Wednesday, June 25, 2014

John Chapter 8, The Truth Will Set You Free

[The earliest manuscripts do not include 7:53-8:11]
explanation for the verses John 7:53 through John 8:11 from The MacArthur Study Bible ESV page 1556.
"7:53-8:11 This section dealing with the adulteress most likely was not a part of the original contents of John.  It has been incorporated into various manuscripts at different places in the Gospel (e.g., after vv. 36, 44, 52, or 21:25), while one manuscript places it after Luke 21:38.  External manuscript evidence representing a great variety of textual traditions is decidedly against its inclusion, for the earliest and best manuscripts exclude it.  Many manuscripts mark the passage to indicate doubt as to its inclusion.  Significant early versions exclude it.  No Greek church father comments on the passage until the twelfth century.  The vocabulary and style of the section also are different from the rest of the Gospel, and the section interrupts the sequence of John 7:52 with 8:12ff.  Many, however, do think that it has all the earmarks of historical veracity, perhaps being a piece of oral tradition that circulated in parts of the Western church, so that a few comments are in order.  In spite of all these considerations of the likely unreliability of this section, it is possible to be wrong on that issue, and thus it is good to consider the meaning of this passage and leave it in the text, just as with Mark 16:9-20."

53[[They went each to his own house, but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.  Early in the morning he came again to the temple.  All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them.  The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery.  Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women.  So what do you say?" This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him.  Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.  And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her."  And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground.  But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.  Jesus stood up and said to her, "Woman, where are they?  Has no one condenmed you?"  She said, "No one, Lord."  And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more."]]

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."  So the Pharisees said to him, "You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true."  Jesus answered, "Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I come from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going.  You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one.  Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me.  In your Law it is written that the tesitmony of two people is true.  I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me."  They said to him therefore, "Where is your Father?"  Jesus answered, "You know neither me nor my Father.  If you knew me, you would know my Father also."  These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.

So he said to them again, "I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin.  Where I am going, you cannot come."  So the Jews said, "Will he kill himself, since he says, 'Where I am going you cannot come'?"  He said to them, "You are from below; I am from above.  You are of this world; I am not of this world.  I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins."  So they said to him, "Who are you?"  Jesus said to them, "Just what I have been telling you from the beginning.  I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him."  They did not understand that he had been speaking to them about the Father.  So Jesus said to them, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and the I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me.  And he who sent me is with me.  He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him."  As he was saying these things, many believed in him.

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."  They answered him, "We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone.  How is it that you say. 'You will become free'?"

Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.  The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever.  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.  I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you.  I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father."

They answered him, "Abraham is our father."  Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God.  This is not what Abraham did.  You are doing the works your father did."  They said to him, "We were not born of sexual immorality.  We have one Father--even God."  Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here.  I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.  Why do you not understand what I say?  It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.  You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires.  He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.  But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.  Which one of you convicts me of sin?  If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?  Whoever is of God hears the words of God.  The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God."

The Jews answered him, "Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?"  Jesus answered, "I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me.  Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge.  Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death."  The Jews said to him, "Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, 'If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.'  Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died?  And the prophets died!  Who do you make yourself out to be?"  Jesus answered, "If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing.  It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, He is our God.  But you have not known him.  I know him.  If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word.  Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day.  He saw it and was glad."  So the Jews said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?"  Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am."  So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple."  John 8  ESV

Explanation for John chapter 8 verses 8:14-18, 8:21-30, 8:23, 8:24, 8:31-36, 8:32, 8:34, 8:35-36, 8:51 From The MacArthur Study Bible ESV, pages1557-1559.

"8:14-18 These verses give three reasons why Jesus' witness was true: 1) Jesus knew his orgin and destiny while the Jews were ignorant even of basic spiritual truths, making their judgment limited and superficial (vv. 14-15); 2) the intimate union of the Son with the Father guaranteed the truth of the Son's witness (v. 16); and 3) the Father and Son witnessed harmoniously together regarding the identity of the Son (vv. 17-18).

