Sunday 26 August 2012

Bible Book:

"Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. So Jesus asked the twelve, 'Do you also wish to go away?' Simon Peter answered him, 'Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.'" (vv. 66-69)

John 6:56-69 Sunday 26 August 2012


It can sometimes appear amazing that those who heard Jesus'words and also witnessed his miracles could continue to doubt him.This was especially the situation with Jesus' disciples whowitnessed him carry out many amazing miracles, yet it was still nota case of 'seeing is believing'.

So why was it that, as today's reading suggest, many of hisdisciples turned back and no longer followed him? It can be arguedthat although the disciples were fortunate to see Jesus in action,it was more important that they heeded his words and did what heasked them to do. This teaching involved self-sacrifice andenduring various hardships. Jesus never said there was anythingglamorous about the path he asked his followers to tread; it wastough and treacherous, but it was one Jesus was willing to take(and lead his followers on).

Taking up one's cross to follow Jesus is difficult and the rewardsare often never received in this life. However, as one greatphilosopher said, 'When presented with a range of choices, thehardest one is often the right one to opt for'. In today's reading,Peter chose to stay with Jesus, because despite the inherentdifficulties, he believed that Jesus had "the words of eternallife" and he knew that Jesus was the "Holy One of God". In manyrespects, Peter's answer was a spiritual no-brainer, since a realfollower of Jesus could not say 'No, Lord!' The response mustalways be affirmative.

However, Jesus never asks his followers to walk this road alone.In John14:15-19, Jesus speaks about how his Spirit will enable thedisciples to have the strength to follow him. And like those firstdisciples, the Holy Spirit is still available to 'take my hand, andlet me stand, where no one stands alone' (from the song 'Where NoOne Stands Alone' by Mosie Lister and sung by Elvis Presley).

To Ponder:

  • Have you ever been in a position where you, like some of thedisciples, considered turning back? What happened?
  • When faced with difficulties, what is your first response?
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