Responding to the Bread of Life is a series of posts on the reaction of the Twelve to Jesus in John 6:60-71.
- Introduction and Background
- The Bread of Life Discourse is a Hard Saying (6:60-61)
- The Spirit Gives Life (6:62-65)
- Many Stop Following Jesus (6:66)
- Jesus has the Words of Eternal Life (6:67-71)
1. The gospel is a hard saying to those who do not believe.
Only the Spirit gives life and only by the words of Jesus, the Son of God. All of this is strangely damning to those who despise Jesus, especially the Jews, because they know they need a Savior. They know they are naturally sinful, yet they hear the gospel and reject it.
This is the natural response of every sinner to the gospel–unbelief!
No sinner freely follows Jesus with saving faith apart from the grace of God. Yet to any sinner who hears and believes, Jesus is sweet and lovely, Lord and Savior! God could have justly left us to perish, but thankfully, we may eternally hope in Jesus who will raise us up on the last day!
2. It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all.
Surely no other lie is so readily told and believed–that one may be good enough to gain mercy. Perhaps no other sin is so misleading! Why?
To be sure, in every generation in nearly every city, church, family and community, no other sin has so viciously attacked the truth of the gospel–the truth that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, not by works whatsoever. No man is made alive by works.
3. Jesus’ hard sayings often confirm one’s unbelief.
One may profess Jesus, and yet not truly know who Jesus is. How many were following Jesus before they deserted him in John 6? How many were excited about Jesus?
Such texts are humbling. Jesus performed signs and wonders and many followed him, listened to him, but yet so many did not believe! When they were confronted with the gospel, they turned away from Jesus, offended by his words.
How could he be the Son of God? How could he take away the sins of the world? Many who flock to mega-churches across the country, who listen to a gospel about health and wealth, may not even know what the real gospel is! It is a hard saying to those who refuse Jesus. If they hear it, they will reject it. Praise God that he can save false followers too! He can defeat and tear down all unbelief, and draw sinners to saving faith in Jesus. How? It is the Spirit who gives life in Jesus. The flesh is no help at all.
4. Jesus has the words of eternal life. Are you in Christ today?
Believe and be saved. Be reconciled to God through faith in all the promises God is for us in Jesus. We are all a part of fallen humanity, and we all make mistakes. We have all willfully betrayed God. Yet Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, so believe!
Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. But the gospel is folly to sinful hearts apart from the divine grace of God, sovereignly drawing hearts to Jesus. To those who believe, Jesus is the only Savior, the only teacher who has the words of eternal life.
So the theme of this text is sobering. Just as many rejected Jesus in John 6, many reject him today. On the other hand, the Spirit is cutting to the hearts of so many by the gospel! That is why the gospel is Good News to take to the world. God is presently seeking out lost sinners to rescue them from death to eternal life in his Son.