“After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the Twelve, was going to betray him.” (John 6:66-71 (ESV)
“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” I always like beginning the gospel reading with those words. This is an answer of faith. Once a person knows who Jesus is, then there is nowhere else to go. We, perhaps, don’t always like the words of Jesus. When I see the crowds that abandon Jesus, the disciples that turn their back on him, well I often tend to know where they are coming from. His yoke is easy and his burden is light, but there is still a cross to bear when following Jesus. It’s painful. It isn’t the way of the world. It is gentleness, tolerance and humility when you are angry. Those aren’t easy things to pull off when a person is upset and angry. When the pride is hurt. And as sinners we never accomplish it. All too often we fail. We find that against our best intentions we have made bad judgment calls, that the good that we would we have not, and the bad that we would not this we have done. We have acted as hypocrites, and angry at others for gossiping, we end up gossiping. We are still yet sinners. And awful one’s at that. But this is why these words have so much hope. The church lives on the gospel. It is from Jesus himself that we hear the words of eternal life, And despite everything else that might take us to task. We have his words. Despite all the politics that go along inside a church, when the words “Your sins are forgiven” are spoken, then all of this is worth it. When we hear the words, “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” then we have what it is all about. “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins, these are the words of eternal life.