Joshua 24:1-2 & 14-25
August 27, 2000
MAY THE WORDS OF MY MOUTH ... AND THE MEDITATIONS OF ALL
OUR HEARTS ... BE ALWAYS ACCEPTABLE TO YOU --- OUR STRENGTH AND
OUR REDEEMER AMEN
Is this one of the weeks where you can really identify with the disciples? ... It is for me. .. "Oh, Jesus. This is hard stuff! Who can possibly listen to it?"
John places this statement around the issue of eating Jesus' flesh and drinking His blood. Those were hard sayings for the disciples. Jews became unclean if they simply touched blood. And then, for many years .. and even in some places today .. Christians were accused of being, or trying to be, cannibals. This is a hard saying.
BUT -- I wonder if the disciples were not responding to more than just this one teaching .. responding to the accumulation of Jesus' teachings. Jesus' teaching about communion is difficult for us ... but so are many of His other teachings. Communion is not difficult for us simply because of the body and blood language, but also because of expected implications .. the impacts .. the effects. We are to "abide in Christ" .. become one with Christ .. join into the body of Christ. All of that is strange language for us. Hard sayings.
Yahweh's teachings were also difficult. Worship only one God. Do not covet. Take a day off. Many others -- hard teachings that were difficult to hear ... which are difficult to hear! To which Joshua tells us, "That's OK. These are difficult teachings. And therefore it is your right, your decision, your choice. You don't have to follow Yahweh. You don't have to obey these teachings. Just", Joshua says, "just make a decision. Either serve God with sincerity and faithfulness, or walk away. But don't pretend. It is time to quit pretending and make a choice. Then, live up to the words of your mouth." (These Biblical quotations by the way are from the Ken Kroohs, loosely translated and paraphras ...
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