Summary: After Jesus preached the wonderful sermon, the crowd was facing a moment of truth. What would they do with Jesus?
• Have you ever faced a moment of truth in your life? A moment of truth is a time where you are confronted with the facts about an issue or a person and then you needed to make a decision?
• It may have been a decision on whether or not to break off a relationship with someone. Maybe it was a decision as to whether or not to go to a party. Maybe it was a time where you had to decide whether or not you were going to cheat to get a better score on a test.
• As we face various moments of truth in our lives, they many times are crossroads that determine the course of our lives. It is important that we face our moments of truth understanding the serious implications of actions and decisions.
• At one time or another we will all face a moment of truth. Jesus is about to close this lengthy sermon He was preaching in the synagogue. Jesus has been preaching about what it would take for a person to have eternal life. Jesus has shared the benefits of following Him, now the people are confronted with a moment of truth.
• What are they going to do with what Jesus has taught them? Maybe you have been coming to church here for a while and you have been confronted by the teachings of Jesus. You are facing a moment of truth. What will you do?
• The crowd was faced with a moment of truth. The people had a choice to make. Accept or reject.
• As they contemplated what Jesus had taught them they had to decide what they were going to do? What would their response be during this all important moment of truth? Today as we close out the sermon by Jesus, we will see the three ways in which the crowds faced their moment of truth.
• As you listen to the message today, I want to challenge you to honestly assess where you are at today with Jesus. In what category do you fit?
When confronted with their moment of truth with Jesus, for many the response was:
I. OVERT DEFECTION (60-66) (READ)
• This is perhaps the most “unsuccessful” sermon ever preached. Jesus started with thousands and finishes with a handful. Yet it is a significant turning point in Jesus’ ministry. While he moves closer to a self-revelation, he also shifts from a public ministry to thousands to a more private training of the Twelve.
• The original text of verse 66 is much more explicit than the English translation. “From this time”(NIV) or (As a result NASB) suggests not merely this time but this event.
• As a result of this sermon many of his disciples abandon ship. Not only that but the text indicates that people went back home, back to work, back to their old habits, old ways of thinking, etc. For many, this is an abandonment of the movement. They not only give up following Jesus, they give up what he represents and teaches.
• In verses 62-65 we see further evidence that Jesus did not mean to be taken literally when He spoke of eating His flesh and drinking His blood.
• In verses 62-63 Jesus tells the crowd that if they see Him ascending from Heaven, eating flesh will do them no good. He says it is the Spirit who gives life and furthermore; the WORDS that He spoke were Spirit and life!
• In verse 60 when the people complained about what Jesus was preaching, what did Jesus do? Did He back off His preaching, or did He change what He was saying to make it more palatable to the people? NO! Jesus was on the verge of losing many of the people who were following Him, but He did not change the message. There is a lesson in that for us today. We are not to go out and intentionally offend people, but the message is the message. If the message offends it offends. We are to preach the lesson with love, but we are not to change the message to make people happy!
• Many people today do not like the fact that Jesus claims to be the only way to God. Do we change what He said to make people happy? NO!
• I’ve made my choice," wrote the basketball star. "I love Jesus Christ and I try to serve Him to the best of my ability. How about you?" No, those are not the words of David Robinson, A. C. Green or any other Christian currently playing in the NBA. That testimony is from a tract written over thirty years ago by Bill Bradley, the former United States Senator and one time Presidential candidate. In a October 5, 1999 Breakpoint Commentary, Chuck Colson talked about how Bradley professed faith in Christ while he was a student at Princeton University. There he became very active in The Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and by the time he was playing for the New York Knicks, he was a very outspoken Christian. But things have changed. In his 1996 memoirs, Bradley says he was put off by the exclusive truth claims of conservative Christianity and bothered by the uncharitable and racist attitudes displayed by some Christians. He now says he embraces all religions, from Buddhism to Islam, "so long as they seek inner peace."