The Spirit Gives Life

Reading Time: 5 Minutes

The flesh and the Spirit defined

John 6.60-65When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?”

61 But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

64 But among you there are some who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. 65 And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.”

The best definition of “flesh” I have discovered is that “flesh” is a word describing a person who lives his or her life apart from God. The Alcoholics Anonymous saying about “our own best thinking” captures the picture of the “flesh” quite well.

I have written about the Spirit in previous articles. The best definition of “Spirit” is by Eduard Schweitzer. He says and I paraphrase, “Everything Jesus was to his disciples, the Holy Spirit is to us today.”

When we think of Schweitzer’s definition, it makes great sense that the Spirit gives life to people. Walking with Jesus on a daily basis would be totally life-transforming. We have the opportunity to live our lives on a daily basis with the Holy Spirit.

Let’s spend some time with Jesus’ words in this passage. What does my “own best thinking” get me? How can I best live each day with the Holy Spirit?

Jesus has the words of eternal life.

John 6.66-71Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. 67 So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?”

68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”

70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? Yet one of you is a devil.” 71 He was speaking of Judas son of Simon Iscariot, for he, though one of the twelve, was going to betray him.

Jesus has come from heaven with “inside information” about God and what is really real (the truth). See John 1.18. He is the only person to have done this in the history of humankind. Where else can we find this kind of direction for our lives?

Judas is a warning to us. He had the same access to Jesus as did Peter, but he rejected Jesus’ direction and lived according to his “own best thinking.”

Your Turn

Many of the people turned away from Jesus, because he did not fulfill their “own best thinking” ideas. Let’s draw near to the Holy Spirit, while we pray, study the Bible, and interact with people around us.

Today’s Prayer

Dear God, thank you that you desire life for us. May I put aside my “own best thinking” today and receive direction from the Holy Spirit.


  1. My “own best thinking” gets me absolutely no where. It stymies relationships, derails my budget and deters spiritual growth. My “own best thinking” procrastinates, blunders through life and fails to see the bigger picture. So, why in the world would I ever rely on it?? Unfortunately, I often do. It takes a daily commitment to rely on God’s best thinking. Father, may I follow You today and Your omniscience. I ask for Your discernment and wisdom in the activities of this day. Amen

    Liked by 1 person

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