Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Saturday, 04 March 2017
60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? 61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? 62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. 65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. 66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
2 Timothy 2:19
19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
any of the so-called disciples found the teachings of Jesus too difficult to accept. The word “hard” in this passage (v.60) means “hard to accept,” and not “hard to understand.”
The actual implications of the discourse between Christ and the Jews demanded much more than intellectual capability. One must either make the tremendous leap of faith and receive Jesus as the Son of God, equal with the Father, or reject Him as a blasphemer. Christ is either one on whom man must depend for eternal life, or else He is a deceiver. It would be hard to find any middle ground.
Many of those who followed Him had to make a choice concerning Christ.
The word disciple means “learner” and does not always denote a true believer. Sometimes it merely refers to those who were temporary adherents of Christ. If their initial attraction to Jesus did not develop into settled faith, they eventually would lose interest and cease from following Him. On this occasion, many were offended at His statements regarding the eating and drinking of His flesh and blood, and decided not to follow Him any more.
Jesus declared that His ascension would clearly prove the truth of His claim of a heavenly origin (v.61–62). Nevertheless, He said they would not believe on Him. Their unbelief was no surprise to Jesus. He was well aware of their attitude and repeated His early comment that no superficial loyalty was sufficient (v.63–65). Until the Holy Spirit enlightened them about the words of Jesus, no mere human enthusiasm (“flesh” v.63) would bring them to the new life. Once again the initiative is traced to God (v.65), just as in verse 44.
“Many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him” (Jn 6:66).
O Lord Jesus, may I never wander away from You. Help me to trust in You always.