Spirit-words produce life

Jesus sensed that his disciples were having a hard time with this and said, “Does this rattle you completely? What would happen if you saw the Son of Man ascending to where he came from? The Spirit can make life. Sheer muscle and willpower don’t make anything happen. Every word I’ve spoken to you is a Spirit-word, and so it is life-making. But some of you are resisting, refusing to have any part in this.” (Jesus knew from the start that some weren’t going to risk themselves with him. He knew also who would betray him.) He went on to say, “This is why I told you earlier that no one is capable of coming to me on his own. You get to me only as a gift from the Father.” (John 6:61-65)

Jesus knows when we are having a hard time taking what he says as truth, so we should not be surprised when he challenges us to come to a place of complete belief. Some of his teachings were kind of hard for those early disciples to swallow, so they resisted placing their trust in him. Whenever we resist his teachings, we can be assured that we are being asked to 'risk' something that we may not want to risk. We may not be fully vested in what he teaches, but if we allow the Word of God to sink in little by little, we find that resistance will soon depart.

Every word Jesus speaks into our lives is a "Spirit-word" - meaning it can and will produce life wherever it takes hold. If you have ever struggled with a habit that was just too powerful to break on your own, then laid it at his feet one day, admitting you have been trying by sheer willpower to 'make it go away', then you likely also encountered some of these "Spirit-words" in those moments. Deliverance comes when life is spoken into the dead places of our heart and when those life words come in, the broken places seem to come together once again.

Risk yourself and you might just realize the 'risk' wasn't all that hard. Resist repeatedly and you will likely come to realize the burden you were carrying just got ten times harder. The message of life Jesus was bringing was hard for some to lay hold of, either because they could only see him as a carpenter's son from the town of Nazareth or he just didn't 'meet their expectations' of what the Messiah should look or act like. If you know anything about the times in which he walked this earth, you would know they were looking for a 'deliverer' from their Roman overlords. They expected the Messiah to wield a sword, not heal the sick and talk about being the Son of God.

Jesus won't always meet our 'expectations', nor will he always live up to our imaginations, but he will always speak 'Spirit-words' into our lives that bring life where they are embraced. Resisting those words is like pouring vinegar on an open wound. We hear because we listen. We receive because we stop resisting. We change because we did both! Just sayin!

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