The Weakness Of Our Flesh
The Power Of Following Jesus
Sunday August 23, 2020
Scripture To Consider:
“Therefore, many of Jesus’ disciples, when they heard this said, ‘This is a hard saying; who can understand it?’ When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, ‘Does this offend you? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him.”
“And He said, ‘Therefore, I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him [or her] by My Father.’ From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you also want to go away?’ But Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ [Messiah], the Son of the living God.’”
“Jesus answered them, ‘Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?’ He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.” John 6.60-71
Something To Consider:
The idea of eating His flesh and drinking His blood that Jesus spoke about in the previous Scripture to consider, was viewed as a hard saying and one that greatly offended many of those who wrongly took it to be literal. But Jesus did not come to do away with or to contradict the Law of Moses, which called for a strict adherence to the abstaining from eating and drinking blood.
Jesus came to fulfill the law and to reveal Himself to mankind through the power of the Spirit of God, and not in the weakness of the flesh. Therefore, later in the garden of Gethsemane, just prior to His being betrayed by Judas and arrested at night, Jesus declared to His drowsy disciples in Matthew 26.41; “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
And at that point, Jesus’ prediction of the betrayal of one of His twelve disciples was fulfilled and ratified by a kiss of betrayal by Judas Iscariot. And knowing the weakness of our flesh, let us be reminded and warned in advance of the words of Jesus from Matthew 24 and Luke 21, concerning the fast-approaching end times. Otherwise, we may find ourselves among the many offended and the many who will betray others when the Antichrist is revealed and places extreme demands upon all to worship him or be deprived of the necessities of life or be killed for our allegiance to our God and His Word!
Something Else To Consider:
In Luke 21.41 Jesus cautioned all end time true believers by declaring; “You will [not maybe but you will] be betrayed [as was Jesus] even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death.” But, according to the apostle Paul and Philippians 4.13 and the inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit; “I [we] can do all things [including enduring to the end of even being betrayed] through Christ Jesus who strengthens me [us].”
Also, according to the continued inspiration of the Holy Spirit and Philippians 4.19; “And my [our] God shall supply all your [my] need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Therefore, when death approaches due to betrayal, God will provide the strength and the ability to endure all things according to His riches in glory in and through Jesus Christ our perfect enduring to the end living and glorious atoning for sin example!
Something More To Consider:
Jesus, in our Scripture to consider, was predicting His own resurrection and ascension into heaven following His death. Both of which would be brought about by the power of God’s Spirit and not through the weakness of the flesh. In order to confirm these things, Jesus declared; “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” His words remain alive and bring us everlasting life here and now!
Therefore, Jesus focused their attention and ours on the words that He spoke. As mentioned, several weeks ago, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” The Word of God became flesh in the person of Jesus the Christ, and His words which are spirit are also life giving. But, from that time many no longer followed Jesus. For some, their expectations of Jesus were no longer being met.
For others, surrender and submission to His authority had never been part of their plan. And the same is still true today in the lives of many. For many, following Jesus no longer agrees with their agenda. But following Jesus should be our first agenda, as was the twelve minus one who followed on because His words were, and remain, the words of eternal life.
Why is it that we follow Jesus? Or, why is it that we do not truly follow Jesus? To follow Jesus according to Jesus, means we are abiding in Him as the true vine. Following Jesus means we have and continue to take up our own cross, a symbol of suffering and surrender. Following Jesus means we are no longer practicing sin, but confessing our sin as needed on a daily basis.
Following Jesus means we are becoming more like Him and more attracted to Him and to His Word. And yet, until the final judgment, we are our own judges of whether we truly are following Jesus or not! In other words, are we producing spiritual fruit worthy of repentance in our lives? Do our lives exemplify in any manner the life of Jesus and His early first century true followers? If not, then we may need to re-examine our own agenda while we still can!
A Few Final Words:
We must keep in mind that if we have decided to follow Jesus, the words of that old hymn that bears the title of “I Have Decided To Follow Jesus”, should ring true in our hearts and minds. “The world behind me, the cross before me. Though none go with me, still I will follow.” Will we now decide to follow Jesus! The chorus rings true by proclaiming; “No turning back, no turning back!”
For me and my household, we have decided to follow Jesus. And in doing so, we are reminded that it is not by man’s might, nor by man’s power, but by God’s Holy Spirit, who is willing even while our flesh is weak. Therefore, the words of Jesus enable the Spirit of God to give life to all who receive them, submit to them, and obey them. For His words are life and lead to eternal life!
Our Father in heaven, teach us to set aside our own agendas and to follow your Son Jesus and His Word in the power of Your Holy Spirit and not our flesh. In Him Always, Amen!