Thursday, March 24, 2011

Will Ye Also Go Away?

In the New Testament, there is an account very well known throughout Christendom. While preaching at the Sea of Galilee, Christ fed 5,000+ people with just five loaves of bread and two fish. Afterwards, they gather up the leftovers, and have 12 baskets still full. This was just one of many miracles Christ worked, and it surprised even his followers. When Christ asked them how they could feed them, none of them even considered that He had ways of doing it beyond the ordinary. Following this event, the next day, the people sought Him out in Capernaum. They came to Him, wondering how He got there, as they had seen His disciples leave the previous day without Him on a boat, and no other boats went. (The solution, if you know or read, is that He had walked on water to their boat). Jesus didn't even answer them. He simply rebuked them for seeking Him out, not because of His miracles or because they believed on Him or because they wanted to keep His sayings, but rather because He had fed them yesterday, and that's what they wanted again. They just wanted a free lunch. He did it the day before, surely He could do it again! They weren't too fond of this, and then called Him out on His claim to be the Messiah. They wanted a sign from Him, because, as they said, "What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat." It was then that Jesus made His claim as the bread of life. " I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." Christ was willing to give them the bread of life, just as He offered the woman of Samaria everlasting water. This agitated some people, that He, the son of Joseph and Mary, people they knew, would claim to be someone so divine. After reaffirming His claim of being the Son of God, one sent of God to be the living bread, many of His own disciples were offended. They didn't know how to take what He was saying, and left Him. He then turned and asked his Apostles if they too would leave. Peter, in his zeal, answered "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life."
Let us be like the Apostles, and like Peter. We can't be offended, either by the words of the Lord or the words of His servants. Everyone at some point will say something that won't sit well with others. It's important that when we are those that don't take it well, that we not let that effect the eternal. It should be no reason to have negative feelings towards the church as a whole. A bishop's comment does not reflect the entirety of the Church. No one is perfect, and we all make dumb comments. Remember: the blessings that come from following the commandments are important. They're eternal. And they're not worth throwing away over some little comment.  

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