“Therefore, when many of His disciples heard this, they said, “This teaching is hard! Who can accept it? ” Jesus, knowing in Himself that His disciples were complaining about this, asked them, “Does this offend you? Then what if you were to observe the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? The Spirit is the One who gives life. The flesh doesn’t help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some among you who don’t believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning those who would not believe and the one who would betray Him.) He said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless it is granted to him by the Father.” From that moment many of His disciples turned back and no longer accompanied Him. Therefore Jesus said to the Twelve, “You don’t want to go away too, do you? ” Simon Peter answered, “Lord, who will we go to? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that You are the Holy One of God! ” Jesus replied to them, “Didn’t I choose you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is the Devil! ” He was referring to Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son, one of the Twelve, because he was going to betray Him.”
So on the heals of Jesus’ explaination of what it meant to partake of His Body and Blood, some of His followers started having second thoughts about following Jesus. Comments like “This teaching is hard! Who can accept it?” filled discussions. Jesus as God, knew of their complaints, whether verbalized or not and asked them, “are you offended by this? Would it help to see Me, as a man, ascend to heaven, where I was before coming to earth?” Jesus continues, “the Spirit (Holy Spirit) is the Life Giver-nothing of flesh can help with giving life at all!” “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some among you who don’t believe.”
No, if Jesus’ words were SPIRIT AND LIFE then, why would they not be now? Know with certainty that THEY STILL ARE!
Heb 4:12 describes God’s word as being ALIVE, POWERFUL and SHARP. Jesus, in referencing Ps 119:89 says, “My words will NEVER pass away”! (Matt 24:35) Imagine speaking words so full of life–clear and concisly, that what you say bares life FOREVER! That was Jesus!
Jesus was also aware that not everyone who listened to Him would follow Him. He addresses this here as well by saying, “This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless it is granted to him by the Father”. (Vs 65) Vs 66 is one of the saddest verses in the Bible-“From that moment many of His disciples turned back and no longer accompanied Him.” Some of His followers turned away all together.
As sad as vs 66 is, the next paragraph is profound! In vs 67, Jesus asks the remaining 12 disciples, “are you leaving too”? Peter’s reply is astonding and reflects his understanding of Who Jesus is. He says, “Lord, who will we go to? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that You are the Holy One of God! ” (vss 68-69) In other words, Lord what you taught a few minutes ago WAS hard. It was difficult to understand. It was demanding, but it was full of life! That was Peter’s point-where would we go? Who would we go to? Peter articulated for the 12 disciples that it was TOO LATE to turn back–their expectation about Who Jesus was was too big for them to leave now. They knew He was the Messiah and the couldn’t turn away now.
What’s your commitment level to Jesus? Are you so sold out to Him and so invested in Him that life on your own without Him seems pointless and impossible? I hope so! “Lord Jesus, where would we be without You? Your words are life!”
Think about it!
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