“After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, ‘Do you want to go away as well?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.’” John 6:66-69
A large crowd had been following Jesus because of His great signs, healing the sick and feeding thousands of people with a small portion of fish and bread. But then He began speaking in terms they couldn’t understand. He was clearly declaring His deity as the One who had come down from heaven, whom the Father—God Himself—had sent. As Jesus taught, the crowd began to disperse. They wanted the signs and miracles. They wanted easy teachings they could wrap their minds around. They wanted the prophet they expected instead of the Savior God, the Servant King, who came to give us life.
So Jesus turns to the Twelve. Those who had been prayerfully chosen to walk closest to Him, to learn from Him and be sent out by Him to carry His truth to the world. And He asked them simply if they wanted to leave Him as so many others did. What a crucial, defining moment. In the face of the words He was saying that couldn’t fully be grasped, would these men hold to their faith and follow Him, or would they turn away? Peter steps up with such a beautiful expression of simple faith: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
These men who walked with Jesus recognized the life and truth in His words. They chose to believe Him, and as they followed, watched, and listened to Him, they came to know with all certainty that He was the Holy One of God. The promised Messiah. They may not understand everything that He says. But they know who He is. Knowing this, believing this, there is no one else they could turn to follow instead.
Is our faith this sincere? Facing difficult callings on our life, passages in Scripture we don’t quite understand—or would rather ignore—do we choose to turn away from Christ and follow something a bit easier? Or do we look to our precious Lord, reflecting on the magnificent grace shown in His death on the cross and the great power displayed in His resurrection from the dead, and declare that there is no one else to whom we shall go. For it is Jesus who has the words of eternal life, and we have believed and have come to know that He is the Holy One of God.