receive it. There is nothing worthy in us, in fact we are so unworthy that it was necessary for Jesus to die in our place. That sounds like an insult, a criticism. That's why the people say to Jesus that this is a hard saying (v60). It's offensive. To say you have nothing worthy in yourself to make you acceptable to God is a genuine, true criticism and we don’t want to admit it's true, because it seems like we’d be losing something if we did. We would lose something - pride. Don Carson comments that the people in this chapter, like us. “were unprepared to relinquish their own sovereign authority”. We are unprepared to admit that we are as bad as we actually are and instead come to God just asking for a bit of help. We don't need help, we need rescuing. Christianity is not a crutch for the weak - it’s a life support machine. Accepting that criticism is the greatest thing we could ever do, because it's only then that we fully understand the depths of his love for us. The cross is our biggest critic, but it sets us free and gives us peace because we see God’s love, grace and mercy towards us.