8:21-30 Jesus revealed the consequence of the rejection of him as Messiah and Son of God, i.e., spiritual death (v. 24; cf. Heb. 10:26-31).  These verses reveal four ways that ensure people will die in their sins and, as a result, experience spiritual death:  1) being self-righteous (John 8:20-22); 2) being earthbound (vv. 23-24); 3) being unbelieving (v.24); and 4) being willfully ignorant (vv. 25-29).  The Jews who rejected Jesus displayed all four of these characteristics.

8:23 You are from below.  The contrast here is between the realm of God and that of the fallen, sinful world (i.e., "from below").  The world in this context is the invisible spiritual system of evil dominated by Satan and all that it offers in opposition to God, his word, and his people (see notes on 1:9; 1 John 5:19).  Jesus declared that his opponents' true kinship was with Satan and his realm.  By this domination, they were spiritually blinded (see 2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:1-3).

8:24 unless you believe.  Jesus emphasized that the fatal, unforgivable, and eternal sin is failure to believe in him as Messiah and Son of God.  In truth, all other sins can be forgiven if this one is repented of.  See notes on 16:8-9.  I am he.  The word "he" is not part of the original statement.  Jesus' words were not constructed normally but were influenced by OT Hebrew usage.  It is an absolute usage meaning "I AM" and his immense theological significance.  The reference may be to both Ex. 3:14 where the Lord declared his name as "I AM" and to Isa. 43:10, 13, 25; 46:4; 48:12).  In this, Jesus referred to himself as the God (Yahweh--the Lord) of the OT, and directly claimed full deity for himself, prompting the Jews' question of John 8:25.  See note on v. 58.

8:31-36 These verses are a pivotal passage in understanding genuine salvation and true discipleship.  John emphasized these realities by stressing truth and freedom.  The focus in the passage is upon those who were exercising the beginnings of faith in Jesus as Messiah and Son of God.  Jesus desired them to move on in their faith.  Saving faith is not fickle but firm and settled.  Such maturity expresses itself in full commitment to the truth in Jesus Christ resulting in genuine freedom.  The passage has three features: 1) the progress of freedom (vv. 31-32); 2) the pretense of freedom (vv. 33-34); and 3) the promise of freedom (vv. 35-36).

8:32 the truth.  "Truth" here has reference not only to the facts surrounding Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God but also to the teaching that he brought.  A genuinely saved and obedient follower of the Lord Jesus will know divine truth and both freedom from sin (v. 34) and the search for reality.  This divine truth comes not merely by intellectual assent (1 Cor. 2:14) but saving commitment to Christ (cf. Titus 1:1-2).

8:34 Truly, truly.  See note on 1:51.  everyone who commits sin.  The kind of slavery that Jesus had in mind was not physical slavery but slavery to sin (cf. Rom. 6:17-18).  The idea of "commits sin" means to practice sin habitually (1 John 3:4, 8-9).  The ultimate bondage is not political or economic enslavement but spiritual bondage to sin and rebellion against God.  Thus, this also explains why Jesus would not let himself be reduced to merely a political Messiah (John 6:14-15).

8:35-36 The notion of slavery in v. 34 moves to the status of slaves.  While the Jews thought of themselves only as free sons of Abraham, in reality, they were slaves of sin.  The genuine son in the context is Christ himself, who sets the slaves free from sin.  Those whom Jesus Christ liberates from the tyranny of sin and the bondage of legalism are really free (Rom. 8:2; Gal. 5:1).

8:51 never see death.  Heeding Jesus' teaching and following him results in eternal life (6:63, 68).  Physical death cannot extinguish such life (see 5:24; 6:40, 47; 11:25-26).

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for the gift of salvation.  The truth shall set you free is a wonderful gift from You Lord.  Thank You isn't enough to say for all You have done for us.  I lift up those reading the Book of John and I pray that You will reveal Yourself to them so that they can also find the truth and be set free.  In Jesus' name amen.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

John Chapter 7--Rivers of Living Water

"After this Jesus went about in Galilee.  He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him.  Now the Jews Feast of Booths was at hand.  So his brothers said to him, "Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing.  For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly.  If you do these things, show yourself to the world."  For not even his brothers believed in him.  Jesus said to them, "My time has not yet come, but your time is always here.  The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil.  You go up to the feast.  I am not going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.  After saying this, he remained in Galilee.

But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private.  The Jews were looking for him at the feast, and saying, "Where is he?"  And there was much muttering about him among the people.  While some said, "He is a good man," others said, "No, he is leading the people astray."  Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him.

