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Offended

“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.’” John 6:67-69
 
We have become a hyper-offended culture. Everything seems to offend someone. No matter the issue or topic. Ask the “wrong” question or make the “wrong” statement -- and someone is sure to be offended! I think it even works to a Christian’s detriment. Perhaps someone feels like they can’t ask us about our faith because we might find their questions “offensive.” Nothing could be further from the truth! We’re always prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks us about the hope that we have (1 Peter 3:15).
 
While Jesus embodied love at every turn, He did not shy away from truth even if it offended (Matt. 15:12). Frankly, God’s truth IS offensive to our sinful nature. “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot” (Rom. 8:7).
 
In John 6, when “many of his disciples” hear Jesus’ teaching about His flesh being the bread He gives for the life of the world (John 6:51), they say it a hard teaching. Their hearts were hard; they rejected Him. “After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.”
 
When Jesus asked the 12 if they were also going to leave, it is impetuous, impulsive, wild man Peter who says it best: “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” (John 6:68-69). May that be our bold statement as well.

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Dulled

“The next day, he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29
 
We can get so used to an idea that we accept it and it becomes flat to us. We don’t give it much thought; we become dulled to it, maybe even bored with it.
 
When I read the Old Testament, I wonder – did the people ever get used to the killing and sacrifice of animals (oxen, cattle, sheep, goats, even birds)? When Solomon dedicated the temple, he offered some 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep (1 Kings 8:63). What did that look like? What did that sound like? Did the people understand that the life is in the blood (Lev. 17:11) and that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin (Heb. 9:22)? Did they think about the holiness of God and His high standards - or did they get dulled to it?
 
And what about us? Do we get dulled to the blood of Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world? Peter tells us clearly that we “were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from [our] forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19).
 
Let’s not get dulled to or bored with the costly salvation that Jesus secured for us by His own blood. Jesus “entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption” (Heb. 9:12). Thank you, Jesus.

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