March 19, 2022
“'The Spirit is the One who gives life. The flesh doesn’t help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are Spirit and are life. But there are some among you who don’t believe.'”
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“‘The Spirit is the One who gives life. The flesh doesn’t help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are Spirit and are life. But there are some among you who don’t believe.’ (For Jesus knew from the beginning those who would not believe and the one who would betray Him.) He said, ‘This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless it is granted to him by the Father.’ From that moment many of His disciples turned back and no longer accompanied Him. Therefore, Jesus said to the Twelve, ‘You don’t want to go away too, do you?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘Lord, who will we go to? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that You are the Holy One of God!’ Jesus replied to them, ‘Didn’t I choose you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is the Devil?’ He was referring to Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son, one of the Twelve, because he was going to betray Him.” John 6:63-71
When most people think of Jesus’ disciples, they only consider the “twelve.” In actuality, there were, at times, thousands of people following Him around.
After feeding the five thousand, many of those people sought out Jesus the next day. Jesus took this occasion to compare the bread that He had provided the day before with the bread (manna) Moses provided. His point is that earthly bread cannot eternally sustain life.
Then, Jesus identifies Himself as the “Bread of Life,” …different from Moses’ manna. Interesting, He was born in Bethlehem. In Hebrew, “Bethlehem” translates “House of Bread.” This message was offensive and arrogant to many of the Jews because Jesus was elevating Himself above Moses. Beyond miraculously imparting earthly bread, Jesus personified the spiritual bread.
Jesus communicated that the Spirit gives life. Therefore, eternal life can only be obtained spiritually. Salvation cannot be obtained by earthly means. In short, salvation is by God’s grace and not through the works of the law. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Something at the core of a man makes him want to earn his salvation. That “something” is called Pride. It is in direct opposition to receiving salvation by God’s grace. This is true for us today, and it was true in Jesus’ day. So much so that when the crowds heard this teaching, they left Him.
There is a difference between following Jesus and simply following Him around. Many will affiliate themselves with Jesus, but all the while, they refuse to prostrate themselves before Him. In the end, Jesus is either Lord of all, or He’s not Lord at all. (By the way, He IS Lord, and we should worship Him as such!)
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