Read John 6:66-69
66-67 After this a lot of his disciples left. They no longer wanted to be associated with him. Then Jesus gave the Twelve their chance: “Do you also want to leave?”
68-69 Peter replied, “Master, to whom would we go? You have the words of real life, eternal life. We’ve already committed ourselves, confident that you are the Holy One of God.” (THE MESSAGE)
Let’s face it, following Jesus isn’t always easy. He himself warned us about it so it shouldn’t surprise us. Certainly there are wonderful times when things fit together, when prayers are quickly answered, when challenges are overcome. But there are other times when we wonder just what on earth we have got ourselves into.
Our text today occurs just after Jesus has fed many people with loaves and fishes. He then went on to explain he was not a food-producing machine. Rather he offered himself as the source of real and eternal life. Some people either didn’t understand it or rejected his message even if they did understand it. Jesus knew what it was like to have people misunderstand or reject him.
Peter speaks for the other disciples who stuck with Jesus. It is in one sense a bold declaration of faith. On the other hand, it is an admission that such a declaration is not without problems. In effect, Peter seems to be saying that while Jesus might not make sense at times, while following him has its peculiar challenges, he offers the best chance of real life.
There will be times we puzzle about Jesus, when we start wondering if the doubters and sceptics and atheists have it right and we have it wrong. At such times we echo Peter. Whatever may challenge us in following Jesus, only he offers eternal life. Whatever else is not clear, that much is clear. And that is enough.