In the 1850’s, tightrope walker Charles Blondin crossed Niagara Falls several times on a rope two-inches thick and 1,000 feet long. On his first attempt, the bets were against him, but as he succeeded, and succeeded again and again, the crowds grew and the crowds believed. Everybody loves a good show, but when Blondin asked the crowd if any would ride on his back while he crossed, there were no takers. Belief only goes so far.
Rumor of Jesus coming to town brought people out of their homes “and a large crowd was following him because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick” (John 6:2). Everybody loves a good show. The crowd was expectant and Jesus did not disappoint. A boy with five loaves of bread and two fish provided all Jesus needed to feed the thousands. From this small basket of loaves and fish, Jesus kept pulling out more and more, passing them to the crowds until all had plenty, with leftovers. Now they were following him, “not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves” (John 6:26).
Then Jesus told them of a better bread, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). Jesus said he is bread from heaven, claiming God as his Father. The crowd disagreed, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know?” (John 6:42). The crowds had first followed because they were curious, then because Jesus was interesting, and finally because he filled their stomachs, but were any prepared to put their life in his hands? Jesus said, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever,” and he invited them to, basically, ride on his back. “After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him” (John 6:66).
No one truly believed in Charles Blondin, not enough to put their life in his hands, but his manager, Harry Colcord, did. Colcord climbed aboard and Blondin gave his manager these instructions, “Look up, Harry, you are no longer Colcord, you are Blondin. If I sway, sway with me. Until I clear this place be a part of me, mind, body, and soul.”
It is easy to believe until it’s not, and then you find out if you truly believe. Jesus asked the twelve who remained, his faithful followers, “Do you want to go away as well?” Peter shook his head for all of them, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” ~Galatians 2:20
My Lord and God, Author of Life. Everything about why I am here, You are the answer. I love You and promise to follow You. I know it will be hard because Your truth is difficult. People want to do things their own way, and You demand that we follow You to find full and everlasting life.
I choose to stand for You, to stand with You, God. Thank You for standing with me because, really, I am not that strong (You knew that already.) But, in the power of Your Spirit by the authority of Your Son, I will stand for Your truth and live a life fully committed to You.