When Jesus gets into the flesh and blood of the gospel, many people walk away. The Twelve affirm him as the one who brings eternal life – the Holy One. It seems that there is no middle ground, yet there are still many who watch and listen – the curious. You?
35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.
53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.
66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
John 6:35-36, 53-54, 66-69
When many of Jesus’ followers turn back after hearing him say we must eat his flesh and drink his blood, Jesus turns to his closest disciples. He asks the Twelve, “You do not want to leave too, do you?”
That’s the question. Do you want to leave also? Is the teaching too tough for the Apostles?
We are confronted with this question every day. Do the teachings of Jesus apply in our lives and the world today, or are they too tough, out to lunch, archaic, or just plain confusing? I see people discussing these issues on denominational lines – this group is too conservative while this group is too liberal…
To whom shall we go? To human teachers? To another god?
Simon answers for the Twelve, affirming that Jesus has the words of eternal life. He is the Holy One of God.
Are you there? Is that Jesus to you? Maybe not yet. And although the story paints a picture of those who walked away and those who affirmed Jesus as Messiah, there were many in the background still watching and listening.
This isn’t an either or, today. Today. It is an either or… just not today. Yet. Jesus is the Bread of Life. By eating his flesh and drinking his blood, he means believing that he suffered for us bodily on the cross, and that his blood covered our sins like the blood of the Passover lamb saved Israel in Egypt.
If that’s you, praise God. If not, keep watching and listening. I pray you don’t walk away…