Light of the World: John 6:60-7:31

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This Sunday we covered John 6:30-59 in which Jesus describes himself as the bread of life that has been sent down from heaven. Jesus used the metaphor of eating his flesh and drinking his blood to describe the type of unique and intimate relationship that we are to have with him. We found that in order to enter this relationship with Jesus we ought to imitate the way he interacts with his heavenly father: spending time with him in prayer, relying on him for strength and direction, and trusting his ways and his purposes. If we can relate to Jesus in these ways he can satisfy the spiritual hunger for something more that we all experience in in our lives. He can become a part of us and offer us true joy, purpose, hope and the gift of eternal life.

 

 

Opening Discussion:

The disciples response to Jesus talking about eating and drinking his flesh and blood is: “This is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?” What is one thing about the Christian faith that you (or others) find hard to understand and/or accept?

 

 

 

Looking at Scripture:

Read John 6:60-7:31 (you may want to split it into parts and have different people read).  

 

We believe these events/conversations happened, and that God oversaw them being written down. But he used a human author who, like all authors, made careful choices about what to say and how to say it. What do you think John is trying to make his readers think and feel in the way that he is unfolding the story here?

 

 

 

Make a list of all the different things that are talked about in this passage (examples below):

 

-      Disciples don’t understand/can’t accept teaching            - Spirit gives life, not human effort

-      People can only come to Jesus w/ Father‘s help              -

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See if you can identify a couple of major or repeated themes in the passage. What are the main things that stand out to you? Don’t worry if this doesn’t come easily—this is a complex passage, and there’s no “right” answer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even when he was right there, in the flesh, doing miracles, people just didn’t know what to do with Jesus—not the crowds, not the religious leaders, not his disciples, not even his own brothers. Two thousand years later, people still don’t know how to react to him. How are people’s reactions/struggles today similar to or different from their reactions back then? How do these fit with your own reactions to Jesus?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The note on 6:66 gives a few reasons why people may have been leaving Jesus. What kinds of things are most likely to cause you to think about giving up your faith (or keep you from embracing faith in the first place)? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toward the end of his gospel, John lets us in on his goal in writing: “These are written that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you will have life by the power of his name” (20:31). Believing in Jesus—and continuing to believe in him when things get confusing or difficult—is hard. It always has been, as today’s passage illustrates. But Pastor John is trying to convey to his original audience (and us today) that believing is worth it—it’s the very path to eternal life itself. End by praying for each other that you would have faith to keep believing, even when you’re confused or discouraged (if appropriate in your group, you may want to ask if anyone would like to be prayed for specifically in this area).