John 6:56-69 (NRSV)
Verse 56Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Verse 57Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. Verse 58This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever." Verse 59He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum.
Verse 60When many of his disciples heard it, they said, "This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?" Verse 61But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, "Does this offend you? Verse 62Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? Verse 63It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. Verse 64But among you there are some who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. Verse 65And he said, "For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father." Verse 66Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. Verse 67So Jesus asked the twelve, "Do you also wish to go away?" Verse 68Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. Verse 69We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."
Jesus’ teaching that his body and blood are the bread of life from heaven was truly difficult for his first disciples to hear and understand—as sometimes it may be for us as well. We are told that because of this teaching some of those disciples turned away and no longer followed him. So Jesus asked the Twelve if they also would leave him. Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
Like the disciples, we don’t understand everything Jesus teaches, and it can be hard for us to follow him today. But like them, “we have come to believe and know that Jesus is the Holy One of God.” So we follow Jesus, trusting in the promise that he continues to walk and abide with us, and hoping that faith will lead us to a fuller understanding, and true life in God.
Lord, you have the words of eternal life. Sometimes we have nowhere else to go. Give us strength to follow you always. Amen.