John 6:41-71

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These small group studies of John contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications.  Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.

John 6:41-71 Inductive Bible Study

John 6:41-71

Summary:

41-42 – Their reactions to Jesus’ teaching that He is the Bread of Life.

43-51 – Jesus is the true bread that gives life. One must know and be called by the Father to receive it. They must eat of it.

52 – The Jews don’t understand how they can eat Jesus’ flesh.

53-58 – To have a right relationship to God a person must consume Jesus’ body.

59-60 – The people found this hard to accept.

61-65 – If they saw the truth about where Jesus came from and knew the things of God and were called by God they could believe.

66 – They didn’t like what they heard from Jesus so stopped following Him.

67-71 – Jesus asked the twelve if they also wanted to leave and said one is a devil.

Questions:

If you had to choose a title for this section of Scripture what would it be? What is Jesus’ theme?

Why were the Jews grumbling that Jesus said He came down out of heaven (41-42)?

Why wouldn’t Jesus just tell them that Joseph was his step-father and that Mary was a virgin at the time He was born (42)?

What can we learn about the possible consequences of presumption from these verses?

What doctrine is taught in verse 44?

If Jesus was merely a good man could he raise anyone up (44)?

If everyone who learns from the Father comes to Jesus, why didn’t the Jews since they learned the Old Testament (45)?

Explain why verse 47 is a radical statement at that time?

How can a person eat Jesus flesh? Does this substantiate the Catholic doctrine of mass?

Why didn’t Jesus just speak more plainly to let them understand?

What kind of principles can we draw from the fact that Jesus’ body and blood is our food and drink?

What does this tell us about what kind of faith saving faith is? What does this tell us about how we need to live our lives if we truly believe in Jesus?

In what way does Jesus blood give eternal life?

What is Jesus saying in verse 62?

What good is our flesh? What can we do with it? How much of our salvation can we earn (63)?

What does verse 65 mean (perhaps “granted him” is synonymous with “called”?)

Why were the people following Him going away now?

What is Jesus’ point in verse 70?

Does that mean that Jesus can choose us and we can still reject Him or not follow Him (as some Armenians ask)?

Cross-references

41 – 1 Corinthians 10:10 – After escaping Egypt they grumbled and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now they were grumbling again.

41 – Jude 15-16 – God will judge those who grumble and find fault and say many bad things against Him.

42 – Luke 3:23 – Jesus was “supposed” to be the son of Joseph.

42 – Mark 6:3 – Another time they supposed Jesus was just a carpenter descended from Mary and Joseph. John 7:27 – They thought they knew where Jesus was from, but they weren’t supposed to know where the Messiah was from.

44 – Romans 8:7-8 – The fleshly mind is hostile to God and sets its mind on the flesh, not on God and cannot set its mind on God.

45 – Isaiah 54:13 – All of the Jews were supposed to be taught of God from the time they were young.

Matthew 11:27 – If someone knows of the Father it is because the Son revealed it to Him.

1 Corinthians 2:14 – A natural mind cannot accept the things of God.

2 Corinthians 3:16 – Whenever a person turns to God the veil (of their understanding of the Old Covenant) is taken away.

46- John 3:16, John 5:24, Acts 16:31 – Believe and we will have eternal life.

50 – John 3:13 – Jesus descended from heaven.

51 – Luke 22:19 – Jesus gave His body for us and we are to have communion to remember it.

52 – 1 Corinthians 2:14 – The natural-minded cannot accept the things of God.

53 – Unless you? Matthew 18:3 (Become like children), Luke 13:3 (repent), John 3:3 (born again).

1 Corinthians 10:14-22 – We need to share in the cup and take of the body of Christ. We cannot do it with idols and Christ. (So to take of the body means to participate in Him and His ways, to follow Him.)

Colossians 1:24 – Paul shared in the afflictions of Christ for His body’s sake.

Galatians 2:20 – I’ve been crucified with Christ and I no longer live.

Colossians 3:3 – You have died and your life is hidden in Christ.

63 – 1 Corinthians 13:13 – If we do all kinds of things but have no love, it profits us nothing.

Philippians 2:16 – We need to hold fast the word of God so that we don’t find out our toiling was in vain.

