Lesson 196-September 8, 2019
Lesson: “Which Way Will You Go?” Part II
Scripture: John 6:66-71
Lesson Goal: To better understand with Jesus there is no middle ground.
Introduction: The final verses of John chapter six (vv66-71) close with the theme of rejection. Question: What does it mean to reject Jesus?
(v66) From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.
As we begin to look at this verse in detail we must recognize and understand the sadness of this verse. This verse should not be viewed lightly or casually but with heartbreaking compassion and sensitivity, understand- ing that many made the decision to reject Jesus. Although seeing Jesus and hearing His words, His teachings, standing in His very presence, many reasoned in their own minds and rejected Him. They were given by God opportunities, not only to learn of Him, but to accept/receive Him and follow Him,
Sadly many “went back and walked with Him no more.”
Please explain the following statement in the context of verse 66: No one meets Jesus and stays the same!
Please give prayerful thought to the statement, NO ONE meets Jesus and stays the same. Please offer your thoughts on the joy and gladness of the person that accepts and receives Jesus Christ. Please offer your thoughts on the person that rejects and refuses Jesus Christ. How is life and eternity effected by their meeting Jesus?
Facing the reality of their unbelief, (v64) many turned away never to walk with Jesus again.
May God help each of us (followers of Jesus, true believers) to have a brokenness over the lost that refuse to accept Jesus Christ.
The Life Application Bible Commentary states, “Several followers decided to not follow anymore. Within sight of the Kingdom, privileged with a taste of the Bread of Life, and watching the living water flow, they nevertheless walked away. In a short sentence, John captured one of the saddest moments in the ministry of Jesus.”
Question: Why did Jesus’ words cause may of His followers to walk away?
Question: Why do people turn away from Jesus today?
Once again we are brought again to the tension between faith and following. Some try to offer a distinction between a Christian and being a follower of Jesus. My words to that, NOT all followers are Christians but all Christians are followers. Then someone says, “Well, what about the person that strays away?” My response, a Christian may stray but they will not stay! Genuine, true believers, Christians seek to follow Him! The Bible does not offer or suggest some easy, comfortable, to suit one’s own taste or preference way of following Jesus. Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”
It is important to know to whom Jesus spoke these words. Jesus spoke these words “to His disci- ples.” (Matthew 16:24).
Please give sincere thought to the words of J. Ramsey Michaels, “They have ‘followed’ Jesus (v2), ‘come to Him’ (v5), hailed Him as the prophet (v14), tried to make Him King (v15), ‘looked for Him and found
Him’ (vv24-25), but now they ‘turned back’, an expression with an almost military sound (see 18:6!), The verb is aorist, marking in this instance not a momentary setback but a decisive turning away. The accompany- ing verb is imperfect: they ‘would no longer walk with Him,’ making their defection permanent.”
(v67) Then Jesus said to the twelve :do you also want to go away?”
Now Jesus turns His attention specifically and directly to the twelve. Jesus used the defection of the false dis- ciples to call the twelve to a stern self examination of their own faith. Please note that even with this call of self-examination, one of the disciples did not get it (vv70-71).
“We can’t stay on middle ground about Jesus. When He asked the disciples if they would also leave, He was showing them that He was not taking their faith for granted. Jesus never tried to repel people with His teach- ings. He simply told the truth. The more the people heard Jesus’ real message, the more they divided into two camps-the honest seekers wanting to understand more and those rejecting Jesus because they didn’t like what they heard” (Life Application Bible)
(v68) But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
As often the case, Peter becomes the spokesman for the twelve. Peter’s words are similar to his confession of Jesus as the Messiah at Caesarea Philippi (Matthew 16:16). Peter was imply saying there is no other way and there is no other one! Jesus, You alone!
(v69) Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Jesus’ question (v67) gave the disciples the opportunity to confess their faith. In Peter’s answer (v69) was the testimony of Who Jesus is! And in Peter’s question of (v68) is the truth that we reject all others. Only You are Savior, Master, Lord and King. Jesus, You Alone!
We have put our faith in You! You are indeed all You profess to be!
(vv70-71) Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?” He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.
In verses 68 and 69, Peter had used the pronoun “we” meaning all of us, to which Jesus corrects him in verses 70 and 72. “There was one of the company of the twelve that did not share Peter’s view concerning the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Believers Bible Commentary).
What started out with two fish and five barley loaves, brings us to the truth of Jesus the Bread of Life. From the blessing of eating the fish and bread to the invitation to come eat of the Bread of Life. Some saw the mira- cle while missing the God of the miracle.
Up until this very moment in your life, with all that God has done to help you and enable you to get it, do you get it? Or will you walk away?
Will you reject Jesus?