John 6:60-71 Eleven plus One

60 When many of his disciples heard it, 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 offence 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. 67 So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” 70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” 71 He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the Twelve, was going to betray him.

Eleven Plus One

I find myself hoping that I am not a Judas.  perhaps I do worry too much.  Judas, though, looked like the others and lived like the others for most of his time with Jesus.  Then suddenly everything changed.  Some how he was living life in the flesh when others were learning to live life in the Spirit.

Jesus was direct and he was offensive.  He was deliberately provocative, but in so doing he separated the would-be followers from the true ones.  The true followers saw what he was really about.  They took on board his words and knew there was something unique about him.

Prayer

When the tough times come, may I be one who is shown to be of you and not a ‘devil’ like Judas.  You have the words of eternal life and so I sit at your feet.

Questions

  1. Why did people take offence?
  2. Why did the disciples stay with Jesus?
  3. Why do you think the role of Judas is mentioned in this passage?
  4. How are people today offended by Jesus’ demands on their lives?
  5. Why do you stick with Jesus?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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23 Responses to John 6:60-71 Eleven plus One

  1. Ed says:

    Jesus is the way, truth and light. The part I struggle with is God new Judas would betray Jesus because he was using him for good on our behalf. We see Gods compassion so often I wonder will God restore Judas one day? Did Judas do this out of hate or love for Jesus or the people. I often side on compassion most of the time and friends need to point out to me when I go overboard with compassion. When do you know to punish or have compassion?

  2. Janice Lee says:

    1. The people took offence because they didn’t believe in Jesus as the Christ.
    2. The disciples stayed with Jesus because they believed that He is the Christ, the Holy One of God.
    3. The role of Judas is mentioned in this passage to foreshadow his betrayal of Jesus and to show that not all people who call themselves followers of Christ truly believe in Him.
    4. People today are offended that Jesus demands us to give up our lives to follow Him.
    5. I stick with Jesus because He gives me life.

  3. Kathleen says:

    I think people today do not like the idea of giving up their lives. They have a difficult time releasing control, especially when they can’t see God like they can other humans. Faith is challenging in many ways. I stick with Jesus because I have seen Him work in my life. When I have moments of doubt, I think about all He has done for me in the past. There is no way I cannot believe in Him when I realize how He is working in my life.

  4. Jenna says:

    1. The crowd took offence because they couldn’t understand Jesus’ teaching.
    2. They recognized that Jesus was the source of eternal life.
    3. Maybe to show that believing in Jesus is more than just vocal assent? Judas obviously didn’t have the heart change that the other disciples did.
    4. The trend today is a Christianity that’s easy – we want all that Jesus can give us without the attached string of denying ourselves, taking up our cross, and following Him.
    5. Where else would I go? 🙂

  5. karas says:

    Jesus’ words were straight up, and it bothered some people. As it has been said, the gospel is offensive–it points out our need and inability to save ourselves. I am staying with Jesus because He is real and true, and I need Him, and He loves me. Why would I not?

  6. Lacy says:

    1. They were hearing Jesus’ words through the lens of the flesh.
    2. They realized that it was only in him that truth could be found.
    3. The mention of Judas proves that Jesus knew the hearts of me, and also that he cared for Judas despite knowing that Judas would betray him. It also serves as a warning that not everyone who looks and acts like a believer on a surface level is genuinely walking with Christ.
    4. People today are offended by Jesus’ teaching because it isn’t politically correct and does not fit in with a popular worldview.
    5. I know that, without Jesus, I would never have any reason to live.

  7. Ashley says:

    1. People take offense at Jesus’ words because they are offensive!
    2. “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
    3. Judas is mentioned as a foreshadowing of what is to come. I think Jesus intends to show that none of us are very far from rejecting Jesus.
    4. People are offended because following Jesus isn’t very practical, nor is it always enjoyable. It makes life very uncomfortable and full of uncertainties (from our perspective).
    5. I follow Jesus because he has called me to himself. And along with his disciples, I don’t know who else I would go to…only Jesus is life and gives meaning to life.

