The Offensive Gospel


We live in a culture of immediacy. Anything we want is just a click away or a short drive to the nearest store. This reality has cultivated a mentality of We can have whatever we want when we want it. If we disagree or don’t like something, then we can just go elsewhere. If someone offends us, then we will either push back or leave. In today’s passage we will see some people who had a problem with what Jesus was teaching, and their response was to simply walk away. The problem is that there is no other place to go that offers life. 

  • What is it you have a hard time believing to be true about God?


61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” 66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. Who was Jesus talking to in this passage? According to verse 64, what do we discover about some of them? What happened in verse 66?
  2. According to verse 63, where is life found?  
  3. What were Jesus’ disciples grumbling about? What was so difficult for them to accept?
  4. What is the difference between believing and following Jesus?


One minute, they were excited to follow him around, witness the miracles, and sit underneath his teaching; the next minute, some of them were ready to go back home and call it a day. These disciples loved everything about Jesus until they faced the reality of what he was teaching. They were offended and embarrassed by the words Jesus spoke. Oftentimes, we live our lives as if we don’t really believe what Jesus had to say. Maybe we are embarrassed by it. We love Christianity as long as it doesn’t impede on what we want. The truth is that the gospel is offensive and calls us to something bigger than ourselves.

  • Ask God to help you be bold in your faith.