John 6:67 – Will ye also go away?
Jesus taught some “hard” theology in the synagogue in Capernaum (6:59). Preaching from Exodus 16, Jesus explained that salvation couldn’t come from Moses’ law, just as the manna in the wilderness did not provide lasting life (6:30-58). God alone provides “the bread of life” through Jesus Christ, and those who trust Jesus in him will have eternal life (6:40, 58). The teaching caused quite the stir among the Jews because they misunderstood his figurative language. Jesus made his teaching clear as he pointed them to the reliable and sustainable source of salvation in himself and his forthcoming sacrificial death (6:51). With the meaning of Jesus’ teaching sinking in, the clamor escalated to grumbling among the Jews. Jesus was well aware of their offense so he addressed it directly (6:61-62). Jesus’ words were not, in fact, “hard;” they were life giving (6:63). His teaching on his ascension to return to heaven created a stumbling block over which the Jews tripped (6:62). Their lack of faith precluded them from understanding Jesus’ origin from heaven and his objective on earth (6:64). The Father was drawing authentic disciples to follow Jesus, but there remained some unbelievers in the crowd (6:63-64). The unbelievers certainly put forth some effort to listen to Jesus and attempt to understand him, but their lack of belief did them no good in eternal matters. This incident was the last straw for many people (6:66). Jesus’ demand for personal faith through his sacrificial death and the inability of people to rescue oneself from sin were unsavory for the people. Many stopped following Jesus, although the Twelve remained. Jesus used the incident to strengthen their resolve. Though they would not fully understand Jesus’ teaching until later, Peter affirmed their commitment to follow in faith the One who had the words of life (6:68). Judas was identified as the traitor, but in real time the disciples would not have understood the prophecies until much later (6:70-71).
There comes a point for everyone where they will confront the “hard” truth of Jesus Christ. There are distinct lines that cannot be crossed without meeting the requisite requirements.
Do you want to go to heaven? You must exercise personal faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There is no other way.
Do you want to be like Christ so as to follow his will and ways? Then you must reject your selfish desires, disallow self-centered ambitions, and discard self-serving undertakings in order to embrace the life-giving words of Jesus as the formula for your life. Jesus’ words mixed with genuine faith produces authentic followers.
If you answered, “no,” then you will turn back from following Jesus. Many find his teachings disagreeable. Many do not desire to change their lives or lifestyles.
Will you also go away?
Daily Reading: John 6:59-71
Bible Reading Challenge: 10 Days on Discipleship