Lesson 195-September 1, 2019
Lesson: “Complaining Disciples, Deserting Disciples” Part I
Scripture: John 6:60-66
Lesson Goal: To better understand that not all that claim to be disciples are true believers and followers of Jesus.
Introduction: Please explain Jesus’ words, “And blessed is he who keeps from stumbling over me” (Matthew 11:6 NASB).
Question: What were some of the reasons the Jews stumbled over Jesus?
Question: How did the complaining (murmuring) of John 6:41 lead to the actions of John 6:66?
Question: What are some causes for people stumbling over Jesus in our day?
Some wanted to make Jesus’ teachings hard to understand but the difficulty did not lie in understanding His words but was found, in that, they were hard to accept once understood.
(v60) Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, “this is a hard saying; who can understand it?”
“Disciple”-Greek, -”mathetes”- “learner”, does not always imply “true belief in” or “lordship of .” May simp- ly mean a student/learner without regard to personal devotion or surrender. Many of those who were hearing Jesus’ words were not committed followers of Jesus. Thus Jesus’ words in John 6 serves as a sieve separating the false follower from the true follower. Some were following not out of devotion and surrender to Christ but with other motives and desires. Jesus’ words often brought separation.
Question: Upon an honest heart examination of your own life, which kind of disciple are you; a student of Jesus (fan of Jesus) or a surrendered life in daily devotion to following Jesus?
(v60) When they heard this, (“I am the living bread which comes from heaven (v51), “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink this blood, you have no life in you” (v53), “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day (v54).”
(v60) said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” The misunderstanding ultimately was not in under-
standing what Jesus had said but in accepting what He had said!
Question: Do we struggle often times not with the understanding of what the word of God is saying but rather with the acceptance and application of what it is saying?
(v61) When Jesus knew Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, Does this offend you?”
Does this cause you to stumble? Does this offend you? The word translated “stumble”, “offend”, comes from the Greek word “skandalizo” which carries a double meaning, “to take offense” or “to give up believing.”
(v62) What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before?
Many were struggling, denying the truth of Jesus’ statement, “came down from heaven,” then how would they handle the fact of the Lord’s ascension. If they saw Him return and go back would they then believe?
Jesus spoke clearly and pointedly the truth that many of the ones were doing so for the wrong reasons, with the wrong motives.
Question: What were some of the reasons that people were following Jesus in John chapter 6?
(v63) It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life.
No doubt some of Jesus’ listeners had taken His words literally concerning “eats my flesh and drinks my blood.” Jesus was speaking in spiritual terms with a spiritual interpretation needed. “It is the Spirit that gives life.” “The Lord exhorted those who took issue with eating His flesh (v52) to focus on partaking of His spirit (vv53-58).
Question: Please read John 3:1-16, John 4:5-26. How do these passages relate to John 6:60-71?
(v64) “But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe and who would betray Him.
Jesus knew that some were marred in their own unbelief. In their unbelief they did recognize the truth of His words or the most important truth of all who He was (is). In their unbelief they would not get beyond the physical aspects of the miracle (“I am the bread of life”). In their unbelief they did not see or understand Je- sus’ true identity as the Son of God come down from heaven.
“As always with those who reject God’s offer of salvation, the issue was not a lack of information, but a lack of faith. The Lord held these false disciples personally responsible for rejecting Him, not because they could not understand, but because they would not believe.” MacArthur
John places in the narrative that Jesus knew “from the beginning who they were who did not believe and who
(Judas) would betray Him.
(v65) And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.”
In this verse all of mans’ thinking concerning earning or working for salvation are completely nullified. This verse makes it clear that man can not earn or merit salvation. It also entirely strips man of his selfish egotisti- cal pride in self-made goodness and righteousness.
It is God that is the initiator in salvation. It is God who draws man by His love and grace for salvation. (See Romans 5:8; Ephesians 2:4-5; I John 4:7-11.
We should view these verses in light of the invitation that Jesus extends to sinners. In this salvation we see the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man.
(v66) From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.
In the gospels we learn that a true disciple is one that believes on Jesus and follows Him. The belief is a con- tinuing following.
Some who were disciples (learners) revealed themselves to be false disciples when they turned from following Him.
Please read John 10:22-30.