The pastor was shaking hands with people as they left the church on a Sunday a morning. A couple greeted the pastor and said,” we listened to every word you said.” The pastor thanked the couple and said,” I look forward to seeing you next Sunday.” “Oh we won’t be here next week” the couple responded, “We are going to another church next week to get a second opinion.”
That is how the crowd felt about following Jesus. They wanted a second opinion. Jesus wasn’t who they wanted Him to be, so they started to murmur and complain and before it was all over, some of them left Jesus all together. The price to follow Jesus was a difficult decision.
We are in John chapter six and Jesus just told the crowd that He is the True Bread, for the Bread of God is He who comes down from Heaven and gives life to the world. Oh the crowd liked the idea so far, because Jesus fed the crowd with five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus was meeting their physical needs. They were happy. They were joyful. Things were good … but not for long.
So when Jesus told the crowd about the bread of life they were all in and said Lord, give us this bread always. So Jesus said, “I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, that you also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and he that comes to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him who sent me. And this is the Father's will, that of all those he has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise them up again at the last day.
Apparently these words didn’t settle well with the Jews for verse forty-one says, The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said,”Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that he says, I came down from heaven?” They wanted food that is why they asked Jesus to give them that food always. They wanted to hop on Jesus’ gravy train. They were following Him because things were good.
But the fun stopped when Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life.” The joy and the happiness suddenly turned in to a murmur. They forgot about their forefathers who murmured in the wilderness and never entered the promise land. You know the story. The Israelites were on the edge of the promise land and Moses gathers twelve men to spy out the land. Of the twelve, only Joshua and Caleb said they could take the land. The other ten saw the giants in the land and said we are but grasshoppers in their sight. Then they started to complain and murmur, wishing they were dead. Then God told them, only Caleb and Joshua and those under twenty would enter the promise land, all because they decided to murmur. To follow God was a difficult decision.
Murmur means to express ones discontent with someone or something. The crowd was discontent with Jesus. He was looking beneath the surface to meet their spiritual needs, but they were only interested their physical needs. They were blinded to the reality of their situation. They were only concerned about the here and now, too busy with the physical to be concerned with the spiritual. They were discontent. They were dissatisfied, frustrated, irritated and annoyed. Jesus, who was so spectacular multiplying the fives loaves of bread and two fish was suddenly just the son of Joseph and Marry, and since He was their son, He surely didn’t come down from Heaven.
Jesus told them to stop the murmur, and then He told them again that He is the Bread of Life. Then in verse fifty-one Jesus told them, I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eats of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. Oh, that was too much for the Jews. How can any man give his flesh to eat and his blood to drink?
Many of His disciples, those beyond the twelve, continued to murmur and Jesus continued to push the conversation forward. So in verse sixty-six from that time on many of His disciples went back and walked with him no more. They started to look for a second opinion, because the price to follow Jesus was too much and too difficult.