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.” John 6:66-68
Jesus was just teaching some things that were difficult for the people to accept. He told the Jews that He came down from Heaven. Then Jesus talked about them eating of His flesh and drinking His blood to have eternal life. As a result, many left the synagogue saying, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” Even His disciples were grumbling about this.
Many of the people listening refused to accept that Jesus was the Promised One of God that they had been waiting for for hundreds of years. The rest probably felt like what Jesus had to say was way over their heads, not having a clue what it meant to eat His flesh and drink His blood. They left. Instead of letting up on the difficult things, or apologizing to the twelve, Jesus asked if they were going to leave too. That’s when Peter said they didn’t have anywhere else to turn.
In today’s Christian culture, it seems we try not to make things too difficult. Some try to give only positive messages about joy and eternal life, while others try to help God out by watering down the hard parts. They try to make it as easy as possible to follow Jesus. We get more absorbed in how many people are in big churches, or how many aren’t in the small churches.
But Jesus didn’t do that. He didn’t say, “Guys, I need to loosen up. Let’s have a hayride.” He simply asked if they were going to leave too. Know this: It is not easy to follow Jesus. His demands are pretty expansive, like to take up our cross, die to self and deny ourselves of things for the sake of the Gospel. Jesus didn’t hide that those who follow Him would suffer. And there are some things in the Bible that are hard to reduce to a simple black and white answer.
But there is nowhere else to turn and no one else to place our trust in. Jesus holds the keys to eternal life. His answer isn’t easy, but it’s good. Sometimes He does things that we won’t understand and we’ll have a hard time accepting. There will days when we can’t sing the hymn, “‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.”
Oh, but Jesus is good. Don’t turn away. He has the words of eternal life.
It’s like what Mr. Beaver said about Aslan in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe:
“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…”Safe?” said Mr Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”