Shock might be too strong a word… but, then, maybe not. Once again, we have the advantage of time and distance. Over the past 2000 years, we have come to a clearer understanding of Jesus’ words when He challenged His followers and Apostles with His Bread of Life discourse, but the question is still present and challenging, especially for those who still find the Truth difficult to accept. It’s worth close examination on our part as we place ourselves in the presence of Jesus, with the crowd, as He asks each of us, individually, eye to eye, “Does this shock you?”
What if we were to see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? What if we were to hear these words without the benefit of time and distance? What if we, like many of them, found His promises too challenging to accept? Good questions!
The word shock is pretty strong but, rather than dilute it, let’s take it at full strength. Maybe we could think of a defibrillator, those paddles used to shock someone’s heart to life again after it goes dormant. Now, let’s add that thought into the context of Paul’s words: sin entered the world, and through sin, death (Rom.5:12), and the word shock becomes more meaningful. If, in sin, we were dead—that is, not alive in the Spirit—does it not make sense that our spiritual heart might need to be shocked to life, beating with the life of the Spirit rather than dead in the world of sin?
There is one more possibility to consider, difficult as it may be. Many times, doctors will talk about a patient’s will to live. What is our will to live in the Spirit, with the Grace of Faith? It should be noted that many in today’s Gospel returned to their former way of life. Don’t go there. Let the shock treatment persist. It is so good to be alive!