The reaction of His disciples was that this was difficult to understand. Many who had been following the crowd left and did not follow Jesus.
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60. “The wordplay here is important because it reminds the reader that the mere hearing of words is not enough. It is ‘obedience,’ the implied meaning of akouein, that is important.” (Borchert, Gerald L., The New American Commentary Volume 25A, John 1-11. [Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002], 274)
“Our Lord’s teaching was not hard to understand but hard to accept once you understood it. The Jewish religious leaders both misunderstood His words and rejected them. (Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. [Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004], 313)
61. His disciples complained [NKJV]. “Many of Jesus’ disciples had the same reaction as the Jews in verse 41 and of the first generation of Israelites to manna, i.e., they murmured (Exodus 16:2).” (MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. [Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005], 1376)
“Who were these disciples? Were they the twelve? Probably not (cf. 6:67-69) because they departed from following Jesus at this point.” (Borchert, 274)
62. “What would they do if they saw Him ascend back into heaven.” (Wiersbe, 314)
63. “Accepting the way of Jesus (the word of Jesus) is indeed the way of the Spirit.” (Borchert, 274)
64. Jesus knew. “Reminiscent of Jesus’ words in 2:23-25, Jesus knew the heart of men, including those disciples who followed Him…These false disciples were simply attracted to the physical phenomena (e.g., miracles and food), and failed to understand the true significance of Jesus teaching (v. 61).” (MacArthur, 1376)
65. “Although the role of God’s grace is not spelled out in detail here, Jesus made it clear that no one can become attached to him unless God has made it possible (cf. vv. 37, 44). The point is that Jesus was not surprised at rebellious people, and that should be an important lesson for Christians (cf. Ephesians 2:1).” (Borchert, 275)
“But remember now, you have to put with that [v. 65] ‘whosoever will may come.’ It’s up to you, you see.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 408)
66. “Those disciples who found it hard to stomach the claims of Jesus in fact joined the opponents by withdrawing from Jesus.” (Borchert, 275)
“They went back to the old life, the old religion, and the old hopeless situation. Jesus Christ is ‘the way’ (John 14:6), but they would not walk with Him.” (Wiersbe, 314)
67. Jesus asked the twelve men He chose; “Do you also want to go away?” [NKJV]
68. “When Jesus asked His twelve apostles if they planned to desert Him too, it was Peter who spoke up and declared their faith.” (Wiersbe, 314)
“You have the words of eternal life.” [NKJV]
69. Peter “added a confession that Jesus was indeed ‘The Holy One of God.’ [NIV] This confession in the fourth Gospel is parallel to the confession of Peter at Caesarea Philippi in the Synoptics (cf. Matthew 16:16; Mark 8:29; Luke 9:20).” (Borchert, 275)
70-71. “The only mistake he [Peter] made was to bear witness for the entire group. Peter was sure that all of the apostles were believers, which shows how convincing Judas was. Even Peter did not know that Judas was an unbeliever!” (Wiersbe, 314)
“God draws sinners to the Savior through the power of truth, His Word. Those who reject the Word will reject the Savior. Those who receive the Word will receive the Savior and experience the new birth, eternal life.” (Wiersbe, 314)
“Do you feel your need because there is a spiritual hunger within? Are you willing to admit that need and come to the Savior? If you will, He will save you and satisfy you forever!” (Wiersbe, 314)
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Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
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New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
New International Version (NIV)
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In this article Scripture quotations taken from KJV.
Borchert, Gerald L., The New American Commentary Volume 25A, John 1-11. Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983
MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005
Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004