May 3, 2013 by Nate
John 6 is one of the most interesting chapters in the Bible. I love it. It’s filled with some of Jesus’ richest, deepest and hardest teachings. It is as unsettling now, as it was then.
You see, Jesus had drawn a crowd, a large one. These people had been following him, witnessing him healing, listening to his teachings, eating the bread he miraculously provided for them. They were with him…until he started talking crazy talk.
They were offended by this local man, who claimed to be God. They were offended when he told them that to be made right with God the Father, they must believe in Him. They were offended when he said he was going to raise people from the dead. They lost it when he said that they had to eat his flesh, and drink his blood (signifying faith in him) to partake in his resurrection life.
What did they do? They walked away. This was too hard for them. They couldn’t believe what Jesus was saying was true. They did not believe he was the one who makes men and women right with God. They wanted another way.
So Jesus turns to Peter, and the other twelve disciples, and asks: “Do you want to go away as well?” To which Peter responds: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:66-69)
This is the heart and answer of the believer. Although Peter didn’t understand it all, he believed the One who spoke to him, the One who drew him, and the One who revealed this to him. He recognized that Jesus is Lord, and that in him and him alone, is eternal life found. He didn’t need to understand it all; but he needed to understand this first.
How do we respond to the words of Christ in the Bible? Are we the ones who like what Jesus has to say, but only up to a point? Sure, we’ll take the benefits, thank you very much Jesus. But when his teachings get hard, when he is saying things that don’t fit with our conception of God, or the world around us, are we going to bail?
Or, will we like Peter, trust the One who is speaking to us through the Scriptures, even when it’s hard? Will we recognize that he is God, and we are not? Will we turn to Jesus to be made right with God by faith alone, even when we feel we have to work for God’s favor?
By God’s grace, I pray we do that latter.