Are you familiar with the term groupthink? It’s when a person foregoes personal responsibility and critical thinking to join the consensus of the group. Jesus encounters this in its fullest form as he offers himself as the Bread of Life, the very spiritual nourishment his listeners were starving for. But they do not stop to pause and ponder the remarkable relationship they are invited into. One person reminds the group that Jesus is merely “the son of Joseph,” making it easy to simply slip into one collective idea and, as a result, miss the miracle standing before them.

“I am life. I am a gift from heaven. I am provision, a sustainer of life. I am nutrients and necessary and fulfilling.” Even when Jesus explicitly said it, it was still unbelievable to those who heard it. However, I wonder how many got it. How many grew excited, hearts racing, arms covered with goose bumps? How many felt this excitement but left anyway because the group questioned, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

Scripture calls us to be in community; it is a core blessing of the church, filling our lives with meaningful relationships. However, John’s story reminds us that groups aren’t always filled with wisdom. Because of that, Jesus emphasizes the personal nature of a relationship with him when he says that anyone may live forever as they partake of his body. Intimate moments with him are critical aspects of our spiritual journey. Enjoy the time building your own personal discernment. Soak it up. Learn. Then engage with the group.

Take some time today to reflect on what the Spirit is revealing to you. Are there areas of Groupthink that are slowly creeping in? Gossip you’ve joined with? Group grumpiness that changed your demeanor? Bigoted behavior you’ve engaged in? Hurtful jokes you’ve laughed at?

Jesus, thank you for community and personal moments with you. They are a gift from heaven, allowing us to walk in that great intimacy with you. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read John 6:35, 41-51

1 Comment
Log In to leave a comment
Lectionary Week
August 2–8, 2021
Scripture Overview

David’s family was a mess. Among his children there was rape, murder, and a plot to overthrow him by his son Absalom. Violence followed, and Second Samuel tells the story of Absalom’s death. Even though Absalom had betrayed him, David still loved his son with a parent’s never-ending love—the kind of love that God demonstrates perfectly for us, as David celebrates in Psalm 34. The author of Ephesians warns against acting out of anger, wrath, and malice (the very things that tore apart David’s family). We should instead forgive, as God in Christ has forgiven us. In John, Jesus restates that he is the path to God because he teaches God’s truth. Jesus will give his own life, then raise up those who believe in him.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read 2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33. What helps you to “deal gently” with others? What makes it challenging at times?
Read Psalm 34:1-8. When have you been able to “taste and see” God’s goodness?
Read Ephesians 4:25–5:2. How do your words and actions reflect what you profess to believe about Christ?
Read John 6:35, 41-51. God comes to us in unexpected ways. Is there someone you have overlooked or dismissed as a servant of God? How can you work to see people as God sees them?

Respond by posting a prayer.