The Gospel of John: a commentary & meditation 
  "Lord, to whom shall we go?You have the words of everlasting life"


Scripture: John 6:60-69

60 Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?" 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, "Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you that do not believe." For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. 65 And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father." 66 After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him. 67 Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also wish to go away?" 68 Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God."

Meditation: Do you brush aside or resist the hard sayings of Jesus? Many were attracted to Jesus because he offered them something irresitible -- God's loving-kindness and mercy made manifest in his wonderful works of healing, deliverance, and miraculous feeding of the five thousand. Despitee these signs, many stumbled, when Jesus made divine claims..  Jesus' discourse on "eating his flesh and drinking his blood" (see John 6:51-59) which pointed to the Last Supper, caused offence to many of his followers. Jesus claimed to be the very life of God come down from heaven and that no one could live this life without submitting to him. Even the apostles admitted that this was a "hard saying".  This expression meant that it was not just hard to understand, but hard to accept.  Jesus pressed the issue with his beloved disciples because he wanted to test their faith and loyalty. Jesus assures his disciples that it is his heavenly Father who invites and who gives the grace to follow even in the "hard sayings".  Jesus knew that some would not only reject him and his word, but would do so hostily, even betraying him to his enemies.

Real faith seeks understanding.  That is why God gives us the help of the Holy Spirit to enlighten the eyes of our mind to understand his truth and wisdom (Ephes. 1:17-18). Jesus offers his life-giving word and Spirit to those who believe and who submit to his authority.  Peterís profession of loyalty was based on a personal relationship with Jesus.  Through the gift of faith Peter knew that Jesus was the Messiah, the Holy One of God, and he believed in his words. Faith is a response to God's revelation. It's the key to seeing God work in our lives with power.  Do you believe, as Peter did, that Jesus can change your life because he has the words of everlasting life?  Ask the Lord to increase your faith that you may grow in your relationship with him and in the knowledge of his love for you.

"Lord Jesus, you have the words of everlasting life.   Help me to cast aside doubt and fear and to embrace your word with trust and joy.  I surrender my life to you.  Be the Lord and Captain of my heart, my will, my thoughts and my actions.  May there be nothing which keeps me from you and your love."


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(c) 2001 Don Schwager