65 – 2 Timothy 2:25 – God grants repentance and salvation. We cannot get it on our own.

Philippians 2:13 – God is at work in us to will and to work according to His good pleasure.

68 – Psalms 73:25 – Who have I in heaven but you and besides you I desire nothing in the earth.

Teaching Points

41-42 –

Although Jesus had done a great miracle and shown His power and the authority of His teaching to everyone they still had many doubts. They grumbled, just as their forefathers had grumbled in the wilderness centuries before. They questioned Jesus’ credentials. They believed He was the son of Joseph and Mary, a carpenter from Nazareth, just a normal, poor man. They chose to reject the evidence of His miracles that contradicted with their belief and accept the apparent evidence that agreed with it. They came in presuming that Jesus wasn’t God and of course they found some reasons to agree with their assumption. They simply cast aside those aspects (His miracles) that disagreed with their assumption. Would someone with a truly open mind come to the conclusion that Jesus was simply a poor carpenter? What were the consequences of their presumption? How do people make similar presumptions these days? Give some examples (“science”). Why didn’t Jesus just tell them that His real father was God and Joseph was only His step-father?

41 – 1 Corinthians 10:10 – After escaping Egypt they grumbled and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now they were grumbling again.

41 – Jude 15-16 – God will judge those who grumble and find fault and say many bad things against Him.

42 – Luke 3:23 – Jesus was “supposed” to be the son of Joseph.

42 – Mark 6:3 – Another time they supposed Jesus was just a carpenter descended from Mary and Joseph. John 7:27 – They thought they knew where Jesus was from, but they weren’t supposed to know where the Messiah was from.

43-51

Jesus launches into a discussion of what really matters. He doesn’t need to prove His credentials to them. He speaks for Himself. His actions and miracles are enough. The only way anyone can come to Him is if the Father calls Him. Aside from the special calling of God, no amount of signs and miracles can convince anyone. Even if they knew that Joseph was only a step-father they would have come up with something else to believe, ANYTHING to give them an excuse not to believe in the Father. Anyone who really knows God and has a relationship to Him will come to Jesus. So why didn’t the Jews? Their relationship is only superficial. They knew the law, but were hypocrites and didn’t have that vital relationship to Christ.

The One who sees is Jesus.

Verse 47 is a radical statement at that time. In their mind the circumcised could have eternal life. Those who followed the rabbinic codes and Mosaic law could have eternal life. Belief had little to do with it.

Then Jesus compares the “manna”, which they ate to Himself. The manna was miraculous. But in the end those who ate died. Not only did they die physically, but most died spiritually as well since they didn’t follow God. But Jesus is the bread that came down out of heaven (and remember He just did the amazing miracle to prove it). One who takes of Him will never die (spiritually). Jesus offers more than any materials, more than anything in this world, no matter how great. It is of a completely different kind (from heaven) than anything in the world. He sacrificed His own life to provide for our eternal life. He gave His own body for us. He is the living bread. If we “eat” of Him He will live in us and give us eternal life.

44 – Romans 8:7-8 – The fleshly mind is hostile to God and sets its mind on the flesh, not on God and cannot set its mind on God.

45 – Isaiah 54:13 – All of the Jews were supposed to be taught of God from the time they were young.

Matthew 11:27 – If someone knows of the Father it is because the Son revealed it to Him.

1 Corinthians 2:14 – A natural mind cannot accept the things of God.

2 Corinthians 3:16 – Whenever a person turns to God the veil (of their understanding of the Old Covenant) is taken away.

47- John 3:16, John 5:24, Acts 16:31 – Believe and we will have eternal life.

50 – John 3:13 – Jesus descended from heaven.

Application: Jesus is the true bread that can satisfy. He can give us true life. No one else can. Go to Jesus for spiritual food. Don’t try to find it in the world or you will be empty and separated from God.

What doctrine is taught in verse 44?

If Jesus was merely a good man could he raise anyone up (44)?

If everyone who learns from the Father comes to Jesus, why didn’t the Jews since they learned the Old Testament (45)?

Explain why verse 47 is a radical statement at that time?

