John 6:60-66 – Lesson #71

Jesus continued to press the point that He was the only source of life; “whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life” (John 6:54). Many had followed Jesus and listened to His teaching. After He fed the 5000, many believed He was the promised King sent to deliver Israel from Roman oppression. They listened to His claim to be greater than Moses and were patient with His numerous references to being bread from Heaven; but this talk about needing to eat His flesh and drink His blood had gone too far!

John 6:60-66
“Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, ‘This is a hard saying; who can understand it?’ When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, ‘Does this offend you? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. And He said, ‘Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.’ From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.”

The word disciple is used for those who made an initial commitment to follow Jesus and listen to His teaching, but it does not imply a saving faith. Jesus later defined a true disciple; “If you abide in My word, you are My disciple indeed” (John 8:31). A true disciple is one who continues to follow the words of Jesus – even when His words are hard. Jesus spoke of a deep love and desire for Him and His word much the same as the prophet Jeremiah; “Your words were found, and I ate them” (Jeremiah 15:16). The words which were hard to accept were those that told them to let go and trust something outside of their own effort.

Jesus proclaimed a message of eternal life given to those who truly believe. This was in direct opposition to the Jewish system which had turned the Law into a self-righteous method of working their way to God. Jesus said this method – done in the flesh – counts for nothing. We cannot work our way one step closer to eternal life. We can’t do it on our own! It is the Spirit given by God who draws us near and gives life.

All we can ever accomplish in our flesh is an existence of flesh which will perish; but when we place our trust in Jesus, the Spirit gives birth to eternal life (John 3:6). And notice how Jesus immediately says His words are spirit and life. His word teaches us all truth leading to life. What an awesome gift!

But there will always be those who think His word is too hard and will “walk with Him no more.” If God had not provided a way through faith in Jesus, we NEVER would have worked our way to His side. But God has granted that we should have the words of Christ which are used by the Spirit to draw us near and give us true life. Let’s consume His word and determine to walk with Him ALL of our days.

Have a Great Day!

Steve Troxel
God’s Daily Word Ministries