The Devil’s verse. That’s what I am calling it. Not that he wrote it. Yet it is there because of his influence in the world. John 6:66. Kind of appropriate for a behaviour which reflects his fingerprint. People walking away from the Lord while the Devil smiles…
48 I am the bread of life. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”
61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”
66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
John 6:48, 58-66
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
In John 6, Jesus was comparing himself to the manna which God provided to the Israelites in the wilderness. As the bread of life, Jesus said that those who ate of him would never hunger or thirst spiritually again. He said when we believe upon him we have eternal life.
The religious leaders were having a hard time with his teaching, and so Jesus made it even tougher. He said unless we eat his flesh and drink his blood we cannot experience eternal life. Uh oh…
At that point even his disciples starting backing up. They called it a tough teaching, and it was. Jesus answered and asked, what if you see me ascend to heaven? Well, that would freak us out and we would be afraid, but it still wouldn’t get us beyond this crazy-talk teaching you are laying down, Rabbi…
Many turned back. They turned away. Because they didn’t understand his sacrifice. Jesus was talking about communion and our partaking of himself. And people stumble over the same words today. The concept of needing a saviour to cover my sin is foreign to most people.
And the idea of eating his flesh and drinking his blood was (however symbolic) a barrier. And that’s just the way the Devil wants it. I’m sure he was there planting seeds among the crowd. If I can just get them to have confidence in what they know and to not feel any need for redemption, I can keep them lost and walking away from the Lord.
And it worked. It still works today. Most people do not have time for the truths of Jesus. And the Devil is thrilled. John 6:66 lives on.
The truth is that Jesus sustains is like the manna sustained Israel. He is the perfect lamb of God sacrificed for us. And he wants to abide in us and for us to abide in him. Have you eaten of the Lord? Taste and see that he is good…