The DEEP

Does This Offend You?

It's boot camp.

John 6:53–62

Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.”

These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.

Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?”

When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before?”

Every time the disciples ask a tough question Jesus responds with something even more confusing.

This passage is part of Jesus’s response to the Jews wondering how He can say He came down from heaven. They know His parents and where He’s from.

His “I am the bread” response is, technically, a proof that He came down from heaven, but only when it makes sense (after the resurrection). Right now, it just sounds like He’s ignoring the question.

Why is Jesus being so cryptic? He makes this sound like cannibalism. The creep factor is off the charts.

Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?”

No one can understand it—not yet anyways.

But then Jesus jumps back to topic A (Him coming down from heaven) and says, “Does this offend you? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before?

The ascension will settle this for sure. Then everyone will understand that He descended from Heaven.


Jesus is making it incredibly hard to be a disciple. Why? What’s the point?

This is boot camp. The coming war will be even harder. He’s culling out the lightweights. The Lord did the same thing at the end of Deuteronomy as He prepared the Israelites to enter Canaan.

What man is there who is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go and return to his house, lest the heart of his brethren faint like his heart. — Deuteronomy 20:8b


These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

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The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.