Rejection of Jesus – Aftermath & Response


Jesus, as we have noted, responds to the rejection of Him as Messiah by the religious leadership. He begins to:

1.    Instruct His Apostles on ministry

2.    teach in parables.


After Jesus’ rejection, along with news of the murder of John the Baptist, Jesus moves out of Capernaum  to an area near Bethsaida  that was outside of Herod Antipas’ jurisdiction. Herod Philip was tetrarch of this area. Jesus wanted to give the Apostles rest along with training. In spite of attempts to remove Himself from the crowds, 5000 were gathered to hear Him in Capernaum and only followed Him  It is probably from this event that Peter begins to learn what he would later write in 1`Peter 5:2-4

1 Peter 5:2-4

 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;  nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;  and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.” NKJV


Jesus wants to feed the people spiritually. The apostles were making observations on how to physically feed such a crowd. Jesus tells His disciples to feed the people. They respond by saying that it would take a man’s wage of 8 months to do so.


Jesus now teaches them to shepherd people by feeding them spiritually and physically.


They had on hand 5 barley loaves (considered as animal fodder compared to wheat) and 2 fishes. (Matt 14:22-23, Mark 6:45-46, John 6:14-15.  The lesson for the apostles was that it is not what they have that makes them good shepherds, it is what they give of themselves to Jesus that He might minister through them as the chief Shepherd.


After being fed bread and fish miraculously, the people were ready to make Jesus a King, for the wrong reasons. (physical substance rather than faith in His person. Since the religious leadership had rejected Jesus, the plan to institute the millennial kingdom reign of Messiah would have to be delayed.

The Crowd had seen the Apostles depart from Capernaum without Jesus, however they were surprised to find Jesus in Gennesaret with His apostles.


During the night Jesus came to the boat of the Apostles walking on water. The winds and waves posed problems for these experienced fishermen. They were afraid that the boat would capsize.


Since this was during the fourth and last watch, this incident occurred between 3am and 6am. Peter, the only one to attempt to move by faith, asked Jesus to invite him to Himself. Jesus responded by saying “come”. Peter walked on water until he saw the wind & waves around him. He then began to sink and cried out “Lord, save me!” which is what Jesus did. No other Apostle ever walked on water. The lesson Peter learned was once you begin to walk by faith, you must continue to walk by faith. The other apostles never used the faith they had to attempt what Peter did.


Of all three of the accounts of the miracle of the loaves and fishes, John goes into this most in depth to show the spiritual truths Jesus was trying to teach a people who were concerned only about the physical realm of their daily lives.


Since the rejection of Jesus occurred in Matthew 12 and this account is found in Matthew 14:34-36, we need to understand that the Gospel writers, such as John, were not interested in preserving a chronology. Jesus’ sermon on “The Bread of Life” appears in John 6, while Jesus’ rejection in this Gospel occurs at John 8. It should not be supposed that Jesus rejection came from all of the religious leadership at one point of time but rather through a series of verbal exchanges.




John 6 does not deal with the Lord’s Supper. It shows rather the teaching of Jesus who uses metaphor here to teach of spiritual things.

Jesus is speaking about “belief” (pistis, pistueo) in Him while the crowd s

Thinks and speaks about being fed physical bread and “working the works of God”.


When Jesus refers to Himself as the Bread of Life, He is not using a parable. There are not parables in the Gospel of John despite the use of the word in John 10:6. The word “paroimia” is used which means metaphor (a word suggesting a comparison). A parable is the use of a comparative principle or allegorical story  e.g. The Prodigal Son.


Please note that three groups of people are addressed here: the people v. 24, The Jews vs. 41 and 52, and the disciples – v.60. All of these are Jews. Therefore, when the term “The Jews” is used in the Gospels, it refers to the Jewish religious leaders only


John 6:1-15

1 “After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias.

2  Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased.

3  And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples.

4  Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near.

5  Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?"

6  But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.

7  Philip answered Him, "Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little."

8  One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him,

9  "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?"

10  Then Jesus said, "Make the people sit down." Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.

11  And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.

12  So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, "Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost."

13  Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten.

14  Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, "This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world."

15 Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.” NKJV  Matt 14:14-21, Mark 6:31, Luke 9:10-17


(NOTE: Jesus did not want to be received as King by those who wanted Him only because He could feed them with bread and perform miracles for them. This large assembly may have wanted Him to state clearly that He is the Messiah and lead them in battle against Rome. Of course, this was not the Father’s will for Jesus at this time.)

 John 6:16-40

16  Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea,

17  got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them.

18  Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing.

19  So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid.

20  But He said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid."

21  Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.

22 On the following day, when the people who were standing on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, except that one which His disciples had entered, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with His disciples, but His disciples had gone away alone—

23  however, other boats came from Tiberias, near the place where they ate bread after the Lord had given thanks—

24  when the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they also got into boats and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.

