Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
JOHN 6:60-71 JESUS SAID TO THEM, I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE PART 3
John 6:61 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, "Does this offend you? 62 "What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? 63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. 64 "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. 65 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." 66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?" 68 But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 "Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 70 Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?" 71 He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.
In this final lesson on the Bread of Life Discourse, Jesus goes from having thousands of followers down to maybe only the 12 who become the apostles, certainly not many are left. This goes to show you that not all people who go to church or follow Jesus are the real thing. The parable of the four soils or seeds makes this very clear. This is not four different kinds of Christians in this parable; it is one real Christian who bears fruit and three who never become Christians. John 15 makes this clear that only real Christians bear fruit, but the others never have any fruit. 1John 2:19 also speaks to this fact, They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us..
Mark 4:20 "But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred."
Luke 8:15 "But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.
John 15:2 "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
John 15:4 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
We see Peter as the leader of the group and Jesus’ closest disciple speak up and say where else would we go? We have lived as non-Christians and now we know this is the best way and the only way to live so where would we go! We have the best, you can keep the rest. How about you, do you know that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and there is no other way to live except for Him. He is the only way that means anything in life, He is the only real truth, and He is the only way to have abundant life as it was meant to be lived.
They could take His person, they could take His works, but His words they can't tolerate.
You say, "Well what's so hard to believe? What didn't they accept about what Jesus said?" They didn't accept any of it. Number one, they didn't like the idea that He said He came from heaven. "What do you mean He came from heaven? We know Your father, Joseph and Mary, they live over there in Nazareth." Secondly, they didn't like the idea that He said He was the only answer to a man's spiritual need. That's apparent egotism to them. That wasn't bad enough, the idea that He came from heaven, the idea that He claimed to be the only answer, the third thing that really capped off their attitude was that He said you had to eat My flesh and drink My blood and they said, "Whoa..." and they were thinking literally about chewing on His body. If you can imagine that. They objected to the whole thing. They didn't like anything He said. They found it intolerable and they cried out and said, "Who can hear this stuff? Who can stand here and listen to that stuff?" And immediately they disqualified Jesus from being their Messiah because He didn't fit their messianic mold.
There's an important note I want to make here. Jesus is giving a rather detailed explanation to these false followers. Moreover, it's an interesting thought because He gave absolutely no explanation to the Jews. He didn't even give them as much as the time of day. They didn't believe and so He just turned away and made it more complicated, more profound and they didn't know what was going on. To these followers even though they're false followers, Christ at least condescends to give them some more information.
There's a great principle there and we've already gone over it in the past weeks, let me just remind you. Just this, here it is, Jesus never committed Himself to unbelief. Did you get that? He never committed Himself to unbelief. Where there is the slightest opening of possibility of faith, Christ commits Himself. To the hostile Jew...nothing. To the would-be more-or-less follower...Christ will commit Himself and take the time to give a detailed answer. I'll say it another way, Jesus never caters to unbelief but to the would-be disciple He gives Himself. He always honors the seeker.
Here's the key. Now hang on to this, I'm reemphasizing the same thing, I want you to get it, listen. The key to
false discipleship is this, to accept the person of Christ but reject His...what?...His words. To hear and receive His person and to refuse His words.
He says this, John 8:31 "The real proof of your true belief... if you continue in My word,"
Matthew 11:6 where He says, "And blessed is he who shall not be offended in Me," see. Jesus' words offend some people.
John 5:24, backing up, He says, "Verily, verily I say unto you, he that heareth...what?...My word and believeth on Him that sent Me hath everlasting life."
Men's refusal of Christ doesn't always come because they can't understand, because it's not an intellectual problem. It comes because they're challenged, confronted and condemned by the words of Christ and they walk away.
So, verse 62 is profound, isn't it? He not only predicts His ascension, but He uses His ascension to answer the problems of their unbelief. Boy, that's a tremendous answer. Just to show you that's the correct interpretation, look at verse 63. I know you trust me anyway. But look at verse 63, "It is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh profits nothing." I'm not talking about eating My literal body, folks, it's My Spirit that is the life-giving thing, right? See, that's what He's talking about. He's saying to them, "You...My whole body will go back...back intact in total when it goes back to heaven because I haven't come to be eaten alive, I've come that you might partake of My spirit for...verse 63...it is the spirit that gives life." And He's not talking about the Holy Spirit. He's not all of a sudden teaching the new birth. He's contrasting spirit with what other word? Flesh. He's saying it's not my physical body that needs to be in you, it's My spirit.