  8. Sara Cavitt says:

    1) They took offense, because they did not believe in Him.
    2) They stayed with Jesus, because they knew He spoke truth and that He was the eternal life. They knew Him and believed Him.
    3) I think the mention of Judas is here to show that not all people who call themselves followers of Christ truly are.
    4) Many people are offended by Jesus’ demands, because they want to go their own way and do their own thing rather than follow Him and live their life for Him.
    5) I stick with Jesus because I know He has called me and has a calling on my life!

  9. How are people today offended by Jesus’ demands on their lives? Jesus demands a higher standard — to abstain from the pleasurable sins and to love Him instead of evil. Everything that our self wants goes against the very person of who Jesus is. It isn’t until we are being sanctified until we can find joy with Him.
    Why do you stick with Jesus? I have found that I am in utter despair with life is I do not serve Him and spend time with Him. Life becomes dead and meaningless and I can no longer look forward to anything. He is the joy and strength of my life — He is my life.

  10. Claire Patty says:

    I think that the disciples took offense at the things Jesus was saying because they didn’t make sense in their own cultural setting. Jesus was talking about eating his flesh and drinking his blood – a thought that probably repulsed most people because they could not understand Jesus’ meaning behind the words.

    Those who stayed with him remained because they knew that at the core, no matter what they couldn’t understand, they did know that Jesus had the eternal words of life and that He is God. Why would they turn back now?

    The mentioning of Judas is to prove Jesus’ deity and also to contrast between his true followers and those who would turn against him. Not everyone who “stays” with Jesus is “for” him, nor a true follower.

    People today are offended because Jesus’ commands seem illogical or inconvenient. People are selfish and don’t want to live the way Jesus commands. People sometimes can’t even understand what it is Jesus is asking of us, so it all seems confusing and offending.

    I stick with Jesus because I know that He is life and is the Son of God. No matter if I find it hard to understand some of His commands, I will follow because I believe and because Jesus chose me.

  11. clapatty says:

    The people were offended because they couldn’t understand the meaning of Jesus’ words. They were perplexed and Jesus’ words seemed extreme. Yet his disciples know that these are the words of Life and that Jesus is the Son of God – for they have believed. Judas is to show that not all who stay with Jesus are truly following him, though they may look like it from the outside. But Jesus knows people’s hearts. People can are selfish and sinful and don’t always want to obey Jesus’ commands because of sin. I stay with Jesus because He chose me first and I believed in Him – he is the Son of God and he is Life.

  12. Mary says:

    Professor Worrall – Ok, I let this rabbit trail take me away for much longer than I should have, so I would like to do a part 1 and part 2, covering the 9/24 and 9/25 posting. I am going to include the observations of chs. 1-6 here, and then put the interpretations and applications in the next post.

    Observation:
    Lets look back to the context of what we’ve covered so far:

    Ch. 1 – Jesus is the Word and the Light, in him alone is life. He is God the Son incarnate who came in the flesh to save us, and who John the Baptist testified about and prepared the way for. John identifies Jesus as “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (vs. 29) and as the Son of God (vs. 34). Jesus’ authority is challenged by the religious people but is confirmed by both the Father and the Holy Spirit at Jesus’ baptism. Jesus acquires a couple disciples, who identify Jesus as the one whom Moses and the prophets wrote about.

    Ch. 2 – Jesus performs a miracle at the wedding in Cana, Galilee, turning water into wine. While at the synagogue in Jerusalem during Passover, Jesus performs many other signs and begins revealing who he is when he says that God is his Father (vs. 16) and then he predicts his death and resurrection (vs. 19). Some believe and some do not.

    Ch. 3 – Jesus is the Son of God and the Son of Man. Jesus talks about being born of the Spirit in order to be part of the kingdom of God, and predicts his death and resurrection a second time (vs. 14-15). Both Jesus and John the Baptist state that those who believe in Jesus will receive eternal life, but those who do not are headed for eternal damnation.

    Ch. 4 – Jesus is living water. Jesus shows his disciples that salvation is not only for the Jews, when he talks with the Samaritan woman at the well, and she believes and then brings others to faith. He tells them to “open their eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for the harvest” (vs. 35). Once again while in Cana, Galilee, Jesus performs a miracle and heals a government official’s son (who was in Capernaum).

