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“Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
Are You With Me?
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After 5 weeks hearing from Jesus about how he’s the bread of life – the bread that feeds us and sustains us for a lifetime, the bread that is from heaven, today the disciples finally have a chance to respond.
And what do they say? “This teaching is difficult.”
Not a ringing endorsement from the disciples, but it’s an honest one.
Though we might be tempted to give the disciples a hard time about this response – it’s not that unusual for us to have this same one – following Jesus IS hard.
Who hasn’t felt the same way about what Jesus teaches us?
Who hasn’t at some point wished it were easier to be a disciple? Who hasn’t had moments in their life when they have questioned their faith? Who hasn’t had a time where believing in the love and goodness and grace of God was almost impossible? Haven’t we all been there?
This teaching is difficult. We say. It’s too hard.
And we have a choice. Our choice isn’t easy.
In fact, we might think it’s too difficult to follow and we can, like some of the disciples in today’s Gospel, chose to walk away. OR, we can, like Peter, respond in faith – and say, yes Jesus – this IS hard. But we too “have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”
But no matter what, no matter how you answer Jesus when he asks you to choose him, Jesus has already chosen you.
Verse 70 in John’s 6th chapter says just this – Jesus knows his disciples are making the tough choice to follow him and says “Have I not chosen you?”
Even if they turn away, even though one is going to betray him, he chose them first. Jesus says this to all of us.
He has already chosen you.
No matter if you think it’s too hard or if you proclaim that you believe and know, Jesus has already chosen you.
Questions to Ponder/Discuss
1. What parts of the teachings of Jesus do you, like the disciples, find difficult? Why?
2. When was a time in your life where you considered walking away instead of following Christ? What happened?
3. When was a time in your life where you responded like Peter – “Lord I have come to believe and know you are the Holy One of God.”? What was it that caused your belief and/or knowing?
It is not easy to step out of our comfort zones and into the difficult task of following Christ. This week, look at some new ways you might be able to step out in faith and go with Christ – as he goes with you.