It has become a common joke in bible studies that to answer any question with “Jesus” is the “Sunday School Answer”. It is kind of weird to see the simplicity of Jesus being the answer as so simple. It should for sure, but certainly Scripture paints the picture of the people not getting the Sunday School Answer so easily. We ourselves tend to miss the mark as well.
This struck me today as I was reading John 6. Jesus challenges the people’s motives for following Him. Jesus reveals that they were not necessarily impressed with His miracles but rather that He gave them food. To correct this, Jesus tells them not to labor for food that perishes but seek the food that does not perish, which He defines as The One Whom God sent. The people still don’t understand and ask what can they do to obtain this “food.” So, Jesus gives them simply to believe in Him, the One Whom God sent. The people don’t like this and don’t believe this so they challenge Jesus’ authority demanding Him to do something better than Moses giving the Israelites bread from heaven. Jesus corrects them again and says that Moses didn’t give the bread but that God gives the bread. The people ask for the bread and Jesus gives them the Sunday School Answer: I am the Bread of Life!
I have a dear friend of mine who is a self-proclaimed agnostic. I greatly enjoy our talks about God and Christianity and last night we were talking and he said something fascinating to me. He said that he couldn’t understand why Christians confuse the messenger with the message. What he meant was that we emphasize belief in Jesus more than his message. That is one thing I hope to be guilty of! The Message that Jesus proclaims is Himself. The Messenger is the Message! Jesus is the Gospel!
To be honest what my friend said was convicting to me. I can make Christianity about me or about how to fix my anxiety or about how to lead a moral life, but Christianity is about the Person of Jesus Christ. If I miss this I miss everything.
Maybe we should focus more on the Sunday School Answer. It is not as easy as people might think. In this same passage of John 6 it says, “After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.” Jesus then asks the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Let us answer as Peter did: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know that you are the Holy One of God.”