Summary: The word "doctrines" has almost become a "dirty word" in many Christian circles. Often times when people hear a difficult teaching, or "doctrine", they become disenchanted and at times even divisive. Jesus spoke to this tendency in John 6.
“Words that Cause Stumbling” John 6:59-64
Last week we ended with these verses from John 6:56 "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 "As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. 58 "This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever."
Life with God in His Kingdom is only by the gift of God-given faith by Believing into Jesus. People who are “blessed”, as Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount, are those whom He has granted a new birth from above. Those who are believers by faith understand and receive Jesus as the only way into God’s Kingdom: He is the Living Bread which came down out of Heaven. Without partaking of Him, one does not have forgiveness of sins nor life eternal. Life is in Jesus Christ. Today we examine John 6:59-63:
“These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum. 60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, "This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?" 61 But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, "Does this cause you to stumble? 62 "What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? 63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe."
THE MARKS OF THOSE WHO “STUMBLE” and QUIT “THE RACE”
Jesus was teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum His self-proclamation as the “Bread of Life,” “the Living Bread”, that He was the only Mediator Messiah sent from Heaven by God; Jesus said that you had to spiritually “eat of His Body and drink of His Blood if you were going to “abide in Christ” and have a place in God’s Kingdom. When many of His disciples heard it they said , 'This is a difficult or hard saying or teaching; who can listen, accept or hear it?' This is one of the marks of people who drop out of the Christian cause, those who “quit the race”, those who do not continue to follow the Savior: They take offense at difficult truths or teachings, the teachings cause them to stumble and they quit the race and turn to something or someone who is more pleasing to their senses and understanding.
The word that Jesus uses in verse 61 referring to “stumbling” is “skandalizo” meaning “to offend, to give offense, to cause to stumble.” Peter later explains the significance of people being offended at the Words of Jesus in 1 Peter 2:7-8: This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, "THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone," 8 and, "A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE "; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.” So very important!
By their grumbling at the teaching of Jesus, they indicated that they were no longer going to consider what Jesus had just taught; it was too hard to understand and they would not continue to listen, hear, or follow Jesus. Verse 66 makes that clear: As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.” WALKING WITH JESUS is what disciples of Jesus do!
One of the teachings or doctrines that Jesus was teaching was that of the Trinity, the Triune God: God the Father, God the Son (the mouthpiece or Word of God in the flesh-that’s why the WORD OF GOD is so important in the life of the one who is following Jesus!) Many people say, "I don't understand the Trinity. I can’t accept that: How can God be one and yet be three Persons?" I don’t fully understand it either, but I believe it, and I understand that in the Triune God there is a deep and marvelous truth about ETERNAL RELATIONSHIP that is extremely rich. Jesus prayed for His Body, the Church in this way in John 17:21: “That they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.”An understanding of the Perfect unity of the Trinity gives us an understanding of the beautiful activity and life of the Church, the Body of Christ serving the Head who is Jesus, the fellowship, love and unity of the Saints, and the beauty of Christian marriage.