“Then Simon Peter answered Him, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)
The John Chapter 6 Discourse
These words of Peter were spoken after what had turned out to be a very sad scene. The Lord had just finished teaching in front of the multitude and many of those present, including some of His disciples, had turned away from Christ. It says: “From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him.” In the introductory verse above, Simon Peter was responding to the following question from the Lord: “Then said Jesus unto the twelve (Apostles), will you also go away?” Peter added the following bold declaration: “And we believe and are sure that you are that Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
There is no other place where those seeking salvation can go. The Lord tells us that there is only one way to salvation.” I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by Me.” The world questions this and points to other ways they say are ways to God. We know this is not true, but we need to truly appreciate the fact that there is a way and understand just what the Lord requires of us.
The Lord could have softened His message that day to make it more palatable to those present, but He did not. He knew it was critical that the people hear what the requirements of discipleship were. In addressing the multitude, Jesus proclaimed the following: “Verily, verily I say unto you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His Blood, you have no life in you.” Jesus is speaking spiritually here regarding the cross and the necessity to totally and completely believe in Him and His great work at the cross. He is saying, short of that, there is no life in you. He goes on to say: “whosoever eats My flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” Jesus is here reaffirming to those present that the total object of our faith must be the cross, and if that is done, we will be resurrected and have eternal life. And finally, the Lord says: “He who eats My flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in Me, and I in Him.” This speaks of the importance of our continued daily partaking of the Lord (Christ Crucified).
Luke 9:23 makes it clear: “If any man (or woman) will come after Me (be a disciple), let him deny himself (our own ability, will power, strength), and take up his cross (faith in His finished work) daily (important to reaffirm our faith daily), and follow Me (can only be done by faith in the cross).”
In this address to the multitude by the Lord, it goes on to say: “Many therefore of His disciples, when they had heard this, said, this is a hard saying; who can hear it.” Jesus responds to this unbelief on the part of some of His disciples by saying: ” It is the Spirit Who quickens; the flesh profits nothing.” He, of course, is telling them that His words are pointing to spiritual realities. Man wants to do his part, and when that way seems unattainable or not to his liking, unbelief is the most common reaction. In the natural, the cross has no attraction. Peter and the twelve, although I am sure didn’t fully understand what the Lord said; went the way of faith. They believed in the Lord and trusted that He had the “words of life” and that He would lead them in that way.
That is something we must do today. Some things may be difficult to understand; we may go through some difficulties in life we don’t understand, but we know in whom we have believed. He has told us that the way to life is placing our total faith in Him and His great work. Our flesh will want to do its part, but we must not trust in our own ability or self-effort. We are to practice the Christian disciplines (e.g. Bible reading, fasting, praying), but our faith must not be in these for victory. Our part is to choose to believe in Christ and Him Crucified on a daily basis. Yes, there is only one way that leads to life and, if we know the Lord, we can rejoice in the fact that we have found it. Where else could we go? Thank the Lord that we need not look anywhere else for He has the words of life. There is none like the Lord.
“In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.” ( John 1:4)
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(Composed by Lenny LeBlanc)