1 Chronicles 10-12 John 6:45-71
“Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, who would we go to? You have the words that give eternal life.’” (John 6:68 NCV)
Jesus’s teaching shocked many of those who’d been following Him. He’d given bread to 5000 people earlier. Many of these same people had followed Him across the Sea of Galilee, perhaps hoping for more bread. Jesus told them, in effect, “You want bread? I’ll give you bread from heaven. I am the bread of heaven. If you eat that bread, you’ll have eternal life.” He was speaking figuratively, but the image apparently bothered many people who claimed the teaching was too hard and left. Then Jesus turned around and looked at His disciples. He asked if they were going to take a hike also. Peter showed understanding by noting that Jesus was the One who had the WORDS that give eternal life. He then called Jesus the Holy one of God. Peter got it. Jesus reminded Satan that man does not live by bread alone, but by the word of God. Peter, although he wasn’t around for the tempting time, showed that he understood the teaching of Jesus.
The people who left Jesus had one important thing right: His teaching is hard. There is this fantasy that some people perpetuate that those who follow Jesus will never have troubles. There are times I read things in the Bible that trouble me – especially in the Old Testament. There are things some groups who claim to be Christians do that bother me and leave me ashamed. I’ve thought of giving up faith in Christ as difficulties have overwhelmed me. These words of Peter have rung in my heart. The truth of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection comes to mind. In those moments I ask myself, “Where else would I go? Only Jesus brings eternal life.” It ain’t easy being a Christian. We may suffer harassment and teasing. Some suffer persecution. We look at events in the world and we fall to our knees with tears wondering why such terrible things happen. But, if we try to give up on our faith, we’re reminded that Jesus is the only hope for mankind. Those things strengthen my resolve and spur me to be more faithful in proclaiming the gospel.
Lord, I get discouraged. I wonder if there aren’t better ways to do things. In those times, I realize that so many of the problems of this world come because people have rejected You and the only way to do things right is by following You. Give me strength and encouragement in difficult times.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.