    Ch. 5 – Jesus is the Son of God and the Son of Man. Jesus heals a lame man at the pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath, and identifies God as his Father. Jesus states that we are all dead/condemned until we hear his word/his call and we respond in belief, then and only then will we cross over into life (vs. 24-26, 37-40). He has the authority to judge and the power to give life.

    Ch. 6 – Jesus is the bread of life. Jesus multiplies 5 loaves and 2 fish to feed 5,000 people, and then he walks on water. He tells the people that he is sent from Heaven and he is the true bread, which sustains life, and unless we partake in Him we cannot have life. Once we are his, we are always his, we “remain in him and him in us”.

  13. Beth Coale says:

    1. I think some thought Jesus was being blasphemous (or maybe that was just as accusation because they were angry He was taking their power over the people); others just really didn’t understand and were not pursuing understanding.
    2. Maybe they wanted to continue learning from this “teacher.” Even if they didn’t think He was Messiah, they thought He was a teacher and, in that day, who would give up the opportunity to study under someone who had chosen them?
    3. To be honest, I really wasn’t sure and looked at other comments. I thought what Lacy said seemed like a really good answer – to show that Jesus saw the hearts of people.
    4. They think it’s too much. We are being told all the time contradictory statements about “taking time for yourself” or “do something just for you today” or “you deserve …”

    5. I continue following Christ because He is “the Lord MY Rock…
    He is MY loving God and MY fortress,
    MY stronghold and MY deliverer,
    MY shield, in whom I take refuge…” (Psalm 144:1-2)
    and because “I have heard of [God’s] fame;
    I stand in awe of [His] deeds… The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    he enables me to tread on the heights.” (Habakkuk 3:2,19)

  14. Dylan says:

    1. People took offense to Jesus’ teaching because they were interpreting it literally, so he goes on to explain the meaning.
    2. As Peter explained, the disciples stayed with Jesus because they had already been saved and there was nowhere else to go (with the exception of Judas).
    3. Perhaps the role of Judas is mentioned to warn us of people like him, or to check ourselves to see if we are really saved.
    4. People are offended by Jesus’ demands today in that they (we) don’t want to claim absolute truth, so they avoid spreading the gospel. Also, their (our) sinful nature says the human way is better and more fulfilling than the way of God.
    5. I love this question. Without Jesus, I see no hope, no security and no real reason to live. Sometimes this question raises doubts in my mind, am I just keeping this Christianity thing going so I don’t fall a part? Then I’m tempted to sin, and I realize Chriatianity isn’t always what I want to do. If I was really looking out for my best interests, I might have ditched it years ago. So, it’s more like God drawing me back to him than me really making any significant moves.

  15. nataliaria says:

    This passage shows the disciples reacting to Jesus’ sermon in the earlier part of the chapter, in which He states that He is the Son of God, and the only way to Heaven, and also exhorts His followers to eat His flesh and drink His blood, that they might experience eternal life. However, even after this “hard teaching,” the disciples choose to stay with Jesus, because they recognize Him as the Christ and the way to eternal life. I like to interpret Simon Peter’s “To whom shall we go?” as a testimony of the love that the disciples have for Jesus, as well.

    I am intrigued by the mention of Judas here- while I know Jesus has a purpose, it almost seems as if Jesus brings this us randomly, for the mere purpose of keeping the disciples on their toes.

    I believe that it might be easy to become tired and annoyed with Jesus’ calling for obedience when believers develop a legalistic and action-based view of salvation, without understanding the heart of Jesus behind it. To someone who does not meditate on the dumbfounding grace of God, and the way in which believers are brought into communion with the living God through Jesus Christ, I imagine that following His words would become a bit of a chore.

    From June to December, 2013 I did not stick with Jesus. At first, I intentionally turned away from Him in the little things of my life, and then my decisions snowballed, and soon I found I had lost much of my Christian worldview, joy, and peace without much effort on my part. I knew I had gotten myself to where I was, and I felt stuck, powerless, and undeserving of a life that was any different. Thankfully, blessedly, God truly does make everything new, and He brought me back to Himself over Christmas break last year. All that being said, I stick with Jesus because I know what it’s like to not, and Simon Peter is right: Where else can we go?

