This argument among the Jews began because Jesus had said back in verse 41, that he was the bread of life which comes down from heaven. This started an argument because this was Jesus the son of Joseph. They all knew him and they knew where he came from. So for Jesus to make this bold statement about being the bread of heaven, the bread of life [verse 48], it was more than they were going to allow.
Their argument kept growing until Jesus made a even a more bold statement:
Verse 51, "I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world."
The argument grew even more as they asked, "How can this Man give us his flesh to eat?"
If you were to look at this statement only on the surface you would think that Jesus is advocating cannibalism. You would think that he is telling them to eat his physical body and you will live forever.
How outrageous could one be to advocate eating their body!
But Jesus did not stop there; he went on in verse 56 saying you also had to drink his blood.
Really? This was just too much! Jesus have you flipped out? Do you really expect us to eat your body and drink your blood? How Ridiculous!
As you would guess, this went over so well the Bible says in verses 60 and 66 that his disciples said this was a hard saying and many went back and walk with him no more.
This statement caused them to quit following him altogether.
This was the same crowd who followed him when he feed the thousands. . .
This was the same crowd who followed him when he healed everyone in their cities. . .
This was the same crowd who followed him when he gave them what they wanted. . .
But as soon as he says something hard to understand, the people wanted to bailout, back off, and quit being a part of him.
People do this because Truth when it is first presented does not usually balance in our minds.
This is why humans will receive a lie much easier than the truth.
Jesus said in John 8:45, “Because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.”
The things Jesus taught were hard for people to believe, especially since they were so used to hearing the lies of religious leaders. It takes proof that something is true before we will trust in it, otherwise we discard it as false. Since most truth does not seem real at first, humans are too eager to lash out at the truth instead of investigating to see if it is truth.
The problem was not what Jesus said as much as what he had not said yet.
Jesus was good at speaking in parables and types so individuals that did not take him seriously would move on and go away. The Bible does say, "It is not God's will that any should perish, but all should come to repentance" [2Peter 3:9], but God is not willing to let non-believers be a part of His blessed salvation. So He gives us bits and pieces to draw us to him, because God knows Truth when it is first presented does not usually balance in our human minds.
Jesus explains in verse 44:
“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him. . ."
In order for a person to understand the deeper things of God you must allow God to draw you into it with His Spirit, with the Word, and with His voice. When you hear something that seems to be difficult to understand, you must allow the Holy Spirit, who guides us in all truth, time to show you if that thing you do not understand is truth or not.
For us to fully understand things God is showing us, when they seem to be hard sayings, we must allow the Lord to tell us the rest of what has not been said yet.
When Jesus said you must eat his flesh and drink his blood their obviously was more to teach about it. Instead of waiting on Jesus to teach the truths about it, His followers bailed out and quit.
The thing they should have done was. . .Wait for it. . . Wait for it. . . And give him time, He will tell the rest of it.
On May 10, 1976 a man by the name of Paul Harvey premiered on the ABC Radio Networks with a program he called, "The Rest of the Story." Each segment only lasted for a few minutes of which he would begin telling known facts about people or situations in life. After he finished the known facts he would go to what he called, "Page Two" and he would started telling more interesting facts about the subject that most people never knew. Once he finished the segment, usually leaving you in amazement, he would sign off by saying, "And now you know the rest of the story." He continued this broadcast for almost thirty years and was substituted by his son until Paul Harvey died in February 2009 and the network cancelled the program in March of 2009.
The point in all this is when you don't understand what the Lord is telling you. . .wait for the rest of the story. . .He will bring you around to the truth of it.
In John Chapter 7 Jesus explains how his teaching is truth..
It is the time of the Feast of Tabernacles and Jesus remain back in Galilee because he did not want people to realize he was there. He sent the disciples on before him and Jesus showed up in secret, not desiring to be noticed. The problem is He started teaching at the temple about three days into the seven day festival. That blew his cover. If Jesus was to show up anywhere it would only take a few words out of his mouth and everyone would know who he was. Especially now when he was growing in popularity. He had just made those bold statements about eating his flesh and drinking his blood a few days earlier. For a person not wanting to be noticed, going to the temple and teaching was not a good way to remain hidden.
By this time there was much being said about Jesus because of his last teaching a few days earlier.
Some was defending him to be a good person while others argued he was a deceiver.
Others were confused how he to speak like he did, with such authority, not being an educated person.
In the middle of these discussions Jesus reveals his presence and sets the record straight.
In verses 16-18 Jesus tells where his doctrine came from.
16. Jesus answered them and said, "My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.
17. If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.
18. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him."
There was only a three days left before the Feast of Tabernacles was over.
Not that many days earlier Jesus upset everyone by claiming to be the living bread.
Just eight days before this was the celebration of Yom Kippur, or the Day of Anointment.
One of the closing things the Jews do that finishes out the Feast of Tabernacles is the Hallel Prayer.
This is a collection of songs that offers up thanksgiving and praise to the Almighty, consisting of the book of Psalms, Chapters 113-118. They walk through the streets of Jerusalem reciting every word of all six Psalms as a prayer and praise to the Lord God.
I want you to particularly notice 118:22:
"The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone."
You have to understand the connection here.
They are three days away from walking through the streets of Jerusalem, praising the Almighty God as they are singing the Hallel Prayer. As they are coming to the climax of this most Holiest of celebrations and they are singing praises to Jehovah God, toward the end of this Hallel Prayer is Psalm 118:22. This is in the last seven verses of Psalm 118; the last seven verses of the entire Hallel Prayer.
