This entire Savage message is one in which we are calling for followers of Jesus to up the ante. There are too many people in our society who claim to be Christians whose faith is lukewarm at best, especially here in the Bible-belt. Most of the time it is because of Christianity By Proximity. Christianity By Proximity is simply when people call themselves Christians because they grew up in a church or they have a family member who is a pastor or deacon. In other words, they consider themselves Christian because of growing up in a close proximity to Christianity. This is a real issue. These people consider themselves Christian, but usually live their lives as if God didn't exist.
In John 6:47-69, Jesus had just finished teaching a large crowd including religious leaders and people who were following him. He told them that they needed to "eat his flesh and drink his blood." This is not Jesus calling people to be cannibals, but it is a challenge for people to be completely sold out to him, fully putting their trust and hope in him. Their forefathers had ate manna that did not sustain them, and they eventually died. Jesus was drawing a parallel and putting a challenge to the people: will your sustenance be found in other things or me? This same challenge remains today. Will we sell out to him or go through the motions.
One verse that stands out to me in this passage is in verse 66. The Scriptures tell us that "many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him." This passage is a sad verse. But the more I think about it I wonder to myself: is it possible that there need to be more people today who turn away and no longer follow? Would it be better for the Kingdom if lukewarm, Christian by proximity people turned away? How much more of an accurate depiction of following Jesus would our world have if the pretenders were out? Perhaps it is time to up the ante.