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 Jerusalem and angered the

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 Bethlehem and has lived in Nazareth."

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 Capernaum.  Many therefore of his disciples,

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

had said.

    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

profited nothing.

    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

Jesus did.

    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

in Jesus.




    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.