So now they singing: "The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone."
I'm sure they had no I idea what they were singing about!
They had been singing the Hallel Prayer since King David's day and they were still singing it in Jesus day.
Three days before they sang this Jesus is at the Temple teaching them:
"My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me."
"If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine"
"Whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority."
"He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory."
"He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true."
"And no unrighteousness is in Him."
As he was teaching these things they were rejecting his teachings just three days before they were going to walk through the streets of their city singing about the truth that He is the rejected stone that becomes the cornerstone. They are rejecting the stone as they are singing about it!
In Matthew 21:42-44 Jesus teaches about this quote in Psalm 118.
He told them in verse 44 that the Kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. "And that whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but whoever this stone falls on will be ground into powder."
On the surface you would think Jesus is talking about Judah losing its kingdom to another nation.
This is probably what they were teaching in the Synagogues.
To understand this truth you have to wait for it. . .Wait for the rest of the story.
He never explained this mystery to the people of his day. It was not until the Church was functioning in full power that God revealed the truth about the cornerstone.
Jesus is the cornerstone for the Kingdom of God.
He was talking about himself.
He was talking about a nation that has no boundaries, the Church.
And He was talking about the nations and people that would be ground into powder that come against Him and His Church.
Rome was the first to be defeated by this mighty nation and its cornerstone.
Without a sword of steel the mighty iron nation of Rome fell to the power of the Church and Jesus Christ.
With the Sword of the Lord in our hands, we will defeat every foe that comes against us.
It may not be in our lifetime, but their defeat is emanate if they go against the Church of Jesus Christ.
There are many "hard sayings" given to us by Jesus.
When something is hard it is because you have not mastered it yet.
People are always uncomfortable with the things we do not understand.
Wisdom and understanding comes from the Lord.
4. If you seek her [Wisdom] as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures:
5. Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.
6. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth comes knowledge and understand.
Because we do not balance truth when it is first presented to us God will make us wait for the rest of any truth to give us time to find its "being".
Anything that is must "Be". Otherwise it is not!
Though this is a simple statement it is a deep concept.
For you to accept anything as truth you must receive confirmation that something is. . . Thus it is "being" truth. For you to find understanding you must turn to the Lord who is the giver of all wisdom and understanding.
If we will allow God time to balance our minds by revealing his truths we will accept them to "BE" truth.
It has to "BE" otherwise it is false.
The more understanding and wisdom you gain concerning a thing, the more you master that thing and you become comfortable in your understanding. Then you accept the truth of that things.
This is how you become capable of receiving "Hard Sayings" from the Lord.
When you are confronted with a Biblical truth that is hard for you to grasp do not give up on it, continue seeking the Lord for its truth.
Keep studying, reading, searching and . . .Wait on it!. . .Wait on it! And the Holy Spirit will bring you into an understanding about its truth.
Do you know why there are not very many wise people who are young? Because it takes time to gain wisdom and understand. That person who has become wise went through the. . .Wait for it!
The only exception to this truth is when God gives you the revelation of something so you can use it for the purpose it was intended.
God's truths are so important and misunderstood by the world, He is not going to confirm these truths to just anyone.
They are revealed to those who take Him seriously.
They are revealed to those who want to master His truths and become testimonies of them,
Not turn from them and give up!
God is not wasting his time with you if you do not care!
Your Hard Sayings
Has God given you any "Hard Sayings"?
Do you struggle with the promises of God in your life that are as difficult and seemingly impossible as eating a person's flesh or drinking their blood?
Do you have promises from the Lord you have been waiting and waiting and waiting on, but they have not come yet?
Could it be that the things God needs you to know for his promises to come true requires you to master some truths about God and His Kingdom before he fulfills his promises to you?
These are "Hard Sayings"! This message is a hard saying!
Are you having difficulty with the simple things?
Look at Hebrews 6:1-2:
1. Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
2. of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. [NKJV]
Are you having difficult mastering the elementary principles of Christ?
Repentance, faith, and salvation.
Teachings of the baptism into Christ and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Laying on of hands for healing and for others being filled with the Spirit.
Resurrection of the dead, both in this life and when Jesus returns.
Eternal judgment: Great White Throne Judgement and the Judgement Seat of Christ.
If you are not mastering this information then how do you think you are able to master "Hard Sayings"?
I ministered for thirty years in a denomination that Salvation was the message being taught to their churches 95% of the time. This is why Paul wrote in the book of Hebrew the above statement, so they would move on to perfection. Don't stay in the child's swimming area if you want to be an Olympic swimmer. Get into the large pool. You have to become a master of the big pool to be a Gold Medal winner.
When it comes to the teachings of Jesus Christ we must not back off, be ashamed, or quit because it is difficult. You were bought with a price and Jesus owns you if you have received salvation.
What part of those mentioned in Hebrews 11:30-40 was not hard?
What about the thousands of Christians today around the world who suffer and even face dying just because they have taken on the name of Jesus Christ?
We must not turn our backs and quit!
Are you going to quit just because it got hard?
In our weakness His strength is made perfect! [2Corinthians 12:9-10].
Jesus said in this world we will have tribulation, but he has overcome the world [John 16:33].
Because He has overcome the world, we have the same ability through Him!
Hard sayings are only hard until you become a master of God's Truths, then you become an overcomer in Christ Jesus.