About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching.  The Jews therefore marveled, saying, "How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?"  So Jesus answered them.  "My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me.  If anyone's will is to do God's will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.  The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood.  Has not Moses given you the law?  Yet none of you keeps the law.  Why do you seek to kill me?"  The crowd answered, "You have a demon! Who is seeking to kill you?"  Jesus answered them, "I did one work, and you all marvel at it.  Moses gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath.  If on the Sabbath a man receives circumcision, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because  on the Sabbath I made a man's whole body well?  Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment." 

Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, "Is not this the man whom they seek to kill?  And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him!  Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ?  But we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from."  So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, "You know me, and you know where I come from?  But I have not come of my own accord.  He who sent me is true, and him you do not know.  I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me."  So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.  Yet many of the people believed in him.  They said, "When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?"

The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about him, and the chief priests and Pharisees sent the officers to arrest him.  Jesus then said, "I will be with you a little longer, and then I am going to him who sent me.  You will seek me and you will not find me.  Where I am you cannot come."  The Jews said to one another, "Where does this man intend to go that we will not find him?  Does he intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks?  What does he mean by saying, 'You will seek me and you will not find me, and, 'Where I am you cannot come'?"

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."  Now this he said  about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

When they heard these words, some of the people said, "This really is the Prophet."  Others said, "This is the Christ."  But some said, "Is the Christ to come from Galilee?  Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?"  So there was a division among the people over him.  Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.

The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, "Why did you not bring him?"  The officers answered, "No one ever spoke like this man!"  The Pharisees answered them, "Have you also been deceived?  Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?  But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.  Nicodemus, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them, "Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?"  They replied, "Are you from Galilee too?  Search and see that no prophet arises from Galilee."  John Chapter 7 ESV

Explanation for verses in John 7:37-39, from The MacArthur Study Bible page 1555.

"7:37On the last day.  This suggests that this occasion occurred on a different day than the controversy in vv. 11-36.  If anyone thirsts.  A tradition grew up in the few centuries before Jesus that on the seven days of the Feast of Booths, or Tabernacles, a golden container filled with water from the pool of Siloam was carried in procession by the high priest back to the temple.  As the procession came to the Water Gate on the south side of the inner temple court, three trumpet blasts were made to mark the joy of the occasion and the people recited Isa. 12:3, "With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation."  At the temple, while onlookers watched, the priests would march around the altar with the water container while the temple choir sang the Hallel (Ps. 113-118).  The water was offered in sacrifice to God at the time of the morning sacrifice.  The use of the water symbolized the blessing of adequate rainfall for crops.  Jesus used this event an an object lesson and opportunity to make a very public invitation on the last day of the feast for his people to accept him as the living water.  His words recall Isa. 55:1.  thirsts. . . .come. . . .drink.  These three words summarize the gospel invitation.  A recognition of need leads to an approach to the source of provision, followed by receiving what is needed.  The thirsty, needy soul feels the craving to come to the Savior and drink, i.e., receive the salvation he offers.

7:38 living water.  The water-pouring rite was also associated within Jewish tradition as a foreshadowing of the eschatological rivers of living water foreseen in Ezek. 47:1-9 and Zech. 13:1.  The significance of Jesus' invitation centers in the fact that he was the fulfillment of all the Feast of Booths, or Tabernacles, anticipated, i.e., he was the One who provided the living water that gives eternal life to man (cf. John 4:10-11).

7:39 he said about the Spirit.  The impartation of the Holy Spirit is the source of spiritual and eternal life.  See note on 16:7."

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus,  I pray that those who read Your Scripture will seek to receive You.  You are the living water and only You will quench our thirst forevermore.  Thank You so much for your gift of salvation.  I say these things in Jesus' name.  Amen.

Monday, June 9, 2014

John Chapter 6

"After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?" He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, "Two hundred denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little." One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him. "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?" Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, "Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost." So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said. "This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!"

Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. But he said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid." Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was in the land to which they were going.

