John 6:59-66 OPPOSITION TO JESUS FROM HIS OWN DISCIPLES
In a recent text the Jews wanted to crown Jesus as their
king. They had decided that if necessary, they would take
Him by force and make Him their king. In our text last
Sunday many of same people rose up in opposition to Him.
In our text today many of His own disciples rise up in
opposition to Him.
I. Opposition to Jesus which had already arisen
The Jewish religious leaders had been against Jesus from
the beginning of His ministry. Very early in His ministry
He had gone into the temple at
Jews. He overturned the money tables and drove out those
who operated them. He drove out the sacrificial animals and
those who sold them. From that time forward the Jewish
leaders were against Him and did everything they could to
stir up the people against Him.
But in spite of this opposition from the Jewish
leadership, Jesus had become very popular with the great
masses of common people.
The first sign of opposition from the common people had
come when Jesus told the people that He is the true Bread
from Heaven and that men must eat this bread in order to
have eternal life.
In the first place, they did not at all believe that He
had come down from heaven. They said, "We know His parents.
He was born over at
How could He possibly say that He came from heaven?
In addition, Jesus had said that He is the Bread from
Heaven. He said that one must eat Him in order to have
eternal life. Jesus, of course, was speaking figuratively
meaning that one must believe in Him as his Savior in order
to be saved. All of this was contrary to the all that they
had been taught all of their lives. They had been taught
that if they were faithful to keep the rules and rituals of
the Jewish religion that they would most certainly make it
to heaven. They were not at all willing to consider
anything else. So a great many of the common people
murmured among themselves complaining about what He had
In our text last Sunday, they did more than just murmur.
They became very outspoken against Him. They got in a
heated argument with the people who expressed belief in
Jesus and expressed their strong opposition to what He had
II. New opposition from within His church
In our text today, it is not just the people outside His
church who expressed their opposition to Jesus. A strong
opposition arose from within His own disciples. A sizable
number of disciples who had followed Him rose up again sat
Him. V. 59-60, "These things said he in the synagogue, as
he taught in
when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who
can hear it?"
These were people who had made professions of faith in
Him and had been baptized. Some of them had probably been
baptized under the ministry of John the Baptist, but some
of them must have been baptized under His own ministry. But
all were baptized followers of Jesus. They had regularly
sat at His feet listening to Him preach and teach the truths
of God. But now all of a sudden they were up in arms about
what Jesus had said.
Verse 60 says that they murmured. That is, they did not
come right out in the open and voice their opposition to
Jesus. Rather they discussed among themselves their
objection to what He had said. They said, "This is a hard
saying." it was not that they thought He was using harsh or
unkind words. They just thought it would be hard for any
reasonable person to believe what He had said. Can you
imagine that? These were professed believers in Jesus as
the Christ, and yet they did not at all believe what Jesus
Like the people of the crowd, it was contrary to what
they had always been taught. What Jesus said was contrary
to what they had always believed. So since it was contrary
to what they had always believed, they reasoned that Jesus
must be wrong.
III. The response of Jesus to the opposition
V. 61-62, "When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples
murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?
What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he
was before?" The main thing that had offended them was that
He said He had come down from heaven. Jesus said, "If you
were to see me ascend and go back to heaven would you change
your mind and believe that I came down from heaven?"
It seems strange at first that not all of His disciples
were not already aware that He was sent from heaven. The
truth of the matter is that probably only a limited number
of them at point of time knew this. Probably very few at
this time knew about the virgin birth. If they had known
that He was virgin born, they would have known that He was
from heaven. We are privileged generation of people. Even
the small children in our day have heard about the virgin
birth of Jesus. They may not understand what that means,
but they have heard about it. But at that time many of His
own disciples did not know that He was virgin born.
But if they could all just see Him as He would stand on
Mt. Olives and rise up into the air and go away into heaven,
no doubt, they would change their minds.
V. 63, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh
profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are
spirit, and they are life." There are two primary ideas in
this statement. The first is that the teaching which these
disciples had received from the Pharisees in the earlier
years of their lives had originated from a fleshly
understanding. Such teachings, which came only form a
fleshly origin were unreliable. They were useless. They
The teachings which the Lord had given them were from
above. They were from the very Spirit of God. They were
absolutely true. They were very dependable. If these
people would believe His words they would benefit greatly.
All who would believe would receive everlasting life.
The big problem with at least some of these professed
disciples was that they were merely professed believers and
they had not genuinely believed in Jesus.
The second thing involved in this verse is that in order
for one to accept the truths which come from God through
Jesus he must be willing to listen to God and learn from
God. He must be willing to believe what God has said. That
is why that anybody who already has his mind made up and is
not willing to budge will not change his mind. If one is
willing for God to lead him to the truth, he will get the
truth, but if one is not willing for God to show him the
truth, God will let him continue to believe a lie.
IV. The spiritual condition of those who opposed Him
V. 64. "But there are some of you that believe not. For
Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed
not, and who should betray him." Not all of those who were
among the doubters were unsaved unbelievers. Some were
genuinely saved and were merely in need of training and
strengthening in the faith. However, Jesus knew that at
least some of them were unsaved. They were unbelievers.
