Lesson 192-August 18, 2019
Lesson: “Digging a Little Deeper”
Scripture: John 6:41-46
Lesson Goal: To gain a better understanding of Jesus, “The Bread of Life”
Introduction: “There are probably very few parts of the Bible which contain so many deep things as the Sixth Chapter of John. Truths of the weightiest importance follow each other in rapid succession in the chapter we are now reading. We learn, for one thing, from this passage, that Christ’s lowly condition, when He was upon earth is a stumbling block to the natural man. We read that ‘the Jews murmured, because Jesus said, I am the bread that came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?’ Had our Lord come as a con-quering King with wealth and honors to bestow on His followers and mighty armies in His train, they would have been wiling enough to receive Him. But a poor and lowly, suffering Messiah was an offense to them. Their pride refused to believe that such a one was sent from God” (J.C. Ryle). Ryle continues to write, “there is nothing that need surprise us in this. It is human nature showing itself in its truest colors. We see the same thing in the days of the Apostles. Christ crucified was ‘to the Jews a stumbling, and to the Greeks foolishness,’ (I Corinthians 1:23). The cross was an offense to many whenever the Gospel was preached. We may see the same thing in our own times. There are thousands around us who loathe the distinctive doctrines of the Gospel on account of their humbling character. They cannot tolerate the atonement, and the sacrifice and the substitution of Christ. His moral teaching they approve. His example and self-denial they admire. But to speak to them of Christ’s blood being made sin for us-of Christ’s death being the cornerstone of our hope-of Christ’s poverty being our riches-and you will find they hate those things with a deadly hatred. Truly the of-fense of the cross has not ceased!” (Ryle).
(v41) The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.”Because of Jesus’ words the Jews begin to “complain”, “grumble”, “murmur.” This reaction by the Jews is very reminiscent of the reaction of their forefathers during Israel’s rebellion in the wilderness. (Please read Exodus 16:2, 7-9, 12; 17:3; Numbers 14:2).
Question: What does it mean “to murmur?”
Question: Are you a part of any holy huddles that murmur?
The basis for the murmuring of the Jews was found in Jesus’ statement in verse 38, “For I have come down from heaven.” (Please read John 1:14; Galatians 4:4; Philippians 2:7-8).
Question: What does Jesus’ words in verse 38 and 41 clearly speak of? Why did this disturb and infuriate the religious leaders? “When John speaks of the “Jews” in this passage he is referring to the Jewish leaders who were hostile to Jesus” (Life Application Bible Commentary).
(v42) And they said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
The religious leaders try to refute Jesus’ claim by reiterating and recalling Jesus’ family tree. They know Him to be the Galilean, whose father and mother they know. Not only this, but they knew that He came from the despised and detested town of Nazareth (See John 1:46).
The Believers Bible Commentary offers these insights into verse 42, “The (Jewish leaders) assumed that Jesus was the son of Joseph. Here, of course, they were wrong. Jesus was born of the virgin Mary. Our Lord was conceived of the Holy Spirit. Their failure to believe in the virgin birth led to their darkness and unbelief. So it is today. Those who refuse to accept the Lord Jesus as the Son of God who came into the world through the womb of the virgin find themselves compelled to deny all the great truths concerning the Person and work of Christ.”
(v43) Jesus therefore answered and said to them, “Do not murmur among yourselves.”
The murmuring of verse 41 had been done in the holy huddle of the Jewish leaders. Rather than responding to the grumbling, complaining, murmuring Jewish leaders, Jesus commanded the Jews, “Do not murmur among yourselves.”
Question for thought: Has Jesus ever told you to stop your murmuring, complaining, grumbling? If your answer is no, perhaps you weren’t listening!
MacArthur states, “He called them to stop the mumbling complaints that reflected their rebellious and hard hearts. He had said and done enough, if they had been open and willing. Thus, there was no point in responding to their muttering discontent and disrespect with a detailed defense.”
Believers Bible Commentary, “The more the Jews rejected the testimony of the Lord Jesus, the more difficult His teachings became. ‘Light rejected is light denied.’ The more they spurned the gospel, the harder it be-came for them to accept the gospel. If the Lord told them simple things and they would not believe, then He would expound to them more difficult things and they would be thoroughly ignorant of what He was saying.”
(v44) No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. “The crowd of skeptics grumbled against the assertion that Jesus had come down from heaven and that people were coming to Him because the Father ‘gave them to’ Jesus (v37). Jesus both rebuked their complaining and corrected their ignorance.” (Moody Bible Commentary)No one comes to Christ unless the Father draws him/her. Those that came to Christ drawn by the Father are secure in Him. “I will raise him up at the last day.”
(v45) “It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned the Father comes to Me.”
Jesus is paraphrasing Isaiah 54:13 to make the point that His teaching is consistent with that of the Old Testament. In verse 45, Jesus is reemphasizing the point made in verse 44. In the context of verses 44 and 45 drawing and reaching are merely different aspects of God’s call to salvation. “It is through the teaching of the Word that God draws people to the Savior. The sinner hears, learns and comes as the Father draws him. A mystery? Yes! A blessed reality? Yes !” (Wiersbe)
(v46) Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. (Please read John 1:18 and I Timothy 6:15-16). Jesus like no other because of His divine eternal privilege in heaven and because He was sent forth from the Father, He can speak absolutely authoritative about the Father (See He-brews 1:1-2).
As we wrap us today’s lesson please take just a moment to truly thank God for allowing us the grace privilege of studying His word. Please thank Him for the great blessing, but often taken for granted blessing, of simply being able to hold a Bible in our hands!
How blessed is that!!!!
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”