22 November 2016

BSF 2016-2017: John 6:41-71

In the first six chapters of John, Jesus has one consistent message – He is life, and eternal life comes through Him. This week we see that Jesus’ consistent message caused people to grumble, to argue, and to leave Him.

The Jews began to question Jesus’ claim that He came from heaven because they knew that Mary and Joseph were His parents. The Jews did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God. They dismissed this possibility and grumbled over Jesus’ divine authority. They could have asked Jesus for clarification, but instead they grumbled among themselves.

Jesus called Himself the Living Bread. The manna sustained the Israelites in the wilderness, but Jesus promised to sustain them on earth now and in heaven for eternity. Jesus did not say the people had to eat His flesh and drink His blood physically; there was spiritual symbolism to His words. To eat His flesh was symbolic of believing in Christ. And to drink His blood was symbolic of participating personally in Jesus’ death. It is accepting that Jesus’ blood covered your sins.

The people failed to make a spiritual application to Jesus’ words. Instead of asking Jesus to clarify His teaching, the people sharply argue with each other. After hearing Jesus’ hard teaching, many of His followers decided to leave. They could not accept that He was fully God and that His death and resurrection would bring eternal life.

Their hearts were hardened. They were more interested in miracles, physical food, and political freedom rather than spiritual food and spiritual deliverance. They refused to humble themselves to ask questions. They were full of pride.

As the scoffers left, Jesus turned to His 12 apostles and asked if they were leaving too. Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

Things to Think About
  • Jesus’ claims demand a personal response. What is your response to Jesus’ hard teachings?
  • Do you ask God to help you understand difficult teachings, or do you dismiss the truth because it’s too difficult to believe?
  • Is God drawing you to Him? How are you responding?
  • Jesus lost followers due to a message of truth. He didn’t change His message to please them or to keep them as His followers. Remain faithful to the truth of God’s Word. People are not won to Christ by compromising truth.

This Week’s Memory Verse
I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. John 6:51 NIV