What do you mean My spirit? All of His person and being. The flesh is the outside of a man, the spirit is the inside. Christ's saying, "It's not My body that I'm so concerned with, it's the real Me that I want to have in you," see. And isn't that what Paul meant when he said, "Colossians 1:27 Christ in you,"? It doesn't mean we devour His body. It means the person of Christ received into us. So He says, "It is the spirit that gives life." My life coming into your life. Paul says, "Nevertheless I live, yet not I but the life which I live I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me," see. My life is Christ in me.
Well He's trying to get the message to them...I don't want you to take My body, I want you to take the Me, the real Me, My being, My person, My character, receive Me into you by faith. Oh the spiritual is what matters, not the physical. So Jesus says I came from heaven, I'm going to return to heaven. Also, My physical body is going to return intact. I have been teaching you spiritual truth, not physical.
Then Jesus hits the crux of the issue again. Verse 63 in the middle, "The words..." there they are again, folks, you see them there? "The words that I speak unto you they are spirit..." What do You mean by that? They reveal My real self and they are...what?...life. What is the dividing line then? It is the words of Jesus Christ, for they and they alone reveal who He really is. And so He says it is My word that is the key. Words reflect the spirit...that is My words reflect what I am, "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." I am what I am and will reveal what I am by what I say. You accept the words of Christ and in fact you have received Him. Paul says in Romans 10:17, "Faith comes by hearing a speech about Christ," Romans 10:17. Faith comes by hearing a speech about Christ. It is the words themselves, empowered by the Spirit of God that give life.
Now mark that. Mark that in your minds. That is a biblical principle. Jeremiah 15:16 said, "Thy words were found and...what?...I did eat them." "They became the joy and rejoicing of My heart." Take in the word of God is to receive God for the only expression God ever gave definitively is His words. And that's where true and false discipleship separate company. The false disciple can take everything up to the word but that does it. That's why you can categorize most of liberalism and modernism under that category of false discipleship. Whenever they start explaining away the words of Christ and denying the inspiration of the Word of God, you can file them in the false follower category.
You say, "Well why does He take the time to be..to describe this betrayer right here?" I think because of this, if He's talking about false disciples and showing you the character of false disciples, who is the greatest example of the history of the ages of a false disciple? Judas. And so Judas becomes the illustration. Jesus says, "I knew Judas would betray Me from the beginning." And in John 17:12 it says that he was the son of perdition and he was lost to the cause that the Scripture might be fulfilled. Listen, you go back, if you want to study it, to Psalm 41:9 and Zechariah 11:12 and 13 and you read those and they'll give you a detailed description of the betrayal of Christ. God knew in eternity past, before this world was ever created that Judas would betray Him. That's not outside the knowledge of God.
But Judas is a perfect example, absolutely perfect of a false disciple. to hypocritically confess Christ with your mouth while your life denies Him, to exalt His virtues while your life robs Him of His place, to sing enthusiastic hymns and songs and oratories or whatever while you trample His gospel by Your word and deed, what is that but another Judas kiss.
Everything's okay as long as it's the person and the work but when the words of Christ become demanding and change and just aren't what you thought they should be, you leave.And you know what happens to false disciples? They always leave. They always move out. Verse 66, "From that time many of His disciples went back and walked no more with Him." False disciples can't take it when it gets to the crucial. They can't hack it. Demas, Paul said, hath done...what?...forsaken us. Why? Because he loved the present world. They went out from us because...what?...they weren't of us.
I want you to see the character of a true disciple. The false we've seen. The true is in verses 67 to 69, Let me read this question as it appears in the Greek structure. Listen to it, "You won't also go away, will you?" That's the question. They've all left, but almost melancholy Jesus says, "You won't also go away, will you?" A broken heart. Thank the Lord for Peter, sweet ole Peter. He jumps up in verse 68, "Then Simon Peter answered Him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go?'" Don't you like that? "No, Lord, where would we go?" Is that the character of true discipleship? Oh. Then he says this, "Thou hast the words of eternal life and we believe and are sure that Thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." There is the key to discipleship. Listen to me, two things, did you see them there? You know what two things make a true disciple? Here they are, are you ready? Faith...get it...faith, "Lord, we believe." You see it there? "We are sure who You are, we believe.' You know what the other one is? Faithfulness. "Lord, where would we go." See. "Not only do I believe You, I stay where You are."
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