John 6:47

1. drawn by the Father;

2. hears his instructions;

3. accepts the salvation offered;

4. is given to Christ Jesus, that he may be justified by faith;

5. is nourished by the bread of life;

6. perseveres in the faith;

7. is not lost, but is raised up at the last day; and

8. is made a partaker of eternal life.

9. he eats the bread and drinks the blood of Jesus

10. he will abide in me and I in Him

52 –

For the second time they started arguing/grumbling after what Jesus said. You can tell their hearts aren’t sincerely wondering. Their attitude isn’t like Nicodemus’. But it’s more like come on, “What in the world is this guy talking about? We can’t eat His flesh! He’s mad.”

53-58

Here Jesus makes it clear the only way to have eternal life is through Him. Several times He mentions eating His flesh and drinking His blood. What does He mean by this? How can a person eat Jesus flesh? Does this substantiate the Catholic doctrine of mass?

Why didn’t Jesus just speak more plainly to let them understand?

What kind of principles can we draw from the fact that Jesus’ body and blood is our food and drink?

What does this tell us about what kind of faith saving faith is? What does this tell us about how we need to live our lives if we truly believe in Jesus?

In what way does Jesus blood give eternal life?

We must be partakers of and sharers in the grace and Spirit of God.

53 – Unless you? Matthew 18:3 (Become like children), Luke 13:3 (repent), John 3:3 (born again).

1 Corinthians 12:13 – All believers are made to DRINK of one Spirit.

1 Corinthians 10:14-22 – We need to share in the cup and take of the body of Christ. We cannot do it with idols and Christ. (So to take of the body means to participate in Him and His ways, to follow Him.)

Colossians 1:24 – Paul shared in the afflictions of Christ for His body’s sake.

Galatians 2:20 – I’ve been crucified with Christ and I no longer live.

Colossians 3:3 – You have died and your life is hidden in Christ.

53 – Luke 22:19 – Jesus gave His body for us and we are to have communion to remember it. (This verse in John is not referring to Communion. But both are referring to the same thing that we need to do as believers.)

Eating Jesus’ body and drinking His blood is figurative. It means we are to accept Him fully. We need to appropriate Him, to sustain ourselves on Him, to live for Him, to suffer with Him. It shows the radical allegiance we need to have in Christ. He is showing what kind of belief we need to have. It is a belief with our heart, soul, and mind. It is a life-transforming belief. He can really change our lives. He is really worthwhile. He can really provide us true life. Nothing else in the world can.

59-60

They still didn’t understand what Jesus were saying. He told them many times, but they simply didn’t understand. It’s no wonder they couldn’t understand. The natural mind cannot understand the things of God. No one will be able to understand and accept Christ without His direct work in our hearts and without Him revealing Himself to us. We don’t have the ability to understand or follow God’s ways apart from His work in our lives.

The people in the world would often rather hear a SOFT LIE than the HARD TRUTH from God.

61-65

Jesus could see their hearts and know what they were thinking and murmuring to themselves. If they saw Jesus at His ascension then would they believe? Only through the Spirit and the Father drawing a person can he/she believe. He knows people’s hearts are hard. On their own they will never believe no matter how many signs He does and how many times He explains to and teaches them. Only those called by the Father will believe. Everyone else will reject it and if they don’t use this excuse they will use another.

Application: Unlike Jesus, we don’t know who will believe and who will not. However, we should understand that people are saved only through the Spirit’s work and the Father’s calling. We cannot persuade or convince anyone to believe. People saw Jesus’ miracles and didn’t believe, but they hear our petty logic and believe?? Unlikely.

The flesh profits nothing. It doesn’t help earn salvation in any way. Anything we do in the flesh accomplishes nothing of eternal significance (John 15:5). Salvation didn’t begin in our flesh and it won’t end their. God began the work and He will finish it. We have nothing to boast about. We need the Spirit and cannot bring life to ourselves no matter how hard we try. Trust in God and be moldable clay in His hands.

66-71

According to Ryrie the people were looking for a political revolutionary and left Him when they realized His emphasis on the need for personal faith for salvation. This might be part of it or perhaps they just thought it was foolishness since their hearts and mind were darkened.

Jesus’ asked the disciples if they wanted to leave and got a very positive response from Peter.

Study John 7:1-29

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