Proverbs 14:10 The heart knows its own bitterness, and no outsider shares in its joy.
Dante said, “Heresy is a form of intellectual bitterness.”
In Chapter six of the Gospel of John, Jesus had been expounding some very deep and profound teachings as to who He was. There came a point when the disciples would have to choose Jesus and accept Him as the God-given sacrifice to the world. Jesus was causing all His followers to make a choice to believe, or not believe, who He said He was. Many of the disciples were incredulous as to how Jesus described Himself because they were reasoning within their momentary thoughts and not by faith. John 6:60 Therefore, when many of his disciples heard this, they said, “This teaching is hard. Who can accept it? ” 61 Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were complaining about this, asked them, “Does this offend you?
Jesus was asking them, “Is what I am saying, causing you to become offended and bitter in your faith toward myself and God, who sent me?” John 6:66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. The Lord had drawn a line of belief in the sand that would either bring out the faith in a man’s heart toward God, or a root of bitterness exposing a faith lived out of convenience and personal interpretation.
The Lord asked His closest disciples if they would also leave Him, because of who He said He was, and the depth of relationship that would be required of them. John 6:67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Like Peter, we may ask ourselves, “Where can we go? God is God, and we don’t have all the answers.” John 6:68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
Those who left in bitterness had to deal with the argument that was now aggressively clamoring in their hearts and minds. The peace that was once available to them because they had fellowship with Jesus, was now waning and the root of bitterness was sliding in. When bitterness finds its way into a heart, it is normally after a conflict of belief or disobedience toward God. If the person does not run to God to resolve the conflict of heart or repent of the sin of disobedience, then their heart is open to bitter thoughts and they are vulnerable to deception.
We know that Jesus taught anything but heresy. However, He was accused of heresy throughout His false trial. The intellectual reasoning that the religious leaders were using to rationalize their own heresy, was because they were looking for a saviour to deliver their physical lives from the oppression of Rome. Jesus was trying to deliver their souls from eternal death, and that would take faith in God’s Son. Since the teachings of Jesus were contrary to the agendas of the religious leaders; in blind anger, they deemed it heresy. They wanted their interpretation of truth to justify their doctrines of nationalism. It did not matter how bitter of heart they became.
We who are in Christ, are invited by God to come to Him and find the grace needed to deal with the hard things we are going through. We may not get the answer we want to hear, but the Lord, will meet the need of our heart and give us the courage to have faith in what God has said to be true. Heb. 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
God does invite us to come and reason with Him, but the outcome of the reasoning is to clean our minds, hearts, and souls from sin and deception. God will welcome a contrite heart, but, will work on cleaning up a bitter one. Isa. 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
If you have found yourself in a bitter place, or have had a root of bitterness displaying itself through your thoughts, words, and actions – then it is time to draw closer to God. Let Him heal your inner man so that your outer man becomes the person God made you to be. The Lord did not save us to become bitter. God has something better for us. He saved us to give us a full and abundant life now, and forevermore. John 10:10b I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.