Todays Gospel is just that – all Gospel – all good news all Grace, and what will folks do with it? We will see how this passage and all that went before will cause such dissension that almost all the disciples will leave and the ones that stay will stay because they have no where else to go.
From John 6-
30 Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”[b]
32 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34 Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”
35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
As the conversation continues it will be seen as a “hard saying”
The hardening of hearts is a great conundrum because we will see that the very means that God uses to free us from sin and death and the devil is what drives most people away. The scandal and stumbling block of the cross is that people by nature cannot accept it.
The other day at a class I attended for young people were being taught the song “I have Decided to Follow Jesus”. The lesson was about Matthew the tax collector. I hate the song because we don’t choose anything, but we are chosen. Jesus said “you did not choose me but I chose you”. “The absolute initiative of God in establishing communion with man, that spontaneous free love of God which does not find but creates its lovable object, as Luther puts it, that bare intervention of a graciously superior and regnant will”* we will find is abhorrent to us apart from the Holy Spirit. There is the conundrum about the free will and the hardened heart. Jesus tells the disciples that he chose them and one of them is a devil.
*see Martin Franzmann “Follow Me Discipleship According to Matthew” from CPH