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Hard Sayings of Jesus

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John 6:52–62 ESV
52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum. 60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
Introduction - Is it possible that the Christ of the popular imagination is nothing more that a figment of sinful man’s whimsical dreams?
The Jesus of the popular imagination is nothing more than a glorified hippy who is a complete pacifist. He is no threat to get angry or to rebuke anyone.
John 6:53–61 ESV
53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum. 60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this?
I think there's a pop-Jesus that exists in the minds of most evangelicals that doesn't really reflect the true Jesus of Scripture. There's a Jesus that people are comfortable with and find acceptable. They can sell him on a popular level. But it's a far cry from the Jesus of the New Testament.
John 6:53-61

The claims of Christ are often deeply disturbing to men.

Background - the back story to this text is the feed of the 5000. Jesus then walks accors the water. The crowds clamer after Jesus because he is the best show in town. Also it is a pretty good deal that Jesus was giving free food. The multitue said this is worthy sticking with Jesus over. They are freeloading of Jesus. That’s what we have a tendency to do. Go to Sams Club about dinner time and watch the people going through the free food samples. Shoot when money is low that’s when Christy and I go on our date night. We peruse the condement isle in hopes of some wild Alaskin Sammen. So that begin to seek and follow him. They were free loading off Jesus and He calls them on it.
John 6:26 ESV
Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.
John 6:
The crowd responds - Give us a sign so that we might believe in you.
Jesus responds Moses gave you the bread from Heaven. But my Father gives you the true bread from heaven that gives life.
The Body - The Blood speaks of the totality of the person. it is a Hebrew idem that speaks of all of a man.
Jesus was saying the only way you can live is if I become a part of you. I am the source of life. You must take in the source so as to live.
John 6:58 ESV
This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”

Jesus was claiming to be the Father’s provision to give life to dead men.

Jesus is claiming to be greater than Moses.
Jesus is claiming to be greater than Manna.
Verse 60 - “Hard Saying

“hard “skleros” σκληρός - A hard, harsh, or unpleasant thing that causes an adverse reaction.

It is the basis for our medical term - Arteriosclerosis is the thickening, hardening and loss of elasticity of the walls of arteries.
V. 61 - They were “Grumbling” “γογγύζω” - Onomatopoeia - The sound of the word is the meaning. It is the sound that builds in the gut of your teen when you instruct them to clean their room. It is the sound of the congregation when after 45 minutes of sermon the preacher announces two more points and we are done.
V. 61 - Jesus states, “Do you take offense at this?” - “σκανδαλίζω” to shock through word or action, give offense to, anger. It is where we get our english word scandal.

Jesus claims shocked, offended, angered, and scandalized his followers.

This is the kind of teaching from Jesus that doesn’t make it into the Precious Moments Bible. One day Im going to write a sequel to the precious moments bible called, “the not so precious moments bible.”
F.F. Bruce said it well
It is all too easy to believe in a Jesus who is largely a construction of our own imagination - an inoffensive person whom no one would really trouble to crucify. But the Jesus whom we meet in the Gospels, far from being an inoffensive person, gave offence right and left. Even his loyal followers found him, at times, thoroughly disconcerting.
Look what happened as a result.
verse 66 - Key Word “Many”
John 6:66 ESV
66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.
Do you understand what is happening? These multitudes wanted all the good things Jesus gave them but they did really want Jesus.
Is it possible today that you are seeking the good gifts that Jesus gives but not seeking Christ?
Are you longing for streets of Gold and Mansions but not the Messiah?
If you don’t love Jesus you want like heaven.

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Jesus is not a mega church pastor.
We need to be careful when we always assume that numbers = success.
Jesus was the most faithful teacher the world has ever known - many many many found his claims untenable.

The audacious claims of Christ cause many to abandon his ministry.

F.F. Bruce said it well
It is all too easy to believe in a Jesus who is largely a construction of our own imagination - an inoffensive person whom no one would really trouble to crucify. But the Jesus whom we meet in the Gospels, far from being an inoffensive person, gave offence right and left. Even his loyal followers found him, at times, thoroughly disconcerting.
John 6:51
John 6:52–60 ESV
52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum. 60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”
John 6:

One of the most shocking claims Christ made was this;

He claims to be all that we need.

Christ is more essential than food or drink.
You can live without food. You can live without drink.

There is no life apart from Christ.

Wink Rodgers Illustration - When the machine was removed he died almost instantly. Why? Because that machine was providing the life for him. There was no life apart from that machine. In the same what there is not life apart from Christ.

Christ claims to be the sole solution to man’s soul problem.

Question

Do you believe that Christ is the sole solution to your spiritual problem?

How does that truth affect your devotion to Christ?

If Jesus really is all I need - How can I treat him like an afterthought in my life?
If Jesus really is all I need how can I treat him like something I add to my week and squeeze into my weekend if I have time.

How does that truth affect your devotion to the body of Christ?

Christ was not promoting cannibalism
Eternal life comes through faith (eating his flesh and drinking his blood) in Jesus Christ.
It is not what you do that makes you right with God.
It is what God has done for you in Christ.
It is all too easy to believe in a Jesus who is largely a construction of our own imagination - an inoffensive person whom no one would really trouble to crucify. But the Jesus whom we meet in the Gospels, far from being an inoffensive person, gave offence right and left. Even his loyal followers found him, at times, thoroughly disconcerting.
F. F. Bruce. Hard Sayings of Jesus (The Hard Sayings Series) (Kindle Locations 67-69). Kindle Edition.

The message of Jesus Christ is divisive.

causing an adverse reaction because of being hard or harsh, hard, harsh, unpleasant

causing an adverse reaction because of being hard or harsh, hard, harsh, unpleasant
William Arndt et al., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 930.
The teachings of Christ
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