John 6:60-71

There is a word that describes an action that every parent, husband, wife and child would hate to hear, or see happen in their lives. This word is “abandon” By definition this word means “to leave completely and finally; forsake utterly; desert: to abandon a child; to abandon a sinking ship.  To give up; discontinue; withdraw from: to abandon a project; to abandon hope.” The definition of this word is very final in thought, and in action, and this is exactly what we see in the multitude of people who were following Jesus do. And its not because of Jesus and what He taught, but because of the sinfulness of mankind and their rebellion against the Truth, and against anything pure and holy. The crowd begins to walk away because what Jesus said was too hard for them to understand, or it was too demanding and not what they expected.


Again, they had misplaced affections that blinded them to the truth and to whom Jesus truly was, and why He came from heavenly places in the first place. This is a saddest part of the conversation. Why? The bible says they walked with Him no more from this point on. (v66) To me, this is very sad, maybe it because I’m a pastor and it breaks my heart to see people leave over something I said without explaining myself more clearly. Not only are we about to see that they walked away from the truth, but they also walked away from the free gift of salvation that is found in the Bread of Life. Church family this is tragic and heart wrenching to witness when someone rejects the gospel proclamation. A dear professor of mine told me a story once that he went to see a friend who was dying in the hospital and to top it off, he didn’t have a relationship with Christ. So, the only thing he knew to do was to go to the hospital and share with him the gospel truth! Sadly, just as we are about to see this man raised his hand and told him “To leave because he didn’t want to hear this Jesus stuff.” That man died that night!


To turn your back on Christ, or to ignore the free gift of salvation, is worse thing an image-bearer could ever do this side of eternity. To walk away from Christ, who is the only One who can save you from eternal damnation is so sad, and disturbing, all at the same time. It amazes me that people created in the image of God, can and are, hostile towards the things of Jesus and His saving gospel. It amazes me that people are so easily led to abandon the love of God found in His only Son. It amazes me that people will turn down the greatest free gift of salvation, and eternal life, but will follow after the Canadian dream of unregenerate man or woman. It amazes me that God would even bother to save us at all.


Here is a crowd, according to the scriptures walked with Him no more. This is absolutely heartbreaking, this speaks of many, if not millions of people today, people who are so close to each of us, possibly living under your roof. Truth is lying in the streets through faithful churches who sit under Biblical preaching, gospel tracts, our gospel witness, and evangelistsAnd yet sadly, people hate truth, especially the truth of the Scriptures. “The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." Psalm 53:1. Sadly, this is how many people react when they hear the truth of the Scripture preached to them. See, when truth is revealed to us, there are only two possible reactions to it: It can be received, or it can be rejected. The genuine believer receives the truth when they see it for what it is, Truth!

But many people reject the

truth for many reasons.


Some People Misunderstand It


The people, who called themselves disciples misunderstand the truth and, as a result, they rejected it. (v60) But Jesus doesn’t apologize, but summarizes (61-v62) by saying, “What if You saw me in my kingly glory, with angels surrounding Me, you wouldn’t be offended by that would you?”

Jesus told them many things that would offend them, but they would all be forgotten when they saw His perfection made manifest before their eyes. This means that Jesus came to remove the blindness from our eyes, the deaf ears to hear the truth of the gospel. That is why Jesus says “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing.” (v63) “flesh” here is in reference to our “fallen human nature” our inability to understand by our own doings. Just as Jesus told Nicodemus that flesh cannot produce spiritual fruit. So, in our natural, fallen condition, we cannot do the things of God, or please God. As Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” John 3:5-6. The woman at the well thought Jesus was talking about drinking water to satisfy the thirst, when He was actually talking about Himself, “Life Giving Water.” The man at the pool of Bethesda thought Jesus was talking about a rescue mission, when He was actually talking placing faith in Christ alone.


Sadly, though this trend continues today!


That is why churches are filled with people who are not truly saved; because they do not understand, or realize, what, or who, they are committing too. They misunderstand Biblical truth, that is why the Word of God is so offensive to so many people, they want to be tickled, not convicted and transformed.


