Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” (6:60).
When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” (6:60 ESV).
On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” (6:60 NIV).
Something of eternity hit me this morning. How much we need eternity to begin to behold a glimpse of His glory. We shall never tire of seeing and learning of Him. This chapter of John could perhaps be studied and pondered for all of eternity, and there would yet be more to uncover.
So many facets of Him displayed in John 6: Him, the Living Bread; Him, Who came down from Heaven; Him, given by invitation of the Father; Him, Who feeds all who come; Him, Who satisfies; Him, Who gives eternal life; Him, Who will never cast out any who are given to Him by the Father; Him, Who raises up His own on the last day; Him, Who was spurned; Him, Who would be betrayed; Him, Who must be believed.
But there’s the rub. His many facets are not palatable to our natural senses. All He asks us to believe of Himself is demanding; the Jewish listeners found it harsh and difficult to accept.
But He doesn’t appeal to our human senses; our flesh profits nothing. His teaching is impossible to accept in our human understanding. His teaching is spirit and life, and only becomes acceptable by believing His Difficult Statement.
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe,” (6:63-64).
Consider His Difficult Statement
- His Statement is Difficult… Do not work for eternal life, receive it.
- “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal,” (6:27).
- His Statement is Difficult… Receive eternal life by believing in Him.
- Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent,” (6:28-29).
- His Statement is Difficult… Believe He is the Bread of Life.
- Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst,” (6:35).
- His Statement is Difficult… Believe His flesh and blood are true food and true drink which came down from heaven to bring eternal life.
- So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. 54 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever,” (6:53-58)
- His Statement is Difficult… As a result, many will not believe.
- As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore, (6:66).
How do we respond to His Difficult Statement?
But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble? 62 What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?” (6:61-62).
Living by faith is often difficult, but then would it truly be faith if it were easy, palatable? However, there is coming a day when faith will become sight, when we will see Him in all His glory. Until that day we are to feed on and believe His truth, His Difficult Statement, for our eternity and spiritual life.
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life,” (6:63).
How will we respond to His Difficult Statement? The choice is ours. In a manner of speaking, He does not force Himself down our throats.
“But there are some of you who do not believe,” (6:64).
We must accept and understand that His gifts of life, sustenance, and true fulfillment are found in His Difficult Statement. By faith, His Difficult Statement becomes our salvation and eternal life.
May we grow in faith as we daily feast on Him and His truth; for though His Statement is Difficult, He alone has the words of eternal life.
So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” 68 Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life,” (6:67-68).