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Blasphemous or Divine?

John 6:41-45

Although many people think that Jesus is just a good teacher or wise prophet, His own words do not allow that conclusion to be drawn.  The crowd listening to Him thought His words were almost blasphemous - to claim to have come down from heaven (John 6:38).  The people in Capernaum knew Jesus of Nazareth; they also knew Mary and Joseph and Jesus’ half siblings (Mark 6:3).  To them, He was a carpenter's son, so how could He claim to have come from heaven?

The Only Person Who Has Ever Seen God

John 6:46

This claim, that Jesus is the only person who has ever seen Father God, has massive implications!  The Jews knew that even Moses was forbidden to see God, or he would die (Exodus 33:18-20).  The holiness of God is so intense that anything even slightly unholy is burned up in His presence.  Yet Jesus claimed to have seen the Father - because He was with Him and has come from Him (John 3:13). This meant that He was as holy as God, as pure as God and as powerful as God, because He is God in a human body (John 1:1-3).

The Promise of Everlasting Life

John 6:47-50

Everlasting life is the ultimate dream idea for many people.  It is a treasured goal, and so religious people offer different keys to unlock its secret - pious behaviour, religious ritual, good works, fasting, pilgrimage, prayer, giving money.  Their assumption is that if we are good enough and do enough to please God, then He will let us into His heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9).  But Jesus did not agree with that, because it is not true.  What pleases God is to believe in Jesus, who He is and what He has done (John 6:28-29).

Feeding from Jesus

John 6:51-59

These verses have stimulated many questions.  The idea of physically eating somebody's flesh and blood seems grotesque: and so it is.  Nothing in the Bible suggests that cannibalism would please God.  Some think Jesus was referring to the Last Supper and Christian communion.  But Jesus spoke these words more than a year before the Last Supper; and anyway, the mechanical consumption of bread and wine cannot give eternal life.  So what does it mean?

Beyond Our Imagination

John 6:60-62

Although God has given us great creativity, we cannot understand things that are totally outside our experience.  The words of Jesus about Him coming down from heaven ... raising believers from the dead ... eating His flesh and drinking His blood ... simply didn't make sense to the disciples (John 6:35-40).  Their reaction was to say that it was too hard to think about it, outside of their reach, and to grumble.  But Jesus diagnosed the problem in their heart - they were offended and could not move on.

The Flesh Counts For Nothing

John 6:63-66

Human nature puts all its effort into achieving greatness for itself, to become its own ‘god’ or to construct ‘gods’ that encourage our ego (Philippians 3:18-19).  Yet Jesus says that it all counts for nothing (Philippians 3:7-9).  Only God's Spirit brings people to new life in Christ (John 3:5-6). The Spirit teaches us and enables us to hear the voice of God in the Scriptures (John 16:12-15). The Spirit has divine power and the wisdom which are lacking in human flesh, and He has authority from the Father to bring people to Jesus.

Nowhere Else To Go

John 6:67-69

Many people, who used to follow Jesus, had gone away from Him (John 6:66).  They had wanted Him to fulfil their agenda for religious, social and political change, but Jesus refused to play their game or be patronised by them.  So, He asked the Twelve disciples if they also wanted to leave Him.  It was a test of their faith as well as their personal loyalty.  If He was not going to be the political revolutionary that some wanted, were they willing to continue with Him in His mission of salvation?

Chosen Despite Evil

John 6:70-71

Jesus chose His disciples to serve Him.  Yet He knew that one of the Twelve, Judas Iscariot, would betray Him.  Far from choosing a good man, Jesus knew that Judas was so impregnated with evil that he would easily be manipulated by Satan (John 13:21-30).  Even so, Jesus appointed Judas as the treasurer to the group, and soon the other disciples found out that he was a thief (John 12:6).  But why?  Why did Jesus choose a wicked person who would never repent?

No Fleshly Ambition

John 7:1-5

Jesus did not seek publicity.  He did not want His ministry to be validated by what people thought of Him.  Jesus only wanted to please His Heavenly Father (John 5:41-44).  About six months had elapsed since the events in John Chapter 6.  During that time Jesus had been in the northern province of Galilee, away from the religious leaders in the south who wanted Him dead and were personally willing to kill Him by stoning (John 5:18: John 8:59).

The Right Time

John 7:6

Jesus had been urged by His brothers in Nazareth to do some 'publicity miracles' at the Feast in Jerusalem.  They had lived with Him but did not know Him, or the salvation-significance of His mission (John 7:5): nor did the crowd who watched Him.  Many who followed Him wanted to make Him their king, while those who opposed Him (the religious leaders whose hypocrisy He had exposed) wanted to kill Him by stoning (John 5:18; John 8:59).  The reason why Jesus had spent the past six months in the Galilee region was that He did not want to meet His appointment with death before the right time ...