Summary: The Bible tells us about the reason some people are offended by Christ. People often say that they are offended by the message of Jesus Christ. There are four things in particular that we will look at tonight, four things in particular that offend peopl
Well it looks like we are going to finish chapter 6 of John before the end of the year. Tonight we see what the Bible tells us about the reason some people are offended by Christ. People often say that they are offended by the message of Jesus Christ. There are four things in particular that we will look at tonight, four things in particular that offend people. Let’s get into the study.
The first thing we need to take note of tonight is that Jesus’ message was to the synagogue crowd in Capernaum. READ vv. 59-60. For the past few weeks we have been studying where Jesus made a claim to the people that He was the Son of God, that He came down out of heaven, and that to have eternal life one must eat of His flesh and drink of His blood.
Many disciples and followers of His were present, but they had difficulty accepting what He had said. When they said it was “a hard teaching” they meant it was rough and harsh. What Jesus had said was hard and difficult to accept, but His words were clearly understood. The people’s problem was not in their understanding, but in their hearts. Jesus knew this, so He covered some of the reasons why men are offended by Him.
The first reason was the idea of eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking his blood. READ v. 61. I said earlier in this study that if we were in that crowd that day and took Jesus literally, it would probably offend us to think about eating His flesh and drinking His blood. It would offend us, that is, if we didn’t look beyond the physical aspect of it.
And so it is today with those who try to defend their opinion against Christianity. To them, Christianity becomes a bloody religion or a religion of cannibalism. God becomes a grotesque god, a god who came to earth to impregnate a young girl, becoming incarnate into human flesh, being born half-man and half-god.
Let’s say something about that. Jesus claimed to be God incarnated in human flesh, but not in a grotesque sense—not half-man and half-god. Jesus was fully man; that is, He had the nature of man, being made of the very same substance as all men. The difference was that He was not born of a human father. He was born of God.
God simply spoke the Word and a miracle took place, just like He spoke the Word and created the world. There is nothing grotesque neither about God’s speech nor about His willing something to be done and doing it. So Jesus was born by the Word of God and by human flesh. He was fully Man, fully God.
Some feel that the cross or the blood of Christ is offensive and repulsive. Yes, it represents the awful shame of sin and the death of Jesus. But it also represents salvation and deliverance from sin and its awful guilt. So to Christians, the cross is the most attractive symbol in all the world.
So the words “Take…eat” are not cannibalism. They simply mean that a person is to spiritually receive Christ into their life, into their whole being. So we spiritually take and eat Christ’s body, we spiritually receive, Christ into our life. In that, one must allow Christ to become the very nourishment, the innermost part and energy, of his being.
READ 62. Some are offended by the ascension and exaltation of Christ. Why? Because if a person accepts the ascension and exaltation of Christ, he has to surrender the control of his life to Christ. He can no longer control his own life and do the things he wishes.
Christ referred to himself as the Son of Man. The false disciple is not willing to look at Jesus as the Son of Man. If a person accepts Christ as the Son of Man, they will have to pattern their life after Christ by doing their very best to live as Christ lived. They would diligently seek to be like Christ.
God exalted Jesus as Lord and Master. The false disciple is not willing to submit himself under the control of Jesus. He is adamantly opposed to patterning his life after Jesus.
In v. 62 Jesus used the words “where he was before.” That points to the fact that Jesus is eternal. He was preexistent. He was there in the beginning. He is the Word. And in the beginning He was with God and He was God.
READ 63-64. People are often offended by the teaching that the Spirit quickens. What does that mean? It means the Spirit gives life and the flesh counts for nothing. Think about it. . .
1. The flesh can’t quicken and make a man alive. Those apart from Christ don’t like to think about the zero value of the flesh. And aren’t most of us guilty of that. We do everything we can to keep our youth, our attractiveness, our stamina. We us cosmetics, clothing, and activities to appear young, attractive, and physically capable. Am I right men? It’s hard for us to admit it when we realize our sons can outrun us, or beat us in an arm wrestle. So when we finally realize it, we see that the flesh in unprofitable, it ages, and surrenders to the process of decay. (Talk about sounding grotesque.) That thought offends people.