25  And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did You come here?"

26  Jesus answered them and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.

27  "Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him."

28 Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?"

29  Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."

This is always the response of unregenerate men; what works must we do to be saved?Notice Jesus’ call to believe on Him. This is the main theme in this chapter on our Living Bread of Life.

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.’" (Note: they just had a great sign.)

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. Jesus is using a metaphor in the physical realm in order to teach a spiritual principle. He is not calling Himself a real loaf of bread, and this passage has nothing to do with Roman Catholicism’s doctrine of Transubstantiation.

36  "But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe.

37  "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.

38  "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

39  "This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.

40  "And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."


John 6:41-71

41  The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven."

42  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 have come down from heaven’?"

43  Jesus therefore answered and said to them, "Do not murmur among yourselves.

44  "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.

45  "It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.

46  "Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.

47  "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.

48  "I am the bread of life.

49  "Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead.

50  "This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die.

51  "I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world."

52  The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?"

53  Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.

54  "Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

This is the Stone of Stumbling & the Rock of Offense. However, instead of persevering in faith in Jesus as Nicodemus and the Syro-phoenician woman did, these people reject Jesus. It is from these two verses that Roman Catholicism derives its strange teaching on the Eucharist. There is no teaching in the Gospel of John on the Lord’s Supper.

55  "For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.

56  "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.

57  "As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.

58  "This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever."

59  These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.

60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?"

61  When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, "Does this offend you?

62  "What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before?

63  "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

(This is the explanation for verses 53 – 54.)

64  "But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him.

65  And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father."

66  From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.

67  Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?"

68  But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

69  "Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

70  Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?"

71  He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.

(NOTE:  The word used for devil here is diablos, meaning devil, not daimon meaning demon)


During this exchange between Jesus and the people, the people began to reason that Jesus was not the Messiah or He would not have refused their attempt to make Him king. Also, Jesus’ words in John 6:53-54 are difficult and offensive to the people, some of whom were the religious leadership.


John 5:43

“I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive.” NKJV


The true Messiah – comes in the Father’s Name. The false Messiah comes in his own name. Matthew 11:29  "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”


The false Messiah comes in his own name and blasphemes, speaking great things  Rev 13:5-6

“ And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.”Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name,”  NKJV


Again in 2Thess 2:3-4 “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”


The coming Messiah, according to some Jewish Rabbis, will come back in power not bearing any wounds. This view will hurt many Jews because they fail to read their prophets:


Zech 12:10 "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they have pierced; they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.” NKJV


‘Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. They will prosper who love you.” Psalm 122:6


How many Jews will be saved in the Great Tribulation – of those going into the period, one-third “Zech 13:9 I will bring the one-third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My Name,  and I will answer them.

I will say, 'This is My people'; And each one will say, 'The LORD is my God.' " NKJV


How many Jews will be saved at the end of the Tribulation:?

Rom 11:26-27   And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

"The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them,

When I take away their sins."   NKJV


The rejection of Jesus by the religious leaders occurs in Matthew 12, Luke 11, Mark 3 and John 8. Each of these chapters mark a turning point in Jesus’ ministry. After each chapter Jesus begins teaching in parables and preparing His disciples.


JESUS’ Prophetic Words Regarding His Death

 1. Matthew 16:21-23, Mark 8:31-33 and Luke 9:22 “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day”

 2. Matt 17:22-23, Mark 9:30-32, Luke 9:43-45

 “Now while they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them, "The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up." And they were exceedingly sorrowful.” NKJV

3. Matt 20: 17-19, Mark 10:32-34, Luke 18:31-34

        “Now Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples aside on the road and said to them, Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again."  NKJV

4. Matt 12:38-41, Luke 11:29-32

“Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from You." But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” NKJV

5. John 3:14-15 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” NKJV

6. John 12:32 “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself." This He said, signifying by what death He would die.” NKJV

7. John 10:16-18 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.”  NKJV


Bibliography & Notes

 A. B. Bruce, The Training of the Twelve, (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1971), p. 190.

G. Campbell Morgan, The Crises of the Christ (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell, 1936), pp. 229-232.

“These opinions are explained in part by an expectation then commonly entertained, that the advent of the Messiah would be preceded by the return of one of the prophets by whom God had spoken to the fathers, partly by the perception of real or supposed resemblances between Jesus and this or that prophet; His tenderness reminding one hearer of the author of the Lamentations, His sternness in denouncing hypocrisy and tyranny reminding another of the prophet of fire, while perhaps His parabolic discourses led a third to think of Ezekiel or of Daniel.” Bruce, Training of the Twelve, pp. 164-165.

179 “At a time when those who deemed themselves in every respect immeasurably superior to the multitude could find no better names for the Son of man than Samaritan, devil, blasphemer, glutton and drunkard, companion of publicans and sinners, it was something considerable to believe that the calumniated One was a prophet as worthy of honor as any of those whose sepulchres the professors of piety carefully varnished, while depreciating, and even putting to death, their living successors.” Ibid., p. 165.


