No, this person was a man who had followed Jesus, who was sitting in the synagogue in Capernaum where Jesus was teaching. What Jesus said puzzled him. In fact, it offended him and others. They complained among themselves, ÒThis is a hard saying; who can hear it?Ó (John 6:60b)
They had placed so much hope in this teacher. They saw how He had healed the sick. They heard Him speak with authorityÑunlike the scribes. And the day before, they ate barley loaves and fishes which Jesus miraculously multiplied from six loaves and two fishes to feed 5,000 men. ÒSurely,Ó they said, ÒHe is the prophet that should come into the world.Ó So they tried to make Him King. But Jesus escaped to the mountain while His disciples went in their boat to cross the Sea of Galilee.
News had spread that Jesus could give them free bread. So, many searched for Him. When they found Him in Capernaum, they were surprised! How could He get there so fast? They longed to see Him break more bread, but instead, Jesus said to them: ÒI am the living Bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the worldÓ (John 6:51)
Their image of bread changed to JesusÕ body parts multiplied for them to eat. They werenÕt cannibals! ÒHow can this man give us His flesh to eat?Ó they asked each other.
Jesus was teaching them and they didnÕt get it. Surely, we canÕt say JesusÕ teaching was unclear or above their heads, because He was (and is) the greatest Teacher Who walked on this earth.
The reason they didnÕt get what Jesus said was because God did not open their eyes or their hearts to understand what Jesus was teaching them. When He broke the loaves, He gave them barley loaves to show them that He was God come in the flesh. He showed them that He cared enough for them to provide them food in the wilderness. And, He wanted to show them that He was like the bread multiplied to feed the world.
The other reason they didnÕt get JesusÕ teaching was because they did not believe in Jesus. They wanted free bread to eat that would perish, not the bread which endures to eternal life. They wanted a king who would show them a great sign and then give them victory over the Romans and give them peace, health, and wealth. No, they did not like someone who would offer His life as a sacrifice for sins. Simply put, they refused to come to Jesus, and they refused to believe in Him.
Children, John 6 is a very important chapter in the Bible, because there Jesus stands before us as a Teacher. In His lesson He invites: ÒI am the bread of life: He that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirstÓ (John 6:35)
In this lesson, Jesus also divides false disciples from true disciples. ÒBut I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast outÓ (John 6:37)
Reading, writing, and arithmetic are important, no doubt. There will be things you wonÕt get, and may never get, for sure. But be sure to get JesusÕ lesson in John 6, for they are the words of eternal life (See John 6:66-69).