52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves. They said, “How can this man give us his body to eat?” 53 Jesus said to them, “What I’m about to tell you is true. You must eat the Son of Man’s body and drink his blood. If you don’t, you have no life in you. 54 Anyone who eats my body and drinks my blood has eternal life. I will raise them up on the last day. 55 My body is real food. My blood is real drink. 56 Anyone who eats my body and drinks my blood remains in me. And I remain in them. 57 The living Father sent me, and I live because of him. In the same way, those who feed on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Long ago your people ate manna and died. But whoever eats this bread will live forever.” 59 He said this while he was teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. 60 Jesus’ disciples heard this. Many of them said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” 61 Jesus was aware that his disciples were complaining about his teaching. So he said to them, “Does this upset you? 62 Then what if you see the Son of Man go up to where he was before? 63 The Holy Spirit gives life. The body means nothing at all. The words I have spoken to you are full of the Spirit. They give life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe. And he had known who was going to hand him over to his enemies. 65 So he continued speaking. He said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father helps them.” 66 From this time on, many of his disciples turned back. They no longer followed him. 67 “You don’t want to leave also, do you?” Jesus asked the 12 disciples. 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, who can we go to? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” 70 Then Jesus replied, “Didn’t I choose you, the 12 disciples? But one of you is a devil!” 71 He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Judas was one of the 12 disciples. But later he was going to hand Jesus over to his enemies.
This is a difficult passage, the Jews in Jesus home town had a problem with it, his many disciples had a problem with it, but if we remember that Jesus is talking about believing Him as He straight forwardly said in verse 40, then this is just a further metaphor. Jesus is saying in verse 57 that He lives because of the Father and so we live (eternally) by believing in Him. Jesus is the only way that we will have eternal life.
For me Peter sums it up in verse 68, “you have the words of eternal life,” so I either have to believe Jesus is who he says he is or I don’t, just as Peter made the choice. There is nowhere else to go. Many of Jesus’ followers did turn away, as many continue to do today, but I want to have life & continuing relationship with Jesus. I continually choose to believe.
Dear Lord, thank you for your words of life and that your Word continues to bring & breathe life into my life, both now and eternally. Amen
Written by Suzie Hodgson