Amazing, it is, to read a portion of Scripture many times over and then seeing something that you never really paid attention to before. As I was studying for the message to preach this coming Sunday, I noticed a very profound truth in John chapter 6. As profound as it is to me, it is also an elementary truth as well. Will you take your Bible and look with me in the 6th chapter of John’s gospel and read with me beginning in verse number 59? The Word of God states, “These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.” Now the first question that must be answered, before we dive into the thought for today is what things were being said by Christ here. Space will not allow us to look at every word spoken and recorded by this disciple, but an overview, I believe is warranted. Jesus had just fed thousands with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes and He would use this act to try and teach how that He is the bread of life come down from heaven. In this, He would also use the act of how God fed the nation of Israel with manna from heaven in the wilderness. To this, the Jews would murmur among themselves regarding His teaching. He would further state the necessity of eating His flesh and drinking His Blood to obtain life. The teaching is simple, in that it is the spiritual taking in of Christ that is important. They were mystified thinking He literally meant for them to eat His flesh and drink His Blood. This cannot be so, because it would violate the Levitical law, plus how could anyone literally eat His flesh and rink His Blood now? No, the teaching is a spiritual one. Remember what Paul said? “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” Christ was using these acts preformed by Him and the Father to illustrate their power to save humanity if those in humanity would receive Christ as their Savior.
So, these were the things Jesus had spoke the the Jews that were following Him at the time. If I may interject here, there is a message for everyone that will be a turning point message. What I mean is, there is a message that will turn you toward Christ or it will turn you away from Him…this is even after conversion. See the above verse quote if you are having a difficult time understanding what I just said. Anyway, this is that turning point message for many of those following Christ at this time. Not those 11 faithful apostles, but that “many” listed in verse number 66.
Now, as we have noticed what Jesus was saying up to this point, now let us notice where He was saying it. It is not on the sea shore and it was not on the highway. No, it was in the synagogue! In comparison to today, it was in the church house. Notice verse 59 again please, “These things said he in the synagogue…” Now, it is especially important take notice of the response of “many” of His disciples when they say, “This is an hard saying; who can hear it?” Who indeed is a good question. Another way of putting this is that Jesus Christ was preaching a hard message at the church house and many (not a few) were questioning His message. It’s kind of familiar to today isn’t it? One answer to the question, “Why are so many churches sitting half empty,” is because many cannot endure hard sayings by the preacher. As I love the Lord’s response in verse 61, we will not address that in this article much, but I would ask the reader a question. Does true hard preaching offend you?
Now we come to the meat of this subject today and that is verse 66, where it states, “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” Why is this the meat of the topic? Well, because so many are attending church, holding positions, making decisions regarding His body and so on, but they are not walking with Christ! How do I know this to be true? Notice again, “where” it is that Christ is saying these things is, in fact, the synagogue or again in today’s comparison, the church house. So, if He is speaking in the synagogue, then where are these disciples at when they make the decision to not walk with Him any more? Indeed, they too are in the synagogue!
My dilemma…my thought…my relearned lesson yesterday is just this…how many are going to hear a hard message this Sunday and make the choice to not walk with Christ…right there in the pew? How many have been sitting in a pew for 5-10-15-20 years not following Christ and the decision to not do so was made while sitting in the church house listening to truthful preaching? Understand, these disciples are not the drug addict, they’re not the drunkard, they’re not the prostitute, they’re not the child molestor and etc. They are DISCIPLES as we learn from the Holy Scriptures! How many sit under watered down preaching by the thousands in so-called churches that have made the decision to not hear hard sayings by men of God, because it offended them???
My dear reader, may I implore you to go through your Bible, as I have, and notice why it is in Revelation 3:20 that Christ is knocking? He is dictating that church letter to Laodicea and He says, “Behold, I stand at the door. and knock...” Knocking denotes that Christ is on the outside desiring to come in and the question is to come into where? Well, again, notice the letter is written to the church. Many and again I emphasize the word “many” will say that it is impossible for Christ to be on the outside of the church, considering that it is His church. I would agree that it is His church, but “many” are not walking with Him anymore, as stated in John 6:66. Let me ask this, have you ever felt like a stranger in your own home? Be it the marriage is not what it used to be, the kids are going through adolescence, things are in disarray due to unforeseen circumstances. No matter what the reason, you felt, even for a little while, like a stranger in your own home. Again, go through your Bible, especially in the gospels and read how many times the Jews thrust Christ out of the synagogue and even out of the city they lived in. I wonder how many professing Christians have thrust Christ out of “their” churches and even out of their homes today, because the preaching and teaching has offended them? How “many” are believing the lies of the devil and “his” ministers rather than submitting unto the true preaching and teaching of God’s men?
Who are you walking with? By the way, we’re not on the street of gold just yet.
Until He comes again…
Pastor Chris Blythe
Bro. Chris Blythe announced the calling to preach the Word of God in September of 1998 and preached for the first time the following Sunday evening at...