Sept 1st, Day #14 - John 6:60-71
Sept 1st, Day #14 - John 6:60-71
"Simon Peter answered him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,'"– John 6:68
How do you usually deal with the disappointments and stressors in your life?
Where are you tempted to go instead of Jesus for meaning in life?
Spend some time in Jesus’ life-giving presence and ask Him to give you what you truly need.
Read John 6:60-71
Do you like to take unpopular positions? Some people enjoy debating, others do not. In the passage today, many of the disciples deserted Jesus when the doctrine He spoke offended them. Some may have found it difficult to understand, others may have understood but rejected it because of pride.
Jesus’ teaching offends some because they are spiritual and eternal. This challenges us because we would rather satisfy our immediate earthly desires. Jesus’ “offensive” teachings call us to love and trust Him; to be obedient to Him and to place Him above all things. You may wonder, “What about us? When do we get to be lord of our lives?” These are the very questions that cause some to turn away from Jesus. We do not want anyone else to be lord of OUR life.
We need to remember that it is not about us; it is about Jesus, the only One who saves. There should be no debate, only obedience. But, let’s remember to help and encourage each other. We are all struggling with sin every day. Let’s spur each other on and encourage each other because Jesus is the judge, not us.
Your Move: Let’s look to what God wants to say directly to you today through John 6:60-71
Scripture: Write out the verse that grabbed your heart as you read this passage and jot down its significance to you!
Observation: Where does Jesus say His words come from? Why does that make a difference?
Application: Peter remarks, “You have the words of eternal life.” Which words of Jesus do you have a hard time believing are good for you? Which words of His would you rather avoid? Where does Jesus want you to trust He knows the way to the best life?
Prayer: Allow Jesus’ words to sink deeper into your heart. Confess any areas of your life where you have been walking away from Jesus. Come back to Him and allow Him full sway and say in order that you might experience true life today!
If Jesus’ revelation that he himself was bread made the crowds grumble (John 6:41), this new revelation offends Jesus' own disciples (6:61).25 For them this is not simply a difficult teaching (6:60) but is something unacceptable, a disclosure beyond their comprehension. It recalls the great turning point in the Synoptic Gospels, where Jesus' true identity is unveiled at Caesarea Philippi (Peter: ''You are the Christ," Mark 8:29), immediately after which Jesus discloses his coming sacrificial death. In Mark, the Twelve can barely comprehend it. They try to talk Jesus out of it, and then they wrestle with their fate in light of it. The same is true here in John 6. This difficult teaching sifts Jesus' followers: Some of them fall away and refuse to follow him any longer (6:66) while one other disciple likely finds in this a catalyst for his own personal rebellion and betrayal (6:70-71).
These are the deeper things of Jesus, and only with divine help can anyone comprehend them. Therefore Jesus points to yet one more feature of this coming hour. If his death brings offense, what of his ascension (6:62)? If the first idea of death was scandalous, this further idea will be even harder. An earlier mention of "ascending" (3:13) used the metaphor of "lifting up" in a clever literary pun: The Son of Man will be "lifted up" to the cross, and the Son of Man will be "lifted up" into heaven. For John, Jesus' movement toward the cross (his glorification) is also his movement "heavenward," returning to the glory he enjoyed from the beginning (17:5). This full glorification is thus the complete picture of Jesus' death (cross, resurrection, ascension) that the disciples must now understand. Not only will he die, but he will return to heaven. It is through this complete work of Christ that life can be given to the world.
There is an important gift, however, a vital endowment, that will be a part of this life-giving work. The "flesh" that is of no avail in 6:63 recalls the literal flesh of 6:53 (cf. 3:6). Jesus clarifies that taking his words literally ("eat my flesh; drink my blood") is not the point. If eucharistic symbolism is at work, it is not a mechanical sacramentalism that Jesus has in mind, for the life-giving gift is the Holy Spirit. This thought parallels Jesus' message to Nicodemus and the woman of Samaria: What they need cannot be found in the material things of this world. They require new birth, living water. Moreover, Jesus is giving a signal that here in the course of his glorification, when the Son of Man ascends, a gift will be provided that will facilitate belief and give life. Jesus will say this explicitly at the Feast of Tabernacles (7:37-39) and later give its fulfillment in 20:22.
With some of his following now collapsing, Jesus turns to the Twelve to inquire if they wish to depart as well (6:67). This is clearly a turning point for Jesus. The mystery of his person and work has now been laid out in full. For Peter this difficult exchange provides an opportunity to give a courageous confession: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God." In the Synoptics, this title "Holy One" appears only among demons (Mark 1:24; Luke 4:34). But it is a potent and unusual title-one used throughout the Old Testament (thirty times in Isaiah) for God ("the Holy One of Israel"), who defends his people and redeems them (Isa. 41:14; 43:14- 15).
Jesus recognizes the confession not simply as a tribute to Peter's courage but also as evidence of God's supernatural movement in his life (cf. Matt.16:17, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven"). These deeper things cannot be embraced by anyone, only by those whom God has enabled (John 6:65) and called (6:70). This is a profound and important thought for John, and one we will meet again and again in his Gospel. God's entry into the world in Christ is not the only act of grace; God must also empower men and women to see it and embrace it. Humanity cannot defeat the darkness that holds it in its grip; only God possesses this sort of power.
*This resource is an excerpt from The NIV Application Commentary on John by Gary Burge (Zondervan, 2000), pages 203-204.
This is an opportunity, after taking a detailed look at John, to step back and consider the big picture and how God is speaking to you. This week we have continued to explore some beloved passages in the Gospel of John. Many of them helped people from the Crowd become Curious about who this Jesus might be. With that in mind, spend a few minutes thinking about what God might be saying to you this week and over the last two weeks.
Do you see any themes emerging?
What is God challenging you with?
What do you think God might want you to do next?
Here are some ideas on how to make the transition from the Crowd to the Curious – either for yourself or for helping someone else make the move.