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Daily Devotional
August 29
 
Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood. And whatsoever man there be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, which hunteth and catcheth any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust. For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof.
Leviticus 17:12–14
 
Because the blood is sacred, orthodox Jews, as they do to this day, were exceedingly careful not to eat any meat not thoroughly drained of every drop of blood. And then an itinerant Rabbi from Galilee came along one day and had the audacity to proclaim, “Except you drink My blood, you have no life in you” (see John 6:53). No wonder it was at that point that many walked away to follow Him no more (John 6:66).

I know what Jesus was saying. So do you. He wasn’t talking about cannibalism, about drinking His blood literally in violation of Leviticus 17. He was talking about intimacy, how we are to devour the Word, how we are to open our hearts, how we are to embrace the work He did when He shed His blood for our sin. Yet, when His followers turned away, Jesus didn’t say, “Wait a minute. Let Me explain what I meant. It’s not what you think.” Why didn’t He do that? Why didn’t He clarify the issue? I believe it was for three basic reasons . . .

He knew what the Holy Spirit would do. That is, He knew that which He shared could only be made real when the Holy Spirit made it alive. And because it is the work of the Spirit to bring all things to remembrance (John 14:26), Jesus knew the Spirit would bring this occasion to their minds and make application in due season.

Second, Jesus knew what the Father alone could do. Only the Father can cause a person to come to Jesus (John 6:44). The Spirit gives revelation, but it is the Father who determines who will come to His Son.

Third, Jesus knew what the true disciples should do. When asked if he was about to leave with the rest, Peter answered, “Where else would we go? You alone have the words of eternal life” (see John 6:67–68). Jesus didn’t hurry to explain His words to those who left because He knew that they must learn to do what you and I must do: walk by faith. Why? Because only faith is strong enough to weather the storms ahead.

When we don’t understand what’s going on, when we’re troubled by a teaching we’ve heard or a passage we’ve read, when we’re going through a tragedy or a heartbreak, if we’re not careful, we will be like those in John 6:66, failing to understand that the only way our faith becomes strong is when, like Peter, we believe in spite of what we don’t initially understand.

Jesus knew what the Holy Spirit would do. He knew what the Father alone could do. He knew what His true disciples should do. And knowing these things, Jesus ministered in a way that was wonderfully relaxed and incredibly peaceful.
 
This Daily Devotional is an excerpt from the book "A Pillar By Day" by Pastor Jon. "A Pillar By Day" is a collection of 365 short devotions from the Old Testament books of Genesis through Deuteronomy.  If you would like your own copy of "A Pillar By Day" you may click here to go to the SearchLight Store