John 6:42-71

John 6:42-71 has the Jewish leaders questioning who Jesus is and how He can make the claims He is making.  “How can he now say, I came down out of heaven’ and expect anyone to believe him”?  After all, He was a local boy with regular parents and certainly not of some fabulous background or training.  Jesus tells them to let go and leave it alone.  “You’re not in charge here. The Father who sent me is in charge”.  God is the only one in charge, and these Jewish leaders are missing the boat entirely.

Jesus reinforces the real message of His life.  “I’m telling you the most solemn and sober truth now: Whoever believes in me has real life, eternal life. I am the Bread of Life….Anyone eating this Bread will not die, ever”.  While the Jewish leaders are arguing about who Jesus is, they are missing the truth that matters – that He is the source of salvation.  The Jews began to argue amongst themselves over these statements.  They can’t figure out how this can possibly be true.

Jesus makes it clear that the bread He offers is different than any bread that God has ever offered before.  It isn’t just manna that kept God’s people alive, but this is eternal life bread that allows people to come to know the Savior.  Even the disciples were struggling to understand, so Jesus makes another run at it.  And He challenges them to consider God’s plan.  We can’t come to receive His salvation on our own. Jesus reminds them “You get to me only as a gift from the Father”.

A lot of His disciples left when they heard these words from Jesus.  They no longer wanted to be associated with Him.  So Jesus gave the Twelve the same option – to leave.  But they asked where they would go as they had committed to following Jesus.  Peter does seem to get it when he says “You have the words of real life, eternal life”.  Jesus responded by reminding them “Haven’t I handpicked you, the Twelve”?  But even though He had chosen them, He tells them that one of them was preparing to betray Him.  He is foretelling what is to come at His crucifixion.

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