08252021 – John 6.56-69
People are offended by so many different things today…we really are!
We take exception with almost everything and anything.
It seems that people are getting offended more easily.
Perhaps that’s a good thing.
And then again, maybe not, you be the ones to decide, you be the one to judge.
For example, there’s even less tolerance for “a statement or an action” today that could even vaguely be considered racist, sexist, homophobic, elitist, or ageist.
Is that a good thing or not?
Some would say “zero tolerance,” even for “a mild joke” in that area, is the best approach to eradicating it.
But OH, THE JOKES WE USED TO TELL- even in “mixed company!”
People are just being offended by all sorts of things…
As a result, people are actually called “snowflakes” for fear that they might melt…or be hurt…or might cry…or might run away.
“Snowflake” is actually a 2010 term and is derogatory “slang” for a person, implying that he or she has an inflated sense of “uniqueness,” “special-ness,” or an “unwarranted sense of entitlement,” or are “overly emotional,” “easily offended,” and unable “to deal” or “cope” with any or all opposing opinions or ideas.
Some universities actually have “crying rooms,” while others have “safe rooms” that a person can flee to – where they are safe from a whole barrage of concerns, including bullying…
Common usages include words or expressions like “you are some kind of a special snowflake aren’t you?” “Hey, Generation Snowflake,” and “just plain old” – “snowflake,” as a politicized insult all-of-these-have-become quite commonplace today.
It also suggests that ALL “some people do” is just whine, complain, and are completely passive…24/7.
The targeted group is usually young people 16-25…but may certainly include older persons, as well.
“Liberals and sometimes moderates” are also referred to as being “snowflakes” where once – they were referred to as being “bleeding hearts.”
For the record there is a lot of psychological harm in “calling young people” or anyone – snowflakes.
Labeling, categorizing, stereotyping, name-calling, poking fun of any specific group is never a good idea.
It’s something that we have all been through before. I guess history just keeps on repeating itself!
So, the reason I bring this up – OBVIOUSLY – is because people were so OFFENDED by the rather graphic language that was used by Jesus.
It was offensive, scandalous, shocking, shameful, dishonorable, harsh, vile and a reproach to the ears.
All this crazy talk about eating my flesh and drinking my blood, was just plain repulsive.
You do not talk like that. It was gross.
Even if people knew what he meant, or what he was saying or what he was alluding to, he could have chosen his words more carefully.
In an honor and shame society, Jesus was talking shamefully and in mixed company.
People were conjuring up mental images to go along with his words…and they did not like it…nope, they did not like it one bit.
So, some were leaving. They were possibly even leaving in droves. They were turning back. They were not going to follow him any longer.
And get this – this Jesus was considered a rabbi, a teacher…
He should have known better. Just WHO did he think he WAS?
We get it. We understand his words.
We have the luxury of 2,000 years between us and his original words.
We are not hearing them for the first time.
Most of us, have grown up with John’s gospel. It is not offensive. It is loved, honored, and respected. It is held in high esteem. It is GOSPEL! Good News!
We are also liturgical/sacramental people. Our image is that of bread and wine. Host, wafer, and chalice. The food that endures. The food that leads to eternal life.
No, we do not take offense at his words today. We have grown quite comfortable with them. Maybe even, comforted by them. For us, they are not shocking, disgraceful, or outrageous. Jesus was just telling it like it was. Happy are they who are called to his supper!
So, what I am suggesting to you is, maybe, just maybe, we need to give our first century counterparts a break. They did not have the luxury that we enjoy today. Sometimes, certain words are still found to be offensive even by us! Amen.