Have you been in a situation where someone you admire, respect or look up to makes a statement that takes you by surprise? A statement that makes you think probably success and fame has gotten into their head. Some of the disciples of Jesus might have had that experience.
In John 6, Jesus engages in a conversation with the Jews explaining to them who He is. In v.51, Jesus described Himself as “…the living bread that came down from heaven” He further went on to say , “If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
This didn’t go down well with the people and they asked, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”(v.52). You will think Jesus will stop so not to offend them more. But no, He pressed on with the truth. From vv.53-59, He further described His flesh as true food and His blood as true drink. That probably broke the Camel’s back. They couldn’t take it, so they voiced it out: “When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it (v60). Truth divides sometimes and we see this clearly manifested here. We are told “After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him” (v66).
Jesus lost followers because He spoke the truth about who He is. Whenever we speak the truth, we must be ready for a “fall out”. The truth will retain some while dispelling others. To be sure His twelve disciples were not also going to follow “the multitude”, He asked them “Do you want to go away as well?” Peter as usual, responded for the twelve:
Simon Peter answered him, “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.”
This is one of the many profound statements recorded in Scripture. In these words, “Lord, to whom shall we go?” Peter proclaims the Lordship of Christ and His exclusivity to eternal life. Beside Christ, there is no life in anyone else (Acts 4:12). Christ is life. He is the origin and ‘sustainer’ of every life; “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:3-4). Peter’s words reflects the Psalmist’s when He said “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you” (Psalm 73:25). This is total trust and dependence on God. “There is none holy like the LORD: for there is none besides [Him]; there is no rock like our God”(1Samuel 2:2).
In Psalm 16:5-11, the Psalmist reveals to us the profundity of who God is to him. In verse 5, he tells us the Lord is his portion. Christ is the believer’s “portion and inheritance”. In Him we have obtained an inheritance (Ephesians 1:11). Christ has the words of eternal life. It is His word–the Bible– that gives life. He said in John 6:63 that the words He speaks are spirit and life. There is no life outside of Christ. Anyone without Christ is without life. Eternal life cannot be found anywhere but in Christ. He has the words of eternal life. He came to reconcile sinners to Himself.
Who is Christ to you? To Peter and the other disciples, Christ was all their all:
we have believed , and have come to know.
These words holds true for the Christian faith. To exult in Christ, we must come to a point of faith–belief–and acknowledge who Christ is: “the Holy One of God“; the only mediator between God and man. Every believer must come to this point in life when they can proclaim Christ is their all and they have no alternatives. And for the unbeliever, a life without Christ is a life headed for destruction and eternal damnation (John 3:18-19).