They were professed believers and had even been baptized,
but they were not actually believers at all. They had been
caught in the excitement of the miracles that Jesus was
performing and had made a false profession of faith. Judas
Iscariot was one of those unbelievers. Jesus knew that
Judas was an unbeliever and already knew that Judas would
betray Him. Judas might not have known it at this time, but
V. 65, "And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no
man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my
Father." Jesus had already told them back in verse 44 that
one could not place their faith in Him unless God the Father
draws him. In John 12:32 Jesus says that all men are drawn
to Him. But in order to respond to that drawing power of
the Lord one must be willing to respond. The problem with
these people was that they were not willing to let God lead
them to the truth. The problem was not in Jesus; it was in
V. A decision to walk no more with Jesus
V. 66, "From that time many of his disciples went back,
and walked no more with him." That is, they went back to
their previous walk of life. They went back to their
previous beliefs. They stopped following after Jesus. They
stopped coming to church because they did not want to hear
Jesus preach and teach any more. They just would not listen
to Him any more. They quit the church because they did not
want to hear Jesus any more!
What a great tragedy! It was a tragedy that these
people rejected the very truths of God that could lead them
to salvation. It was a great tragedy that they rejected the
very Lord God of heaven who could save their souls. They
rejected Him and never walked with Him any more. They never
came to hear to Jesus any more. They had a great
opportunity to be saved, but they threw it all away.
It was also a tragedy that some who were actually saved
also quit the church and stopped following Jesus. I think
they must be counted among those that the Bible talks about
as getting into heaven as if by the skin of their teeth. It
is always a great tragedy when saved people will let their
prejudices or their petty complaints keep them from
worshipping and following the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
It is a shame that they simply would not open up their minds
to God and let the very Son of God teach them some things
which they did not already know. The Scripture says that
even these saved people never returned to church any more
because they did not want to hear Jesus preach and teach any
more. They had a great opportunity to learn, but they threw
it all away.
VI. A question for today
Let me ask you a question: How would you like to have
Jesus for a pastor? Those disciples were privileged to have
Jesus Christ, the Son of God for a pastor and they decided
that they did not like Him. I am afraid that if Jesus were
here on earth today that many churches would not want Him to
be their pastor. They would not like Him because He would
say things they would not like. He would offend people with
things He would say. He would offend the visitors and many
of them would not come back. Many churches would not put up
with a pastor who would do that. He would even offend a
large number of the members so that they would not come
back. Many churches would not put up with a pastor who
would do that. Many churches of today would not put up with
Jesus as their pastor.
Some would soon be asking, "Just what kind of a man do
we have for a pastor?" Let me tell you what kind of person
they would have. They would have One who has power and
authority beyond measure. He is Almighty. They would have
One who has knowledge and wisdom beyond measure. He is all
knowing and all wise. He speaks truth without measure. He
is absolutely right in every detail of everything He ever
says. I know of no other preacher who is right in
everything he says. They would have one who is Holiness
without measure. He is always absolutely just and fair in
all of His dealings. There is no sin, no fault, no flaw, no
mistake in Him. They would have One loves beyond measure.
He loves every person. He loves with a supreme love. He
loves enough to die for every one. They would have the
Creator of the world, the Supreme Ruler of the world, the
Judge of the world, the Savior of the world.
It may be hard for us to realize that Jesus was actually
once the pastor of a church, but He was. He was its,
Founder and its pastor.
Even now even though Jesus does not live bodily upon the
earth today and even though He is not the earthly pastor of
any church, yet He is Head of every church. That is, He is
the Head of every church that qualifies as a scriptural New
Testament church. I am sure that there are some that He
would not want to claim as being New Testament churches.
He is the Supreme Head of this church. He is the sole
authority of what this church teaches. He gave us our
Textbook with all the doctrines that we will ever need and
that we should ever teach. He gave us our instructions in
the pages of this Book.
Listen, you might disagree with some preacher and you
just might be right. You might disagree with me on some
matter and it just might be that you are right. But if you
disagree with Jesus you are wrong. If you are not willing
to let Jesus teach you the truth of God then the fault is in
you. It is not in Jesus. If you will not let Jesus lead
you, the fault is in you, not in Jesus. If you will not
walk with Jesus the fault is in you, not in Jesus. If you
are lost and unprepared to meet God, the fault is in you.
It is not in Jesus. He is able, willing and ready to save
you. It is your fault that you are not already saved. If
you continue to remain lost, the fault is in you. It is not
I am going to call upon every person in this house who
is lost to come forward and place your faith in Jesus Christ
as your Savior. I am also going to call upon every saved
person present here today to let Jesus be your Master. Let
Him have His way with your life. I am going to ask you to
stop making your decisions based on what you would like to
do. I am going to ask you to start making your decisions
based on what the Lord would have you to do. If you know
that Jesus would have you to come forward in this service
and get your life lined out with His will, then I am calling
upon you to come.