From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
‘You do not want to leave too, do you?’ Jesus asked the Twelve.
Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.’”
John 6:66-69, NIV*
Jesus has been teaching, proving His authority with miraculous signs, and has attracted a large group of followers and hangers-on. Now, perhaps partly to weed out the crowd, His words aren’t so easy to understand. They’re even a bit disquieting.
“I am the bread that came down from heaven.” (John 6:41, NIV*)
“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:54, NIV*)
John 6:60 says, “On hearing it, many of his disciples said, ‘This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?’” (NIV*)
And no wonder. Even on this side of the Cross, the literal-minded of us struggle a bit.
But the disciples couldn’t leave. Neither can we.
If you’ve followed Jesus very far, you’ve probably hit a wall of some kind: circumstances; a relationship; even, like these disciples, something He said. Maybe it doesn’t make sense. Maybe you just plain don’t want to do it.
I’ve had my share of times like that. Given the choice, sometimes I’d like to walk away. But where? I agree wholeheartedly with Peter. Where could I go? Who else is there?
There’s only God: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Wise beyond my knowing. And He’s proven Himself trustworthy many times over.
A recent post on the Captured by God blog expresses the struggle more honestly than most, and I’m so encouraged to read how Jenny, like Peter, chose to tough it out with God rather than to turn away. (Take time to read “Don’t Turn Away” and be blessed.)
Father, Your thoughts and ways are past my comprehension, but this I know: You are faithful and true, and You love me. In that I will rest. You understand my weakness. Help me rely on Your strength.