180 “But however men differed on these points, in this all agreed, that they regarded Him not as an ordinary man or teacher, but His mission as straight from heaven; and, alas, in this also, that they did not view Him as the Messiah.” Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, New American Edition, 1965), II, p. 79.

This translation reflects the original text which places the pronoun (you) in the most emphatic position possible in the Greek language.

“St. Chrysostom has beautifully designated Peter as ‘the mouth of the Apostles.” Edersheim, Life and Times, II, p. 80.

Bruce, Training of the Twelve, p. 167.

“He doubtless here plays on the name of Peter which denoted a smaller detachment—a stone broken out of the quarry for building purposes. The rock on which Christ would build was the massive ledge of the eternal truth of His divinity, incarnated in the personality of all believers, transforming them, as it had transformed Peter, into the rock-nature, suitable for the purposes of kingdom-building. To Peter was given the honor of being primus enter pares the first to have expressed the great confession. Jesus did not assert the supremacy and primacy of Peter, as Romanists contend. He expressed first to Peter, His purpose to found His church, because Peter had been the first to confess Him confidently as the Messiah and Son of God.


“One day when Jesus was walking in Solomon’s porch in the Temple, a group of his fellow countrymen accosted him. ‘How long dost thou make us to doubt?’ they said. ‘If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly’ (John 10:24). But the greatest things in life cannot be ‘told’ in that way. Can you ‘tell plainly’ what honor is or beauty or love? Can you put a sunset into a sentence? Jesus knew that it would not be by any voice proclaiming, ‘I am the Son of God,’ that conviction would be born in human hearts. Although Jesus plainly reveals Himself as Messiah to the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:25-26), He does not do this with the religious leaders. All who receive Him must receive Him by grace (through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit through faith (Eph 2:8-9).


188 “The traditional site of the transfiguration according to the Greek church was Tabor, where they celebrate annually, on the sixth of August, the Feast of the Transfiguration, The Thaborium. But this is an impossible fancy, since Tabor is almost fifty miles from Caesarea-Philippi and Jesus was at this time avoiding Galilee. The summit of this mount was also occupied by a fort and was no fit place for such a scene. Furthermore, Mark states that Jesus did not “pass through Galilee”—in which Mount Tabor is situated—until later. The most probable site of this wonderful event was one of the lower spurs of snow-clad Hermon, visible from all parts of the land as far south as the Dead Sea. There could be no more suitable place in all Palestine than the accessible slopes of this famous mountain, cool and fresh with the evening breezes from the snow-clad heights above, where solitude reigned, and one of the grandest scenes of all nature and history lay visibly before them.” Shepard, The Christ of the Gospels, p. 314.


189 “Our sources do not say whether the transfiguration took place during the day or at night, but several factors favor the idea that it was a nocturnal scene. The sleep of the disciples points in this direction, as does Luke’s note that Jesus went to pray. We know from other notices in the Gospels that he usually withdrew for prayer in the night seasons. Then there is the consideration that the descent from the mountain came on the following day (Lk. 9:37).” Harrison, A Short Life of Christ, p. 154.


190 “Moses’ presence signified that in Jesus the shadows of the law were all fulfilled and now withdrawn. In Jerusalem men were still fighting, not merely for the law of Moses, but for the traditions of the elders, and priests and leaders were still arguing about the tithe of mint and cumin, while here upon the mount was the great law-giver himself, by his presence acknowledging that this glorified One, Who should presently be crucified in the name of the law, did in Himself gather up all that was hinted at, suggested, included in the economy of the past.” Morgan, The Crises of the Christ, pp. 238-239.

191 “… these two had much in common with Jesus of Nazareth. Moses performed signs and wonders before Israel in the name of the Lord, but to little avail. The people were stubborn in their unbelief and failed to enter the promised land because of it. Jesus had a similar reception for his mighty works. And as Moses interceded for Israel in the midst of failure and threatened judgment, being willing to be cut off himself if they could be spared, so Jesus wept in compassion over Jerusalem. Elijah was a lonely prophet, even when surrounded by the throngs on Mount Carmel. Jesus, too, was in many ways a lonely figure, despite his popular following. He prayed alone, suffered alone, and died alone. The two had something in common respecting the close of their ministries. Elijah was supernaturally taken up for a glorious reception into heaven, as though anticipating the ascension of the Savior into glory. As Elijah was able to bestow the power of his spirit on Elisha, so did the ascended Lord pour out his Spirit on his disciples.” Harrison, A Short Life of Christ, p. 156.

192 G. Campbell Morgan, The Crises of the Christ, p. 229.

193 Quoted by James S. Stewart, The Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ, (Nashville: Abingdon, Festival Ed., 1978), p. 135.

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