John 6:60-63, 65 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Does this offend you? What and if you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quicken; the flesh profit nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
‘This is an hard saying; who can hear it?’ The Jews found Jesus’ message hard and they found it intolerable and impractical for they could not digest such a doctrine as this. People just want to hear of God’s grace and love and not of their role in the relationship. He must keep on giving and doing and they only want to receive (see 1Cor. 15:19).
Jesus knew by the gift of discernment and knowledge (Isa. 11:2; 1Cor. 12:4-11) that this time it was some disciples that were offended and that they murmured against Him.
He asked them that if the eating of His flesh and drinking of His blood offends them, what if He told them an even harder doctrine? Suppose you saw the Son of Man ascend up to heaven where He was before? This is the 18th New Testament prophecy that was fulfilled with the ascension (Luke 24:51; Acts 1:11; Eph. 4:8-10).
‘It is the spirit that quicken; the flesh profit nothing’ – Quickeneth must be understood figuratively of the benefits of His sacrifice. He will give this bread, which symbolizes His body given in death to save the world (1Pet. 2:24; Col. 1:20; 2:14-17). If they could literally eat His flesh and drink His blood, it would not save their souls. The words He spoke unto them were spirit, and are life – He spoke of spiritual and eternal life, not fleshly life (2Cor. 3:6; Heb. 4:12).