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Tag: say

Hard Sayings of Jesus

Don’t let anything — however shocking — keep you from Jesus

Written by Dan Lee on 12/06/2018
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Confusion, Identity, Jesus, Discipleship, Lord
And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.

Matthew 7:28–29
God’s Word, the Bible, is full of promises and comforting words. But in both the Old and New Testaments we find words that challenge rather than comfort us, or even cause us to be troubled or confused. 

Some of Jesus’ words are hard because His goal was not our happiness in this life, but our sanctification. That is, that we live holy lives that bring glory to Him. 

Let’s allow the difficulty of some of God’s words cause us to praise Him in faith, knowing that His wisdom and knowledge are infinite and perfect. And let us rejoice, knowing that though we see Him only dimly now through a clouded glass, we will soon see Him face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12). 

Here are a few of Jesus’ hard sayings, with a short explanation of each. I trust they will help you know and follow Him better.

No. 1: Eat His flesh and drink His blood
“So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.  Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:53-54)

This is one of Jesus’ most famous hard sayings. Many of his followers left him after hearing it, and the disciples even said, “This is a hard saying” (John 6:60). 

We also know that some critics, taking the words literally, accused Christians of being cannibals. So what did Jesus mean when he said these words?

Jesus was not instructing people to literally eat his flesh and drink his blood, but that his body and blood, broken and shed for us on the cross, were going to be life-giving and nourishing for all who believed in him. Later, during the Last Supper, He explained further:

“Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said,  ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’  And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’” (Matthew 26:26-28)

So in saying that His followers were to “eat his flesh” and “drink His blood,” Jesus was telling us that we must take Him — His very life — into ourselves to receive His forgiveness. And to this day, we celebrate Holy Communion as a remembrance of His sacrifice.

No. 2: Hate your family and yourself
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26)

Is Jesus, the God of Love, really telling us to hate? No! Jesus here is using hyperbole, or exaggeration, to make His point. We know that He never endorsed breaking any of the Ten Commandments, including “Honor your father and mother.” 

Jesus is saying that, in comparison to the love and devotion He deserves, any other love, including for ourselves, should look like hatred. He calls us to learn to love Him so deeply and to obey Him so completely, that any human allegiance, even the desire to preserve one’s life, looks like hate in comparison. 

Jesus told us in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one this, than that someone lay down his life for his friends.” And of course, He demonstrated this when He went to the cross, laying down His own life for the forgiveness of mankind.

No. 3: Tear out your eye
“If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.” (Matthew 5:29)

Here’s another use of hyperbole. Jesus is telling us here that if anything keeps us from following him, it requires drastic action. Our very eternal destiny may be at stake. 

In practical terms, it means that I may need to end that dating relationship that keeps drawing me into sin. Or, I may need to quit my job if my boss demands that I cheat. To avoid sin, God might ask me to enroll in a different school or even move to another city. That’s how important that is to Him. We should be desperate to live holy lives, in the power of His Holy Spirit. 

Were Jesus' teachings hard, radical, even shocking? Yes! They still have great power to give us reason to worry about indifference toward Him. As Missionary Hudson Taylor reportedly said: "Christ is either Lord of all, or is not Lord at all." As you encounter other difficult sayings in God’s Word, always trust that He, and His words, are faithful and true. And as you dig a little deeper and ask for His wisdom, He will teach and guide you, enabling you to live a life that glorifies Him. 

Pray this week:
Lord Jesus, as your disciples said, who else would I turn to? You have the words of eternal life. However challenging your call is to me, I will love and follow you, because you are my only hope.

For you, what is the hardest thing about following Jesus? Write for prayer and help.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

What Is Our Purpose In Life?

Why did God create us?

Written by Gary Fleetwood on 06/02/2018

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: CreationLifeLovePurposeGod


who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works, but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.

2 Timothy 1:9

Have you ever wondered, “Why am I even here? What is my purpose in life?” One of the most important discoveries that a person can make is when they realize they were made for God. In fact, the Scriptures tell us that man was the very pinnacle of God’s creation. Obviously, God did not need to create man. It was not like God was lonely and needed someone with whom He could talk and share His feelings about things. God didn’t need to create someone so they could give Him some advice or some help later on — not at all.

So, if God did not really need man, then why did He create him?

The reason that God created man was so that man could bring glory to God. That is important because it guarantees that our life has incredible meaning and purpose. God created us for His purpose, and when our life is aligned with His purpose, our life becomes the most fulfilling. So, if someone asks, “What is my purpose in life?” the answer is, “To bring glory to God.”  

Just think for a moment how incredible it is to know and understand that your life is important to God, the One who created all things from nothing, and valuable to the God who has existed forever. So often the world seems so big and we seem so small. The world has so many people in it, which can make us feel so insignificant, unimportant and small. 

However, that is not the case with God.  God knows us deeply and personally.  He made us, and everyone that He made is important and valuable to Him.  No one is an accident, and we all have been made in the image of God and given the capacity to know God. The tragic part is when we do not realize how valuable our life is to God. But our true purpose in life comes from God and is for God.

At this point you may be thinking, “Is it wrong for God to seek glory for Himself?” It is not wrong if He deserves that glory — which He does. Just suppose that you worked really hard for something in your life. You labored, you worked day and night, you sacrificed over a long period of time, and eventually you received that for which you had worked so hard. Would it be wrong to honor you at that point? Certainly not! Why? Because you deserved to be honored for your hard work and sacrifice. Well, just think of God in the same way. God created a perfect world, deeply loved whom He created, and eventually made the greatest sacrifice possible when He gave His only Son to die for our sins so we could spend eternity with Him. If there was ever anyone who deserved honor and glory, it is God the Father and His amazing Son.

So, if someone truly believes in God and in Christ, what does that really mean for their life?

Jesus made this remarkable statement in John 10:10 when He said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

That is exactly what God has purposed for our life — that we may have His supernatural power working in our life in a big way. Then, to make it even better, when we enter into His presence we are going to experience the most amazing life possible. The Bible says that in His presence there is “fullness of joy.” 

When we look at God’s creation and see all of the different creatures He made, it should be obvious that we are the only part of His creation that has the ability to know Him, to have meaningful fellowship with Him and to spend eternity with Him. We are the most important of God’s creation. We are most able to live a life that brings glory and honor to God. This has to be the greatest purpose that anyone could ever experience in their life — to be rightly related to the God of all eternity through faith in His Son Jesus Christ and to always be bringing glory and honor to Him.


Pray this week:

Father, will you please give me a deeper understanding of why you created me for your honor and how my life can achieve the very purpose for why you actually created me?


What does the fact that Jesus Christ became a man actually say about our importance to God the Father?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member