In John 6:52-71 we see an interesting account of Jesus teaching the disciples a really hard concept to accept. He was telling them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. . .”
“On hearing it, many of his disciples said, ‘This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?’ The scripture tells us that ‘many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. Jesus turned to His most intimate twelve and asked, ‘You do not want to leave too, do you?’
I love Peter’s heart in this moment, knowing he didn’t understand Jesus teaching he looked beyond his own understanding to the man he knew and His character. He turned and said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know you are the Holy One of God.”
Of course, we can look back at these passages with foreknowledge, knowing Jesus is speaking about communion and the need to be identified in His flesh and blood on the cross, which was poured out for our salvation. But, at the time, this sounded like the words of a madman. Why would God want men to become cannibals? It didn’t make sense and went against what they knew of the law. This offense caused many disciples to walk away.
There are going to be times in our life when Jesus will turn to us with the same question, “I know you don’t understand this teaching. I know it seems crazy right now, but you won’t leave me too, will you?” We need to trust that hard teachings may not make sense today, but God will reveal the meaning in time. The question remains, will you walk away because you don’t understand, or will you remain in me, so that I can reveal these things to you in my time?
It was during the dark times of my daughters’ illnesses that I felt this piercing question from the Lord, “Shannon, I know this doesn’t make sense and I know it goes against what you think is right. Nevertheless, you won’t leave me too, will you?”
I chose to join in fellowship with Peter, “Lord, to whom shall I go? You have the words of eternal life and I believe and know you are the Holy One of God. I will choose to trust you!” When pressed by trials, we either walk away under the mounting pressure and confusion or we choose to press in, trusting God’s sovereignty and character.
“If a person is ever going to do anything worthwhile, there will be times when he must risk everything by his leap in the dark. . . Trust completely in God, and when He brings you to a new opportunity of adventure, offering it to you, see that you take it. We act like pagans in a crisis—only one out of an entire crowd is daring enough to invest his faith in the character of God.” – My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers, May 30th, “Yes- But. . . !”