On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, "Rabbi, when did you come here?" Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has "set his seal." Then they said to him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?" Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him who he has sent." So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Jesus then said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”  They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.  But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.  All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.  For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.  And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.  For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”  They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know?  How does he now say, “I have come down from heaven?”  Jesus answered  them, “Do not grumble among yourselves.  No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.  And I will raise him up on the last day.  It is written in the Prophets, And they will all be taught by God.  Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me—not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father.  Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.  I am the bread of life.  Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.  This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.  I am the living bread that came down from heaven.  If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.  And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.

The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”  So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.  Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.  For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.  Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.  As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me.  This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate and died.  Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”  Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.

When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”  But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this?  Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?  It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all.  The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.  But there are some of you who do not believe.  (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.)  And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.  So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”  Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”  Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the Twelve?  And yet one of you is a devil.”  He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the Twelve, was going to betray him.”  John Chapter 6 ESV

Some explanations for John Chapter 6 is from The MacArthur Study Bible ESV,  verses John 6:1-14, John 6:16-21, John 6:22-58, John 6:53-58.  Pages 1548, 1549, 1551.

“6:1-14  The story of the feeding of the 5,000 is the fourth sign John employed to demonstrate that Jesus is the Messiah and Son of God.  It is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospels (Matt. 14:13-23; Mark 6:30-46; Luke 9:10-17).  Since John most likely wrote to supplement and provide additional information not recorded in the synoptics (see introduction: Background and Setting), his recording of this miracle emphasized its strategic importance in two ways: 1) it demonstrated the creative power of Christ more clearly than any other miracle, and 2) it decisively supported John’s purposes of demonstrating the deity of Jesus Christ while also serving to set the stage for Jesus’ discourse on the “bread of life” (John 6:22-40).  Interestingly, both creative miracles of Jesus, the water into wine (2:1-10) and the multiplying of bread (6:1-14), speak of the main elements in the Lord’s Supper, or communion. (v. 53).”

“6:16-21  The story of Jesus’ walking on the water constituted the fifth sign in John’s Gospel designed to demonstrate the writer’s purpose that Jesus is the Messiah and Son of God (20:30-31).  The miracle demonstrates Jesus’ deity by his sovereignty over the laws of nature.”

“6:22-58 Jesus’ famous discourse on the bread of life.  The key theme is v. 35, i.e., “I am the bread of life,” which is the first of seven emphatic, “I AM” statements of Jesus in this Gospel (8:12; 10:7, 9; 10:11, 14; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1,5).  This analogy of Jesus as “the bread” of  life reinforces John’s theme of Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God (20:30-31).  Although John records Jesus’ miracles to establish his deity, he moves quickly to Jesus’ discourse on the spiritual realities of his person in order to define correctly who Jesus Christ was, i.e., not merely a wonder-worker but the Son of God who came to save mankind from sin (3:16).  This discourse took place in the synagogue at Capernaum (6:59).”

“6:53-58  eat. . . drink.  Jesus’ point was an analogy that has spiritual, rather than literal, significance: just as eating and drinking are necessary for physical life, so also is belief in his sacrificial death on the cross necessary for eternal life.  The eating of his flesh and drinking of his blood metaphorically symbolize the need for accepting Jesus’ cross work.  For the Jews, however, a crucified Messiah was unthinkable (cf. Acts 17:1-3).  Once again, the Jews, in their willful and judicial blindness, could not see the real spiritual significance and truth behind Jesus’ statements.  Moreover, Jesus’ reference here to eating and drinking was not referring to the ordinance of communion for two significant reasons: 1) communion had not been instituted yet, and 2) if Jesus was referring to communion, then the passage would teach that anyone partaking of communion would receive eternal life.”

“6:60-71 These verses constitute the reaction of Jesus’ disciples to his sermon on the “bread of life.”  As with the crowds’ response in Jerusalem (ch. 5) and in Galilee (ch. 6), the response of many of his disciples was unbelief and rejection of him.  John lists two groups and their reactions: 1) the false disciples’ reaction of unbelief (6:60-66), and 2) the true disciples’ reaction of belief (vv. 67-71).  After this sermon, only a small nucleus of disciples remained (v. 67).”

Let’s pray:  Dear Lord Jesus.  I pray for those who are in the group of unbelief.  I pray that the truth will set them free.  I say these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Please pray for me as my mom has been ill and this has been a difficult time.  I haven’t been very consistent with posting my blog because of this.