The key phrase here is -- does this offend you? He is asking those who claimed to want to follow Him if His honest teaching about who He was offended them. This is the nature of the Gospel. Remember he did not come to bring peace but rather a sword. That sword will divide a man against his father and a daughter against her mother. That sword is the Gospel and rest assured that if the gospel your pastor preaches does not divide then it is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Why? Because of the exclusivity of Christ. The world religions all want to join hands and sing Kumbaya while Satan laughs. Christianity says -- He is the way the truth and the life and NONE come to the Father except through Him. Christianity offends because it demands that man be subservient. Remember here that while the flash and blood teaching was confusing, the issue was that they did not actually know Christ and therefore all of His teaching would be foolishness to them. Today they are represented by those who come to false religion for the comfort of the feeding of the five thousand but the second something is asked spiritually of them their offense will make them leave.
The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe."
Some of the words of Jesus stand out as foundational teachings and this is one of them to me. The Spirit gives life -- the flesh counts for nothing. The indwelt Holy Spirit is the seal from God that we have eternal life in Jesus. Yet Romans teaches us that only the Gospel has the power of God unto the salvation of man. Acts 20 teaches us that a preacher must preach the entire will of God in order to avoid being responsible for the blood of his listeners. What does this add up to? You must attend a church that does not compromise the full Gospel of Jesus Christ unless you want to risk a false conversion. So many churches today are filled with goats who are being taught how to act like sheep but God knows who are His. So many mega-churches are filled with carnal pastors, preach carnal messages, and the result are carnal false Christians. How do Hillsong congregants tolerate sensual Silent Night at Christmas or "I like to Move It, Move It" during worship? How did New Spring Church tolerate Highway to Hell during Easter worship? How do churches across this land tolerate the eastern Mysticism and false signs and lying wonders of Bethel? The bridal paradigm of IHOP? The bible mangling of Joyce Meyer or Joel Osteen? The tithing abuse of Robert Morris? Because they do not have the indwelt Holy Spirit and are sowing only to their flesh. Those fleshly teachings however contain no life.
For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. He went on to say, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them." From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
This verse always struck me as profoundly sad. Many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him. The truth of the context reveals they may have been following purely in carnal terms from town to town but they were not following Him in the spiritual sense of the word. Likewise, those caught up in mega church heresies have a shelf life of just under three years. after that they take their false belief that they are saved and retreat back into their life prior to church involvement. Truth be told it never really changed all that much for most. Jesus teaches that if you have convinced yourself that your darkness is light then how deep is that darkness! On the opposite side of these disciples who walked away we find what real faith looks like:
"You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God."
While the flesh counts for nothing, the Spirit leads us into all truth. The first truth that is fundamental for faith is that Jesus is the Son of God. He is the Holy One sent to die for our sins. As such, His words have eternal life. I love the sound bites from this one story:
This is a hard teaching, who can accept it?