John 6 opens with the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 out in a deserted area by the Sea of Galilee. When the people saw his miracles, they became so consumed with him that they were ready to follow him anywhere. And they did. Even when Jesus slipped away, walking out to his disciples out on the lake, they found him on the other side. They were attracted to, and wanted to be around Jesus.
What brings you to Jesus today? Is it tradition? It’s how you were raised? Is it because you want to be blessed? What’s in it for you? Do you need to be healed. Is there problems to be solved? Is there a marriage on the rocks? Is it about physical needs like food and shelter? I’m sure we all could come up with some examples from our own lives.
John 6:66 says that after Jesus began to tell folks about the true cost, or the difficulties associated with living a life with him, that some began to “turn back and no longer follow.” Although they were attracted to what he was doing, they weren’t so excited about the work involved in following him. Jesus didn’t, nor does he, want us to follow him because of all the needs, or the blessings. He wants to be followed because of who he is. He wants us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow him daily.
May we each be attracted to the person of Jesus. And may the good lord help each of us to discover how we can best pick up our cross for him.