In high school, a friend of mine got a very nice hot rod car. Most of the kids in our school were poor, so few of us had a car. Those of us who did have a car had a beater that only ran some of the time and when it did it ran rough.
My friend’s car was a fully customized classic hot rod. It had an amazing paint job, redone leather interior, and when he put his foot in it your head was thrown back in the seat and it felt and sounded like a jet taking off.
Not surprisingly, his popularity suddenly skyrocketed. On warm summer nights, a list of people wanted to cruise in his car. And, anytime there were drag races or parties his was the car of choice to roll up in.
Sadly, he wrecked his car speeding and risk taking. The frame was so bent that there was no way of restoring it. His dad was so upset that our friend was left to taking the bus to school. Suddenly, no one paid attention to him or hung out with him.
Jesus did not have a Camaro, but he could turn water into wine and feed thousands free meals via miracle. He could also heal people who were sick, give sight to the blind, make the lame walk, and raise the dead. So, not surprisingly, He was popular as long as he was giving people what they wanted. But, things changed when he started telling them what they needed.
But, after preaching one of His hardest sermons, we read this in John 6:66-71, “After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray him.”
When it comes to relationships, including our relationship with Jesus, there are three responses.
- Walk away internally and externally. Thousands of people lost interest toward Jesus in their heart and walked away. In life, we all have people who walk away from us; Jesus experienced this in a significant way.
- Walk away internally but not externally. Judas had no interested in Jesus in his heart, but hung around Jesus and the other disciples for a few years. Judas, and those like him, are covert and hard to read because they look like they are with you when in fact they are not.
- Walk with internally and externally. Peter and some of the other disciples of Jesus remained devoted to Him in their heart, and kept walking with Him through the ensuing seasons. Some people are like this, not perfect but persistent, who stick with us and even they walk away for a bit they come back into relationship.
Which of these three categories best describes your relationship with Jesus right now?