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When you say, "offend" I take it you mean that it turned "many of his disciples" away as stated in John 6:66. Rather trying to increase the number of followers after feeding the five thousand, here is Jesus trying dissuade people from following him for the wrong reason: to fill their physical needs. This teaching indeed was very difficult for many people as Jesus says, "I am the bread of life." He starts out with saying, "Whoever comes to me shall not hunger and whoever believes in me shall never thirst" but he goes on in verse 53 to say, "unless you eat the flesh...and drink his blood, you have no life in you....v.54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life." This kind of talk sounds awfully strange and gruesome if taken literally. Keep in mind that this was before his crucifixion so those of us looking at it from this side of Christ's death and resurrection have a much better perspective than those on the other side did. Jesus offers no help to those who are listen but rather lets the listener interpret what he is saying. Rather, he uses this difficult teaching to sift out those who have not been "granted by the Father" (v. 64-65) Notice in verse 64 that Christ knew who from the beginning who those were who did not believe and who it was who would betray him. "Those who have been granted by the Father" believed and followed Christ despite their lack of clear understanding until the unfolding of God's plan through Christ's death and resurrection. In summary, many turned away because Christ meant to turn them away while keeping those whom the Father has given him (v. 39).
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