Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.” From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. (John 6:60-66)
Refusing To Walk With Jesus
When the people heard Jesus teach, they recognized He was a man of authority. His preaching was not like the Jewish leaders of the day. The sermon on the mount was a masterpiece of a direct, unmistakable, and powerful message from the word of God. There was division about Jesus because of the manner of His teaching. Some accepted His word while others held fast to the doctrines of the Jews. Jesus answered questions about allegiance to the Roman government, how to deal with unruly brethren, the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, viewing sin as the detestable thing it was, and a host of issues that would not win Him many friends. No one could deny the teachings of Jesus. His messages were always without contradiction.
Jesus often accompanied His teaching with miracles by healing all manner of disease, casting out demons, and raising the dead. Multitudes came to Jesus to be healed. He took away their maladies and then taught them the healing power of the Father’s word. Following the feeding of more than five thousand people, Jesus went away to the other side of the sea. When the crowds found Him, they chided Him for not telling them where He had gone. Jesus knew the reason they sought Him was to be fed the bread and fish again. After the Lord taught the message of the bread of life, many were offended by His words. Many of His disciples told Jesus He had offended the people by His teaching. They had witnessed His miracle and now rebuked the miracle worker.
The miracles of Jesus showed the power of God so the people could be drawn to the Son. However, the miracles did not save them. Jesus fed five thousand people, but they were hungry the next day. The fish and loaves only took away their hunger for a moment. What the people needed more from Jesus was the bread of life that would always endure. Jesus was extremely popular when He fed them fish and bread, but people were offended when it came to His teaching. The selective nature of the human spirit is to desire something that will not last and be more inclined to refuse that which is eternal. This is what the people did with Jesus.
When God sent His Son to earth, He desired to save all men. Sadly, the human heart gets easily offended, and the people turned away from Jesus. They would never find a man who spoke like Jesus. There was no great manifestation of the power of God than found in the miracles of Jesus. The Lord had power over nature, time, distance, death, and the world of Satan. In the face of all the testimony of the divine power of God, the people turned away and walked with Jesus no more. When the human heart is offended because what is told to them does not fit with their wisdom and desires, man quits. That is what the people did to Jesus – they abandoned Jesus.
The crowds still walk away from Jesus. With all the teachings of Jesus in the Bible and the proofs of His miracles testifying to His divine nature, people walk away from the Lord because the word offends them. The Bible is not a book difficult to understand. There are many different types of churches, faiths, beliefs, and practices that do not harmonize with the teaching of Jesus. Modern religion has walked away from Jesus long ago because the truth offends them. Many people refuse to accept the Bible because they would have to change their life to mold it into the image of something that offends them. The ‘Cancel Culture’ has been around for a long time as men cancel the word of God for what they accept as truth.
Those people offended by the teaching of Jesus and who walked away from Him walked back to Him in death. The sad reality is that no one will ever be able to walk away from Jesus. A man can turn away from Jesus in this life and follow after human religion and serve the flesh to his full desire, but there will come a day when all men will come back to Jesus. On that day, there will be no time and no mercy. The Son of God they rejected will now be their Judge. All the teachings that seemed hard and offensive in life will then be crystal clear. Salvation will only come to those who walk with Jesus, not away from Him. The joy of eternal life is to walk with Jesus now so that we can walk with Him in death. Who are you walking with? Have you walked away from Jesus?