Living When Life Makes No Sense
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68 ESV)
Where do we go when life doesn’t make sense? Who do we turn to when we have more questions than answers? Do you ever feel alone?
A close observation of the life-rhythm of Jesus reveals a regular pattern that includes rest. We frequently see Jesus, after performing miracles or teaching curious observers, depart to a desolate, lonely place to rest.
It’s easy to assume that Jesus – God in the flesh – was somehow immune to struggles, discouragement, fear, rejection, or difficult questions. However, though he is fully God, he is also thoroughly familiar with human struggles – and plaguing questions.
The author of Hebrews, writing of Jesus, reminds us:
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16)
Possibly, Jesus recognized that when life hands you more questions than answers, there is value in retreating to regain perspective.
In offering spiritual care to ministry leaders, I hear a barrage of questions which seem to defy answers:
"What can we do stop the decline of the church?”
“How is it possible to be relevant to our society, without being stripped of our faith?”
Questions like these are not new to followers of Christ.
Peter’s question to Jesus comes on the heels of some spectacular miracles: The feeding of the five thousand and Jesus walking on water to his disciples in a storm! However, for many people these miracles were not enough. The teaching of Jesus was hard then (and now) for many to follow. Despite witnessing the miraculous, many chose to walk away (John 6:66).
So Jesus poses this question to his disciples — and us: “Do you want to go away as well?” (John 6:67) It’s a question, then and now, which requires deep thought and reflection, one that cannot be deliberately pondered when the demands, pressures, and roar of this world are around us.
This question deserves perspective and to be discovered in solitude, away from the distractions of our world.
Peter concluded that government, religious, or social leaders could not offer words of eternal life. Only Jesus can provide sustaining hope!
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