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.
Chris Tomlin’s song, “Jesus Messiah,” says it all. Who else could we possibly go to?
*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Where else is there?” Well said Janet!
Thanks, Violet! I find great comfort in there being only God to go to (since He’s enough!). There’s no better deal to be found elsewhere, so there’s none of that wondering if it’s time to move on. He is. And He is enough.
Janet thanks for the link! 🙂 I agree with you. After we have walked with Him for a while, we really cannot go anywhere else. We realize that He is Life, and there is nothing but death apart from Him. I have had enough experience with turning away in the past to know that nothing good comes from it. Life without God is quite miserable when we have already tasted how good His is.
Sorry, the last sentense should be “Life without God is quite miserable when we have already tasted how good HE is.” Thanks!
Jenny, I was going to just update your original comment to say what you add here, but I think what you first typed says something neat too. I agree with how you intended it to read, that tasting how good God is makes us miserable without Him, but the first way can be read as “life without God is quite miserable when we have already tasted how good His [as in, His life, touching ours] is.
You mention learning from experience that nothing good comes from turning away from Him. That’s something we all need to know. Isn’t He good, to let us learn and then bring us back again?
Once we taste the truth, we really have no where else to turn. It all tastes so bitter — so bad!
Thanks for stopping by, David. Yes, taste and see that the Lord is good! I only had time for a quick peek at your blog… I need to go back and read more.