They Reject The Truth Because Some People Are Opposed To It.

As Jesus revealed Himself and His demands in this passage, the Jews were in constant and increasing opposition, back in (v41-42; 52) and here in (v60). The Jews were not able to accept His Deity, His impending Death, or His claims of Lordship. Sadly, no one ever spoke more perfectly or inoffensively than our Lord Jesus. They opposed Him at every turn and every opportunity; and they had great difficulty to accept who Jesus claimed to be, they saw this as an offense. So, it is in today’s modern society, many are opposed to the truths of the Bible, and the claims of the Lord Jesus Christ. His call to commitment goes against their desire to live for self, and as a result, they find themselves in opposition to the Lord, not fellowship. We need to remember the claims of the Gospel, the cross, and the blood of Jesus, are designed to be offensive! Jesus warned us about this.  "Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Matt 10:34


In John 15:18-19 Jesus explains what’s going to happen if we continue to follow Him. "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”


They Reject The Truth Because Some People Are Blind To It.


All the way through this passage, the Jews had this approach to Jesus: "Show us and we will believe." They had already seen, and participated, in the miracle of feeding five thousand, plus women and children, with five loaves of bread and two fish previously. They had already assumed that He had somehow, miraculously, crossed the lake, (v22-25) yet they were still blind to Who He was, and what He was doing. When Jesus made His claims and delivered His call to commitment as the Bread of Life, they were unable to see the truth because they were blind. The sad fact of the matter is that all men are blind to the truth until their eyes are supernaturally opened by the intervention of God. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” (v44) Again, we read, “And he said “therefore I have said to you that no can come to me unless it has been granted to him by my Father.” (v66) Paul penned these words! “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 2 Cor 4:4


As always those who reject God’s offer of salvation, the issue isn’t a lack of information, but a lack of faith. (v64) And Jesus holds the false disciples personally responsible for rejecting Him, not because they couldn’t understand, but because they would not believe. That is why so many people reject the truth and embrace the lie, and more so today, they are simply blinded to the truth of God’s Word. Why? The gospel is an offence to the natural man and without the prompting of Holy Spirit, man will remain blind. (v63)


Some People Want The Experience But Not The Expectation.


These people were following Jesus because He had satisfied their fleshly appetites. (v1-15) They wanted more of this blessing as we read in (v34). In fact, they wanted Jesus to prove that He was greater than Moses in (v22-31). They were looking for something that satisfied their flesh; something that would make them feel good about themselves.


They wanted an experience. They wanted to be

following the next earthly king.


They wanted the excitement of the miracles and the sensationalism it produced in their self-seeking lives. This is what they thirsted for, until Jesus began to talk about expectations and the call for commitment; they turned away from Him and walked away. Why? Like all self-seeking people, they wanted to be carried away in the excitement of the moment, with no commitment or perseverance. This same mentality has developed within the church and now is filled with this type of mindset. There are many today who want a religious experience, but without and expectations, commitment or obedience. They want to serve God for what they can get out it, without any concern for His glory, or of His will in their lives. They want all entertainment and excitement; without the obedience that comes through the expositional preaching of God’s Word. As one preacher said “The churches that are growing the fastest today are those who minimize biblical doctrine the requirements of the faith and emphasize entertainment and experience. All you need to succeed today as a church is a contemporary band, a message that challenges no one's life, a youth program that will babysit the children while the parents are lulled to sleep by a "touchy feely" religion that is devoid of the truth!”


As Voddie Baucham says, “If you can't say amen, you better say ouch!”


Something to take note of here in this passage, is that most people who walk away from the things of God, are all for selfish reasons and the natural will of man. As one writer put it this way, “We use relationships for what they can do for us and what they can get us, but not for what we give to others and receive from them. We keep our distance from intimacy and trust through our cynicism and calloused hearts.”


Can you imagine how the disciples felt when

the multitude walked away?


