Setting the Plot

It was a great miracle. Out of five loaves of bread and two fish, Jesus fed five thousand men (perhaps 20,000 including women and children) and there were even leftovers (John 6:10-13). It seemed to be a great feeding program. It was a wonderful outreach ministry. However, there lies a "sad" ending with this miraculous feeding -- out of the thousands of souls, only twelve remained. No, no, only eleven truly remained with Jesus (John 6:66-70). What caused this "failure" in a potential outstanding outreach program? Following is an imaginary letter from the church of the 21st century addressed to Jesus. (But, I suggest that you read the whole of John 6 before proceeding with the letter.)


Hey, JC!

I know that you are omnipotent and you are omniscient. That's why I cannot understand how you did miss this great opportunity. We are talking about 5,000-membered congregation here. You started very well in feeding them. I thought you would finish it well. How could you let them slip out of your hand?! There might be wrong. There ought to be wrong on how you do ministry! I reviewed the record of this particular event and please consider my thoughts.

First, it was wrong that you contrasted their flesh much. They wanted you to be king (John 6:15) yet you withdrew and ran from them? You could have allowed them to crown you. So what if it is only their selfish desire to do so? Imagine the power and influence that you missed being the king. And one more thing, they were just asking for a little more bread (John 6:26). You could have fed them.. and fed them.. and fed them.. and fed them as much as they want until they feel more comfortable with you before bombarding them with your I AM thingy (John 6:51).

Second, you pointed on eternity too much. Your talk about you being the only way to heaven too much was too intoxicating. You should have at least given them a hint that there were other possible ways. And you should have been more creative in attracting them to heaven using self-esteem, or using financial wealth, or using perfect health, or using success in career, or using psychology, some trending issues. You are omniscient and you should have known a way on how to be Christ-centered without mentioning yourself that much.

Third, you disregarded their reponsiveness. Response is the most important element in evangelism. They were already asking questions (John 6:28). But you missed it again. At this very point, you should have already asked them to close their eyes and pray after you with a short sinner's prayer. You could have asked them to raise their hands or walk down the aisle. You could have asked John or Thomas perhaps to play a soft music in the background. [By the way, why are your disciples all fishermen, and tax-collectors? You need a musician! It is needed in times like this. You better drop the zealot and find a keyboardist.] Response is the key. You should manipulate the feelings to get the desired response.

Fourth, you used sharp words that offended your listeners. You uttered statements like "But there are some of you who do not believe. For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to me unless it has been granted him from the Father (John 6:64-65)." Indirectly, you said that the Father has turned his back on them. That was very harsh. These statements were very sharp. When they didn't believe your words, it would be more kind to respond, "Smile, God loves you," wouldn't it? And you sounded too serious. Couldn't you crack a couple of jokes sometimes to charm their uneasiness a little about GOD's judgment?

Fifth, you presented hard doctrines. It was very obvious that they couldn't understand your first strike of hard doctrine (in John 6:51) so they argued (John 6:52). But instead of loosening up, you released your lengthy second strike of hard doctrine (in John 6:53-59). And again, it was obvious that they couldn't grasp it (John 6:60). But like a hard-headed toddler, you even proceeded to an even harder teaching (John 6:61-63). Three strikes, Jesus. Three strikes! Nobody cares about doctrine. You should refrain from teaching hard doctrines.

And lastly, you downplayed the importance of numbers. All of them left. Thousands of potential church members turned away from you. Only 12 remained. But what did you say after seeing them leaving? You said that the group which stayed with you is still one guy too much. Only twelve remained and you still wanted to discount one more soul (John 6:70). Jesus, I know that you know that the ultimate purpose of math is for us to measure how a church grows. Numbers is the ultimate aim of ministries.

How you do business is very different compared to how we do business here in the 21st century. But at least, we are proud to  have made the narrow gate that you created (Matthew 7:13) to be much more wider. We have improved your obsolete methods. We only have one thing in mind now: how to make the church more fleshly and worldly so many more fleshly and worldly souls can come in and feel comfortable.

Your bestfriend (I'm sorry, "bride" is uncool),
the church from 21st century

PS: Try sharing some "inspirational" photos on Facebook. A lot of these are not found in your Book but at least, viewers feel better about themselves.


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