John 6:60, “When many of his disciples heard it, they said, ‘This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?'”
The Jews and Christ’s disciples just heard Jesus speak of eating His flesh and drinking His blood. Who wouldn’t think this was just too hard to take? After they make the above statement, Jesus, knowing their hearts better than they do, goes on to speak of the Spirit awakening men to belief (regeneration), even to the hardest of truths. Of course, this is not the actual eating of flesh or drinking of blood, rather the participation in His death, burial, and resurrection through faith in His solely sufficient life and work.
The key here is, the Spirit giving life, and the complete inability of the flesh to grasp the truth of the cross (v.63). Jesus spoke this truth even to those He knew did not (and would not) believe (v.64).
John 6:65, “And He said, ‘this is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.'”
The very next verse makes the truth painfully clear, “After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.” The fact is, no matter how hard a parallel Christ would have made with His flesh and salvation (and it really couldn’t have been harsher connection), those who would believe were going to believe. These are the same men who followed Christ when He told them to leave family, goods, even dead loved ones, in order to follow Him.
So, why do we Christians (and many of our churches), seem to make every effort to soften the plea? Are we seriously going to say that cannibalistic evangelism was culturally relevant? The fact is, we don’t trust the work of the Spirit. The fact is, we don’t believe God’s Word to be sufficient. The fact is, we have lost the wonder of our own salvation, perhaps taking pride in our own grasping of it.
Here are a few thoughts to help us repent (no, not recover):
1) Remember the wonder of His salvation
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience- among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
2) Repent of disbelief
1 Corinthians 1:20-25
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
3) Relearn the Gospel
1 Corinthians 2
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”- these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
4) Walk / Speak by Faith
1 Peter 2:9-10
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.