Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.’
John 6:66-69 (NIV)
Read: John 5-6
Consider: Jesus must have been disappointed that some of those who heard him speak and watched him perform miracles decided to stop following him. Having originally made up their minds that Jesus had a message worth listening to, they subsequently decided to walk away. John 6 gives a clear indication that some of his disciples found his teaching hard (6:60), so perhaps this was the reason for their reluctance to remain with him.
Peter’s declaration that Jesus had the words of eternal life, gives a clear indication why Peter (and perhaps the other eleven disciples) chose to stay with him. Those who remained with him did so because of the message he shared about eternal life. However, it wasn’t the attractiveness of what he said that kept them on board, it was the fact that they turned hearing into belief (6:69).
In John 6:63-64 Jesus says:
The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you – they are full of the Spirit and life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe.’
So while Jesus may have been disappointed, he wouldn’t have been surprised that some of his disciples would fall away.
The gospel has the same effect today. Some follow enthusiastically until the full cost of following Jesus comes to light and they fall away. There are others who are put off by the teaching on morality and holiness, finding it a ‘… hard teaching’ (6:60). There are others who hear and see, and this turns into a firm belief in Jesus as Saviour and Lord.
So the question to you is: What does the evidence you have read so far in John’s gospel tell you about who Jesus is and why he came to earth?
Pray: Father, we thank you that Jesus has the words of eternal life. May we believe and know that only in Jesus can we find eternal life. Amen