The same thing happens in the church when you see people walk away and never come back. Heartbreaking, and tragic, not just for the soul; but for the whole body of the church. The lives of others in the church, always affect those who are close by to those who choose to walk away. Can you imagine how the Lord of Heaven felt, though their hardened

hearts didn’t take Him by surprise. (v64) The bible says Jesus wept and had compassion for lost sinners. “And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” Luke 19:41-44. God’s heart is grieved for the ignorant and superficial commitment to Him, only to bail when things are not according to man and his sinful desires. Jesus watches this massive exodus of false disciples, all of those who had taken offence at His teaching.

So, what lessons can we learn from this passage? Not everyone can handle the truth, and the exposure of God’s grace, that He supplies through His Son. Sometimes the truth is tough to swallow, and the Scriptures makes demands upon our lives, but they are for the believers good. Sometimes the truth is brutal, direct, and seems unfeeling. But the truth is always true! Remember God’s word is always right and it is always perfect, saving the soul.


The first lesson that we learned is that there will be temporary disciples in the Christian church.


We will see a decline, a lack of commitment to the things of God, and in the church and especially in our home. The revolving door will continue to open, and close, as people will be either receptive, or hostile, towards the truth of God and His gospel. They walked with Him no more! (v66) they went back to their old lives, the old religion, and the old hopeless situation. They would not walk in the Way, who is the only Way, as John pens in chapter fourteen.


A second lesson that we learned is that true disciples, will be tested as to their loyalty to Jesus.

Again, hard truths call for drastic measures, and drastic changes in one’s life; that the Holy Spirit does in our sanctification. Are you up for the change? As Jesus asked His disciples if they would also leave Him. (v67) Are you committed to Christ, because you know He saved you from your sin, or do you see Him as ATM machine that is only needed when you’re desperate? Peter responded correctly by saying, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (v68) Peter didn’t deny that Jesus’ sayings were hard, but he acknowledged that Jesus’ words were Words Of Life. God’s teaching reinforces our faith that God is absolutely sovereign in salvation. Peter and the other disciples, saw Him for who He really was


A third lesson is that true disciples often cannot discern the presence of a false disciple.

As Judas walked and ministered with then during the 3 years with Jesus. (v70) He mentions Judas as a “devil” which means here in the text “slander of false accuser” This passage could be better rendered “one of you is the devil” Again, we see an opportunity to respond to the truth. An opportunity for Judas to come clean and say “help me Lord, I’m the one. I’ve lost confidence in you and seeds of resentment have settled into my heart, and I’m afraid where this will this will lead me. Save me Lord.” But like the multitude that walked away, his silence was evidence to his own misplaced affections and, false confession.


The fourth lesson is that this incident would have taught the disciples that Jesus does not need a large crowd in order to fulfil his intentions.

The only ones, who remained after the thousands upon thousands left, were 12 and one of them was of the devil. (v67-v69) Just as it was for Sodom, only 3 remained. Just as it was when the Ark was built, only 8 entered in. Jesus doesn’t need a large crowd in order to fulfil his intentions. Again, remember what Jesus said “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matt 7:13-14. This means that the way to heaven is “pent up, narrow, close,” and not obviously entered. The way to death is open, broad, and crowded. There is a world of many people that do not know what the church believes and truly loves. The preaching of the Word of God always leads to a scrutinising of the hearts of the listeners, this is how God draws sinners to Himself, through the truth of His Word. This is why the unregenerate man and woman who reject the Word of God, reject the Savior. For the true church has the Word of Life, by which God gives forgiveness, and eternal life, to the poor and to the miserable sinner, through His Son.


Does God Word draw you closer to Him or does it anger you

to the point of walking away from Him?


Those who are called to the gospel, this question is easy to answer. But for the unregenerate and rebellious, the gospel offends them, because they love their sin,0 and hate the Christ of the Scriptures. So, I leave you with the question Jesus asked his disciples as we close out this chapter. “Do you want to go away as well?” Are you prepared for what lies ahead no matter how you might be tested, to say to Christ, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.   


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