The Honesty of Jesus
John 6:60-65
Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?…

1. Christ's teaching was honesty itself compared with that of the scribes; and now no book has a ring so decidedly clear and genuine as the New Testament.

2. Yet honesty is not the whole of the significant quality of Christ's life and words. A man may be quite honest but greatly mistaken. It is a great thing to have a candid mind not obscured by prejudice or broken by passion.

3. But this is not enough. The position of a mirror in the light, and its angle towards the object to be seen in it is as important as its clearness. We cannot hope to gain true representations if we persist in holding ourselves at a wrong personal angle towards truths. But Jesus always kept Himself in a relation so true to men that in His thoughts and judgments, all objects are represented in their simple reality. His words are not only clear and honest, they correspond to the truth of things.


1. In the conversations of Jesus. He quietly brushes aside Jewish notions and personal deceptions and touches with saving power the real lives of the people. They might for years have concealed their real self, but when Jesus came they became real. It was so with Nicodemus, the woman of Samaria, the publican, the Pharisee, the disciples.

2. In the teachings of Jesus.

(1) They went to the moral core of their being, and insisted on their becoming true men at heart.

(2) His doctrine of God has the same practical relation to human life. The doctrine of Jesus means real righteousness, justice, love, in God as in man. He did not come to teach a comprehensive system of philosophy, a subtle science of nature, or some perfect scheme of divinity. He represented God on earth, and realized in His life and death the whole eternal disposition of God towards man.

II. Some pertinent APPLICATIONS OF THIS TRUTH. Two facts are forcing themselves on our notice.

1. Ecclesiastical Christianity and dogmatic Christianity have less influence to-day than ever they had.

2. Never has a real Christianity of real life been more honoured or loved.

3. It requires therefore no prophet to predict that the church of the future will not be altogether the church of the past. It will not be a church of vested ecclesiastical pretension or formal and one sided orthodoxism, but a gospel of the Son of God in the hearts of men, preached through the conduct of life.

4. If we have any doubt as to what this real gospel is we may find it in the New Testament, if we read it with a willing mind; but to practice it means something much harder than coming to church, singing hymns or discussing doctrines. It is Christ loved, chosen, and obeyed as Saviour and Lord.

(Newman Smyth, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?

WEB: Therefore many of his disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying! Who can listen to it?"

The Defection of the Disciples
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