In the Bread of Life Discourse, did many disciples leave Jesus due to “lack of faith” in what he was teaching that day? YES!
We 100% prove with scripture that Jesus was “not” speaking symbolically!
Bread of Life Discourse: John Chapter 6:22-71
First: Setting the Stage – 10 Key Points
The Passover was near (John 6:4). The Israelites not only had to sacrifice the lamb, but had to eat the flesh of the lamb to be in covenant with God. Exodus 12
In the book of Exodus, three main commands were given by God to the Israelites in order for firstborn children to be saved:
First: Sacrifice the lamb, Second: Apply the blood, Third: Eat the flesh
If the Israelites sacrificed the lamb but “did not” eat the flesh and apply blood on the doorposts, death “would have” entered the house. Exodus 12
Christ, our Paschal Lamb, has been sacrificed. 1 Cor 5:7
Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. John 1:29
God commanded the Passover Sacrifice to be practiced by every generation, forever. Exodus 12
2. Jesus referred to eternal life 13 times in the Bread of Life Discourse, more than any other chapter in the New Testament.
3. According to the Holy Bible, these were disciples that left Jesus and returned to their former way of life, no longer accompanying him. John 6:66
4. The definition of a disciple is a believer and follower of Jesus.
5. Before the discourse, Jesus had already taught the disciples the requirement to obtain eternal life, which is to believe in him and obey his commands (John 3:15,16,18,36; 5:24).
6. Verse 66 shows that the disciples were believing in Jesus prior to the discourse. They gave up their “way of life” to follow him, but after the discourse many returned back to their former ways of living. To give up your own “way of living” to follow another person shows major commitment and belief in that person you are following.
7. Some disciples accompanied and followed the Lord for over two years! Something big happened during the Bread of Life Discourse that made them stop believing in Jesus, abandoning the way to eternal life.
8. There were three types of people that traveled to Capernaum by boats; non-disciples (the crowd); disciples; and the 12 disciples / apostles.
9. Just before the Bread of Life Discourse, Jesus performed two miracles. The multiplication of loaves (Jesus can multiply) and walking on water. These were supernatural events.
10. Prior to the discourse, Jesus never referred to himself as bread.
“New teachings” from Jesus in the Bread of Life Discourse
- Jesus referred to himself as bread 10 times in the Bread of Life Discourse.
- Jesus is the “Bread of Life” (35, 48). This bread gives life to the world. 33
- Ancestors ate manna in the desert, but died. Eat this bread and you will not die. 49,50
- The bread is his flesh. 51
- If you don’t eat his flesh and drink his blood, you will not have life. 53
- Whoever eats his flesh and drinks his blood has eternal life. 54
- His flesh is true food and blood, true drink. 55
- The one who feeds (trogon in Greek: gnaw, chew) on him will have life because of him. 57
- Whoever eats this bread will live forever. 50, 51, 58
The disciples never heard Jesus speak this way before
He wants us to eat his flesh and drink his blood, and somehow bread becomes his flesh?
Four times scripture reveals lack of faith:
1. How can this man “give us” his flesh to eat? 52
2. This saying is hard; who can accept it? (60) – The word “believe” means to “accept” as true.
3. Jesus said, “but there are some of you who do not believe.” 64
4. As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. 66
They could not comprehend
How can this man “give us” his flesh to eat? 52
The actual miracle is called into question. They questioned the “process” of how this can happen.
They could not comprehend the “supernatural process” of how Jesus can “give us” his flesh to eat; the miracle of bread becoming flesh. 51
The disciples understood him correctly
God is “all knowing;” omniscient. Jesus knew that many disciples would leave him that day. So, before the new teachings, Jesus explained to the “crowd” of non-believers that he would not reject or lose anyone that comes to him unless they were not granted by his Father’s will. 37-39.
Jesus then explained the Father’s will in verse 40:
For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and “believes” in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.
If Jesus were to reject or lose a disciple to something other than “lack of faith” in him, he would not have obeyed the Father’s will.
And Jesus would have lied.
Disciples accompanied and followed Jesus
Many disciples gave up their lives to follow Jesus. Some had followed the Lord for over two years. Imagine you giving your life to “literally” follow another person for over two years!
To follow his way of life was (is) not easy. It involved suffering, persecution, rejection, living minimally, etc. His way was against this world and our fleshly desires.
The disciples did have the luxury of speaking to and learning directly from Jesus, and witnessed miracles to help strengthen their faith.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life (John 3:36). The disciples gave up their lives to follow Jesus, over a promise of eternal life. Difficult and disturbing “new teachings” however took place that shook the faith of many disciples.
Angry arguments broke out at the Bread of Life Discourse. 52
Over a metaphor or symbolism? No way!
Jesus gave an ultimatum
While many were upset during the discourse, instead of “rectifying a misunderstanding,” Jesus gave an ultimatum:
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. 53
Jesus then intensified his vivid “literal” imagery
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever. 54-58
Hard to believe
Then many disciples that were listening said, this saying is hard; who can accept it? (60)
Does this shock you?
