Then the people began to murmur in disagreement because he had said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They said, “Isn’t this Jesus, the son of Joseph? We know his father and mother. How can he say, ‘I came down from heaven’?” (John 6:41-42)
Read: Psalms 68 – 70, 86, 101
Relate: I was in seventh grade when for the first time I went to a retreat exclusively for pastor’s kids. In time this retreat would be one of the highlights of my year. Some of those friendships I would develop there would be some of the deepest and richest I would have throughout my high school years and beyond. However, that first year was rough. It all went south on the first night. I was in a room with Will (now the pastor at Two Rivers Assembly) David (now the District Youth Director in New York) and myself (forever overshadowed by those other two guys awesomeness) when disaster struck. They were both in their bunks and I in mine, the bunk above me was empty. Suddenly I heard something above. I looked up just in time for the plywood that was the top bunk to land dead on my face. I’m pretty sure it gave me a mild concussion and I know for a fact it took out quite a bit of skin from my nose and forehead and gave me a headache that lasted a few days.
It doesn’t matter what else happened that weekend. I was marked. For years, to many of the other pastor’s kids, I was “that kid who had the bed fall on my face”. It doesn’t matter what else I said. It doesn’t matter what else I did. For years afterwards, I would meet up with some of those other kids at summer camp or at convention or perhaps some other event and they would introduce me to their friends with, “This is the one I was telling you about who had the bunk bed fall on his face.” Thanks. That is exactly what I was hoping to become famous for.
React: Somethings are tough to live down. That doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. A good reputation can carry on in life just as well as a bed one, er… I mean a bad one. For Jesus, the reputation He was bumping up against was ordinary. We know your dad. He was a good man, but he was just that… a man. And we know your mom. She’s a nice lady but we know for a fact that you didn’t come down from heaven. How about you stop this nonsense and come on back home. The free meal was nice, but what I could really use is a few new chairs. I’d be more than glad to place an order with you once you take up your real father’s trade.
What is in our past? How do other people know us or remember us? Is it good? Is it bad? Do we allow the views, opinions, and preconceptions others have of us to limit who we are and what we do? Jesus knew who He was. So what others said or thought of Him didn’t really matter. Can we honestly say the same?
God, You are God. You do not change. You are the same yesterday, today, and forever. What the world might think or say or believe about You does not change how great and how awesome You are. What others might say about You does not change one iota of Your holiness and goodness. I want to be more like You. Help me to understand and live in the reality that only what You say can truly influence who I am.