“On hearing it, many of his disciples said, ‘This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” ~ John 6:60

“There’s really no point to any education after the sixth grade. It’s stupid. And a waste of time.”

My eighth-grade son stared me down, dead serious about his conclusion. As he explained, math, science, English … everything he needed to make it in life had been covered by sixth grade. Everything else was overkill. As I’m sure you could guess, the rest of our dinner conversation centered on arguing the value of ongoing learning, even AFTER the sixth grade. He didn’t buy it, and I’m certain he would’ve quit school if given the chance.

It reminds me of the reading in John 6 this past week. Not all of the Bible’s content is easy to take. There’s some eyebrow raising stuff in there, not to mention the sections I can’t figure out no matter how many times I read it. The disciples were having a hard time taking it all in. Aware of their angst, Jesus called them on it: “‘Does this offend you?'” (vs. 61). And John goes on to say that “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.” (vs. 66). Their choice, I suppose. But I’m sad for those who gave up a deeper learning without a fight.

Let me say it this way. I’ve read different Shakespeare selections many, many times. And still there are chunks that I have yet to unravel. The language is difficult and at times I can’t quite grasp the deeper meaning in the scene. But I’m not offended by it, nor am I likely to abandon the brilliance of his pen. Same with high school economics. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing at the first of the year, and it seemed completely meaningless to me. But now, 20 years later, and I understand why the content, as difficult as it was, served a purpose in my growth and maturity.

Several of Jesus’ followers abandoned ship because the content of his lessons was stretching them more than they wanted to be stretched. Jesus responded by turning his closest twelve students and put them on the spot. In some ways, I feel like he was saying the same to you and me this week:

“‘You do not want to leave too, do you?'” (vs. 67)

Wow. What a question. Makes me remember the times I nearly became a Bible drop-out because of the difficult parts. How about you?

  • Day 295 (Monday): Matthew 18
  • Day 296: John 7-8
  • Day 297: John 9:1-10:21
  • Day 298: John 10, Luke 10-11
  • Day 299: Luke 12-13
  • Day 300: Luke 14-15
  • Day 301: Luke 16:1-17:10