Barrier to Belief

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Last October we studied the feeding of the 5,000 as part of our message series on the eight miraculous signs of the book of John. This week we’ll be studying what happened next by exploring the second half of John 6.
The sixth chapter of John is interesting because it begins like a big bonfire and it ends like the uncertain flickering of a candle. At the beginning of the chapter, Jesus has a mega church following. Thousands of people follow him excitedly all over the countryside to hear his preaching and witness his miracles, but at the end of the chapter we find Jesus rejected and abandoned. His one-time following of thousands has collapsed like a popped balloon, and He is left with just 11 men who believe in Him, and Judas who, according to Jesus is a devil.
What happened? I’ll tell you what happened. Jesus preached a really unpopular sermon. It went over like a lead balloon!
In it He confronts the people about their shabby, self-serving motives for following Him, saying “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that labors to eternal life.” (Vss. 26-27) Then he went on to talk in ways that struck people as strange and even offensive. He told them that they would need to eat His flesh and drink His blood in order to be saved. As a result of this one sermon the great throng abandons Him. When Jesus did not become who the crowd wanted Him to be…and when he did not do what they wanted Him to do… and when He said things that struck them as strange and offensive… they left Him.