‘Lord, to whom can we go?’ (John 6:68)
Some of Jesus’ disciples were troubled by his teaching, so they turned back from him. His statements about abiding in those who eat his flesh and drink his blood were intolerable to those who understood him literally and rigidly. They were offended, and they complained. But Jesus pointed beyond the narrow and literal interpretation of what he said to a truth of faith. His life is the bread that came down from heaven, and those who share his life will live forever.
Peter knows the truth of Jesus, even if he is confused by some of Jesus’ words. When Jesus asked his disciples if they would also leave him, Peter answered, “Lord, to whom can we go?” (John 6:68). Whatever his confusions or difficulties, Peter knows that Jesus has the words of eternal life. He knows what he needs and who to ask. Jesus is the Holy One of God. For Peter to turn back from Jesus would be to turn away from God. Where else can he go? Who can take the place of Jesus? What other life is eternal? Peter seeks to understand, but he shares a life and a faith beyond understanding. The divine love that Peter knows in Jesus is more important than his ability to comprehend or explain in words. Jesus has the words of eternal life, and Peter shares that life.
We may also feel confused and frustrated as we live Christian faith today. We may share the disciples’ temptation to complain and take offense and withdraw from faith. We may feel thwarted by obstacles and misunderstandings. But Peter’s question provides our answer. There is no substitute for Jesus’ life in us and there is no substitute for faith in our Lord, even when we struggle to understand.
Look it Up
For an expression of faith beyond our comprehension, see “Humbly I adore thee, Verity unseen” (Hymn 314 in The Hymnal 1982).
Think About It
When do you express your faith without words? Can you use actions and symbols to express your faith in ways that cannot be put into words?