Jesus had just told the crowd following Him that in order to have eternal life they would have to eat His body and drink His blood.
Ever get to that part of the story where it just seems too hard to go on? Maybe your life is that way right now. You just need to sit down, take a breath. You are gazing behind you with longing, thinking seriously about turning around.
That's where this crowd was. They liked the healing miracles, they liked being fed the loaves and the fish. But Jesus' body? And His blood? Many of them were not up for it and started to mutter...
Many among his disciples heard this and said, “This is tough teaching, too tough to swallow.”
Jesus sensed that His disciples were having a hard time with this and said, “Does this throw you completely? What would happen if you saw the Son of Man ascending to where He came from? The Spirit can make life. Sheer muscle and willpower don’t make anything happen. Every word I’ve spoken to you is a Spirit-word, and so it is life-making. But some of you are resisting, refusing to have any part in this.”
(Jesus knew from the start that some weren’t going to risk themselves with Him. He knew also who would betray Him.)
He went on to say, “This is why I told you earlier that no one is capable of coming to Me on his own. You get to Me only as a gift from the Father.”
Sheer muscle and willpower don’t make anything happen.
Those words stick out to me. Pretty much, that is how I make everything happen. But not faith. Faith does not work that way. Faith is a gift from the Father. It's all Him. Even the works I need to do: to believe, even that I must receive, by the Spirit from the Father.
I need Him for everything.
Yet, I believe. I have been given the gift. That's why I love the words Peter says next:
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.”
Yes, indeed, who else can I go to? I am ruined now. I have seen too much. I have experienced too much. I must believe. I have already committed myself and am confident that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.
Even when His sayings are too hard. Even when life is too hard. Even when I am tired and my head hurts and my heart hurts and I want to go back to my easy life---and yet, now I have gone too far for even that! Now I know life is never better, never sweeter, never contains more joy and peace, than when I rest in His truth and love.
There will be those who do not believe today. There will be others who refuse to believe ever. Let us have compassion for them. Let us pray for them. Let us never envy them, hate them, fear them. Let us never give up telling them. Most of all let us rejoice we have been given the gift.
Thank You Beloved! I am not worthy in the least, yet You love me! Ahhhh!