Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life…”
There’s something to be said for being completely desperate and having nowhere to turn. People who have reached the “end of their rope” are usually more ready to hear solutions from others. And in today’s scripture, you can see that the disciples knew that without Jesus, they wouldn’t even have a rope.
In John 6:60, you read that many of the people following Jesus felt that His latest teaching was too difficult to believe. What Jesus was teaching was a look ahead at the words He was going to say at the Last Supper – “This is my body,” and “This is my blood.” Human blood couldn’t even be touched in Jewish society without the person touching it being considered “unclean.” To consume flesh and blood was beyond off-limits; it was forbidden.
So when Jesus said that whoever eats His flesh and drinks His blood would “live forever,” He gave the Jews a saying that they simply couldn’t grasp. They didn’t see that Jesus was talking about taking Him into your heart spiritually and not literally cutting Jesus up, putting Him on a plate and eating Him as a meal. And so most of those who were following Jesus took off, deciding that Jesus probably wasn’t the Messiah they had been hoping for.
But the 12 disciples who had been with Him all along stayed. Jesus even asked them if they were staying or leaving, and Peter’s answer is one that I think about often: “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.” Peter knew that he and the other 11 had given up everything to follow Jesus, and that if they left Him, they would have nowhere else to go. They could have gone home and resumed their lives, but now that they knew the truth, they wouldn’t be able to follow any other teachings.
Honestly, that’s true for us, too. Once you know that the teachings of Jesus are true, there’s simply no other place to turn for answers. That doesn’t stop us from looking sometimes. We often forget that Jesus has every answer we need, and we try to fix things ourselves. And other times, the teachings we find in the Bible seem to hard to follow (like forgiving people hundreds of times, and loving people who cause us pain). But the words of Jesus are the words of eternal life, and there really is no place to turn but to Him.
This week, pray that the Lord will give you the strength to turn to Him first in all things, and to follow all of His teachings, no matter how hard they may seem.
Reflection copyright © 2016 Doug DeBolt.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.