The passage from the Gospel of John reproduced below was the subject of a sermon recently where I attend church. It is also the catalyst for one of the most important turning points in my life.
Jesus had just finished telling the crowd, “I am the bread of life….” (John 6:48); “And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh” (John 6:51); and, “Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.” (John 6: 54)
The Romans called the early Christians cannibals because of words like these and “the Lord’s Supper” that Christians observed ritually when they met. The crowd didn’t understand what he was saying either. The apostles also didn’t understand, as is evident by the following interchange in John 6:
60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”
61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit[e] and life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”
66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” (Emphasis added)
These words Jesus spoke were allegorical of course. In the sermon on this passage the pastor developed the principal that we feed on what we follow.
Paul says, “Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33) “Garbage in, garbage out”, as “they” say. It’s biblical, and it’s common wisdom, but this passage is about much more than an adage for life.Continue reading “When It Gets Hard, to Whom Shall We Go?”