Verses 61: Jesus had another opportunity to correct a “misunderstanding.” Instead Jesus said, “does this shock (offend) you?
Is there “anything” shocking or offensive about a symbolic teaching? No!
Fly to heaven
Even after the miracles Jesus performed, many disciples were in such “disbelief” that Jesus had to make a statement to legitimize himself that he is the Son of God and can do anything, like ascend to heaven.
Verse 62: What if you see the son of man ascend to where he was before?
Is ascending to heaven incomprehensible, supernatural? YES
So is bread becoming literal flesh!
It is of the miraculous; it’s supernatural.
Jesus is saying, these teachings are incomprehensible and difficult for the human mind. It requires faith!
The spirit gives life, “your” flesh is of no avail
Some believe, after Jesus finished telling everyone “several times” to eat his flesh and drink his blood, he “renounced” all that he said with verse 63?!
Is that the work of a great teacher? Confusion? Misleading, about eternal life?
Does the word “spirit” mean symbolic? No! Does this make sense? No!
Verse 63: It is the spirit that gives life, while “the” flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
What does “no avail” mean? It means “no help or benefit.”
Did Jesus say “my” flesh is of no avail? No, he said “the” flesh is of no avail.
The term “the flesh” is used many times in the New Testament to describe human nature separated from God’s grace.
Is Jesus’ flesh of no avail? No!
The Lord is perfect and sinless. His flesh is holy and pure. His flesh and spirit rose from the dead. Was his flesh on the cross of no help or benefit? Jesus is referring to “our” sinful flesh, which is of no avail. Our sinful flesh withers away and then dies. It is your spirit that gives life, your flesh is of no help or benefit. Jesus “feeds” our spirit, which gives life.
Consuming his flesh and blood feeds our spirit (soul) which gives life, not our sinful flesh which is of no avail. We transform into the Body of Christ by spiritually being fed, so we too rise from the dead.
Have faith in God and his plan
Very little detail of how, when and why were given to the disciples at the Bread of Life Discourse.
Do you think St. Peter had all the details and could comprehend how bread could become flesh? No way!
But he had “faith” in Jesus. He did not leave him:
Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God. 68, 69
St. Peter highlighted the “lack of faith” of those disciples that left
To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe!
Supernatural faith means to believe beyond scientific understanding and laws of nature; of the miraculous similar to his supernatural birth and the multiplying of bread and fish. Having “complete” faith and trust in Jesus requires you to believe in God beyond what you can comprehend.
Many disciples had natural faith which is of “the flesh” and not of “the spirit.” You need to see to believe. You can’t believe in God beyond what you can comprehend. Your faith is of the flesh and of this world, not of the spirit which only God can see and feed. This faith is weak and lacks trust in God. Our goal in life as Christians is to move from natural faith to supernatural faith.
Believe, follow and learn!
As time went on, Jesus revealed more and more details to those who followed him and believed.
What was disturbing and difficult then, with faith and patience in Jesus, would reveal over time the connective mysteries with the Last Supper, the New Passover, the Sacrificial Crucifixion and the Lord’s Redemption for humanity by rising from the dead.
It’s just like life! God reveals the details of your life a little at a time. We want to know everything now, but he requires “strong faith” and patience.
These new teachings are so “important” to Jesus
Many disciples lacked in supernatural faith and therefore left Jesus and went back to their former ways of living.
For Jesus to allow many of his disciples to leave him, after they gave up their own way of life to follow him, shows you how “important” these teachings are to Jesus in the Bread of Life Discourse.
These disciples chose to “not believe” in new teachings that were (are) incomprehensible, supernatural, so Jesus allowed them to leave. How many people “today” choose to not believe?
Many Christians today lack the same faith.
Faith like a child
The Bread of Life Discourse teachings demand true followers of Christ to believe like children, beyond scientific understanding and laws of nature. This supernatural faith is a “requirement” in order to obtain eternal life, according to Jesus. 53
Many seek to be right, and as a result, they fail to seek the truth! Many people seek to be biblically “right” rather than seeking for biblical “truth.”
We all at times try to justify and convince our minds that something is right when in fact it is wrong. Truth Campaign is about helping people seek truth in one of the most important teachings in the Holy Bible, the Bread of Life Discourse in the Gospel of John chapter 6.
This chapter is about eternal life! Do your research with an open heart!
God Bless you on your journey!
Is drinking the blood of Jesus forbidden? No!
It sounds disturbing, but biblically this is why it is not forbidden and why Jesus wants us to do this! – Click here!
Jesus provided “literal imagery” 5 TIMES in the Bread of Life Discourse.
Why Jesus was “not” speaking metaphorically, click here!
Why the disciples “did not” leave Jesus due to lack of free bread, click here!