  16. Stephanie Luck says:

    1. Why did people take offence?
    Jesus’ words were very direct, confusing, and contrary to the image that they had of Jesus (and what they wanted from Him).
    2. Why did the disciples stay with Jesus?
    Because they believed that Jesus was the Holy One of God and possessed words of Eternal Life
    3. Why do you think the role of Judas is mentioned in this passage?
    Judas shows that all who claim to follow Christ (and even act like it) are not necessarily believers. Jesus knows the hearts of men
    4. How are people today offended by Jesus’ demands on their lives?
    Like the people in this passage, we all have expectations that we desire Jesus to fill and normally they are contrary to what Scripture says—we want to use Jesus as the means to an end. When Jesus gives direct and hard to stomach commands (that are always in contrast to the world’s system), it is offensive.
    5. Why do you stick with Jesus?
    Because, like Peter, I recognize that Jesus is God and He is the truth

  17. Amy McCashen says:

    1. People took offence because they did not want to give up their lives to follow Jesus.
    2. They said they had no one else to go to who could compare to Jesus. They knew He had the words to eternal life.
    3. I think Jesus might be encouraging his disciples to stay faithful. He knows that one will betray him and he tells that to the group so they can hold fast and believe in Christ and not stray.
    4. People are offended because Jesus demands everything. Partial commitment will not do. Jesus wants their time, their love, their voice, their lives.
    5. I stick with Jesus because, like the disciples, I know that he has the words to eternal life. There is no one else who can compare or even come close to being like Him. He is my everything.

  18. Austin Brose says:

    The people take offense because Jesus’ teachings of following Him are so hard to swallow, that some people were not willing to give up their whole lives to follow Him. The disciples stayed with Jesus because they knew that He had the Words of life and that the only way to the Father was through Him. I think the role of Judas is mentioned because some people can profess they love Jesus and seemingly follow His ways, yet their heart is corrupt. So even though people may outright reject the Word, some will even seem like they accept it then turn away later. People are offended in some ways because of the major life sacrifices that need to happen in order to follow Jesus. I stick with Jesus because because I know that the only way to be fulfilled, and the only way to reach Heaven, is through Him.

  19. Rachel says:

    The people were offended at the words of Christ commanding them to eat and drink his body and blood. The disciples may have stayed with Jesus out of sheer fascination. Whatever it was, they stuck around. Judas is a striking example of someone who “follows” Christ but does not stick with him. People today, like in Jesus’ time, are looking for someone who will simplify their lives, giving them peace and fulfillment, but not demanding anything from them. This is a God of their own creation. Jesus’ reality can be found in the two-sidedness of relationship with him. I stick with Jesus because I am holding on to hope. One day everything sad will come untrue.

  20. Bethany says:

    4) People today are so offended by Jesus’ demands because people today are offended by anything that requires selfless thought. People have this idea that they are number one and that the world revolves around them. This is the opposite of the Gospel. For example people are offended that the Bible speaks against homosexuality because people would rather follow their own selfish desires.

  21. Sarah Deurbrouck says:

    It is good to see the 12 disciples faith here. Jesus really does have the words of eternal life. I am always so curious by the other disciples who left Jesus. I wish I knew what was going on in their heads. And what does Jesus mean in verse 62?

  22. Rebekah Thompson (Bekah) says:

    1. because they did not know Christ
    2. The disciples stayed because they knew Christ and believed he was their Lord and savior
    3. To start showing his character and adding him into the story for his upcoming betrayal .
    4. Because they are living in sin and they have justified the sin in their life and they don’t want to know that they are wrong and have to stop doing what they want to do.
    5. Because he sticks with me

  23. Nick says:

    People were taking offence because they did not believe that Jesus was Christ. The disciples however knew that Jesus was Christ and they believed in him. I think it was added as a sort of prophecy and to prepare the reader for the betrayal that was soon to happen. I think that I get frustrated with Jesus today because his demands are so great and sinning feels a lot better than not sinning, however I need to remember that eternal life with him feels better than any sin I can have on this earth.

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