60 When many of his disciples heard it [55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.], they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”
61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this?
62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 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.
64 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.)
65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”
66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.
What is the general theme of the passage?
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “flesh and blood? “Relatives and family, right? That’s exactly what Jesus is aiming for — a family that will interact, hear, debate and accept His truth about walking through life in relationship with Him. Jesus means to challenge all the faulty assumptions about what He has come to give them with this “hard saying.”
What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
Jesus, knowing — some would “take offense at this” spoke this “hard saying.” Jesus, knowing — “…no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” Jesus, knowing —”It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all,” was forcing them to identify themselves because Jesus knew — He was going to have to love them enough to tell them truth that would make many walk away. “(…from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him) and that even His own God-given flesh was not going to be enough to convince them in that moment that He was the true food and the true drink that would make God and their eternity inseparable.
What does it say about people?
They walked away from Jesus because the truth He spoke was not just “hard,” it was literally shocking. It was certainly a far cry from the miracles they’d hoped to receive. The only reference they would have had to flesh and blood were the temple sacrifices and by the law, that process kept them completely separated from any personal experience. They were comfortable with that separation.
Is there truth here for me?
Have you ever balked at Jesus’s truth that’s hard to hear? Here’s my Good News: I have and I’m here! I was slow to give up my separation and accept that my choice had already been the Lord’s choice for my salvation; “…I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” I’ve discovered I finally have “free will.” I am awestruck by the faith God must have had in me to give me the ability to think. It was Jesus’s faith, not mine, that I would finallly begin to understand the freedom to interact, hear, debate and accept His truth about walking through life in relationship with Him knowing separation is no longer an option.