Does This Offend You?


Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said,  
“This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” When Jesus knew in Himself 
that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you?
John 6:60-61 (NKJV)

Do some of the sayings of Jesus offend you or make you uncomfortable? Well, you’re not alone. There were many people who witnessed Jesus Christ face to face, who listened to His teaching, who saw His miracles yet could not bear His words and walked away rejecting the Savior.

Jesus appeals to many as the Good Shepherd (John 10:11-14) giving us a warm and compassionate picture of His character. However, many of those same people reject that same Jesus who declares we should fear Him who has the authority to cast us into hell (Luke 12:4-5). Interestingly, the Bible reveals both are equally true portrayals of Jesus. When cherry-picking aspects of Jesus Christ’s nature that simply appeal to our sensibilities we risk fashioning a god of our own liking as the object of our faith rather than the Son of God the Bible describes.

In the Gospel of John chapter 6 (6:22-71), Jesus challenges those who would attempt to try to put Him in their ‘god box’. Jesus had just fed 5,000 people with a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish, yet this miraculous sign was not enough to satisfy both their unbelief and their lack of understanding of His mission. Jesus in turn chides them for not recognizing their true need.

Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you 
saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food 
which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will 
give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”” John 6:26-27 

This was a pivotal moment for the crowds following Jesus across the Galilean country-side. Jesus is now questioning their motives for seeking Him. Were they more interested in their physical appetites or did they crave spiritual food and freedom?

"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. 
Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down 
from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven.
 If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, 
which I shall give for the life of the world. I am the living bread which came down from heaven.
 If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, 
which I shall give for the life of the world.” John 6:47- 52  

Jesus’ words were now becoming uncomfortable for many pressing them to commit to a faith in Him that is unbridled from their religious traditions. In declaring that He is the Bread of Life and that we must partake of Him, Jesus uses a metaphor to equate man’s need for Him to satisfy their eternal life as much as we need physical bread to sustain earthly life. In verse 51 Jesus then alludes to His future death on the cross as the atoning fleshly sacrifice for the life of the world. His words were unraveling their notion of who the Messiah should be.

When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained 
about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you? John 6:61

The Jew’s expectation of Jesus was not for a suffering servant but centered around their tradition that He as Messiah was to lead a revolt against the oppression of Roman rule and establish a Jewish kingdom. However at that time, His revolution was waged in the spiritual realm to set the heart of man free from the oppression of sin.

The crowds of people were captivated by Jesus’ miracles, teaching and healings. Yet sadly most of those disciples walked away that day in unbelief (v 66) because of their unmet human expectations of Jesus and His hard sayings that did not fit their narrative of the Messiah. Jesus Christ does not offer anyone the option of coming to faith in Him on our own terms. We can have no demands or expectations of the true God with the exception that His Word is absolute and His promises sure.

With the crowd of people now gone, Jesus then asks the twelve Apostles if they are leaving too. Peter answers, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.  Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:68-69). Peter rightly understood that Jesus Christ as the living God cannot be corralled or manipulated by man centered presumptions and expectations. His eternal nature demands we are the ones who must bow our hearts and submit to His truth. With that, we also have to ask the question of ourselves “To whom else shall we go?”.

Many today still stumble over the truth of Jesus Christ and the Bible. To those who were honest seekers of truth and the way of salvation, Jesus showed patience and compassion gently leading them to truth. But to those who stubbornly attempted to box Him in or expect Him to dance to the tune of their truth, He often allowed them to continue to stumble down the path of their own ignorance. He still does both today.

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, 
“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the 
Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”  John 7:37-38  


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