Whom Shall We Go
"I am the living bread that came down
heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the
bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life
of the world.
The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, ‘How can
this Man give us His flesh to eat?’ Then Jesus said to them,
‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of
Man and drink His blood you have no life in you.'
John 6:51-53. "Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, ‘This is a
hard saying; who can understand it?’ When Jesus knew in
Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, ‘ Does this
(Verses 60, 61) "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits
nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit and they are
(Verse 63) "From that time many of His disciples went
back and walked with Him no more. Jesus said to the twelve,
‘Do you also want to go away?' But Simon Peter answered Him,
‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we
have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, The Son of
the living God."
(Verse 66-69) .
Jesus Was Speaking Figuratively
If Jesus was speaking about literally eating His
flesh and drinking His blood, then those Jews who were offended were
justified in taking offense. God, Himself had given the prohibition
against eating flesh with its blood. "But you shall not eat
flesh with its life, that is, its blood." Genesis 9:4 "Moreover
you shall not eat any blood in any of your dwellings, whether of
bird or beast. Whoever eats any blood, that person shall be cut off
from his people." Leviticus 7:26, 27. To eat
flesh with its blood is to violate a prohibition of God. But Jesus
was not speaking literally. He was speaking figuratively or in
Biblical terms, in parables. Notice Jesus said, "…the bread also
which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.
Vs 51b. The next verse reveals that the Jews were thinking, "How
can he give His flesh to us to eat?"
It is also helpful to understand why Jesus
often spoke figuratively or in parables. We have that answer in His
own words, "Therefore I speak to them in parables; because
seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do
they understand." Matthew 13:13.
To His true disciples He explained that even His
flesh could profit no one. It is the Holy Spirit Who gives life by
anointing the words that tell what He did with His flesh when He
gave Himself as a sacrifice for man’s sin on the cross of Calvary.
He also taught that lost mankind appropriates eternal life from
those words by faith.
I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life." John
6:47. "Lord, to whom shall we
go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe
and know that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
John 6:68b, 69.
Jesus Has Words of Eternal Life
The words of Jesus came from the heavenly Father
and were anointed with spiritual life by the Holy Spirit. To lay
hold of the spiritual truth of those words and appropriate the
promise of God in those words by faith is to also appropriate
eternal life. To fail to appropriate the spiritual truth of those
words is to fall short of possessing eternal life.
Jesus stated plainly why a great majority of His
nominal followers fell short of laying hold on eternal life, "But
there are some of you who do not believe…" (John 6:64a) The
verse goes on to include one of "the twelve" disciples, Judas. Judas
had heard most of Jesus’ teachings. He had witnessed most of Jesus’
miracles, but he fell short of appropriating eternal life.
Why Do Many Professed Followers of Jesus Turn
Perhaps the biggest reason of all is that they
have listened to and accepted the teachings of man rather than the
teachings of the heavenly Father.
These Jews, including Judas, believed that Jesus
would shortly fulfill hundreds of Old Testament prophecies to claim
David’s throne and, through Israel, reign over the entire earth.
There is no debate that the promised Christ (or Messiah) would
someday reign over the earth from David’s throne, but there was not
one time that the prophecies said it would take place at His first
coming. Peter informs us that the prophecies spoke of "the
sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow." 1st
Peter 1:11. He also points out that this caused perplexity to the
prophets who could not reconcile how both "sufferings" and "glory"
could take place at the same time. The teachings these Jews had
accepted left no room for "the sufferings of Christ." When Jesus
spoke of the necessity of His sacrificial death for all sinners
their preconceived ideas locked the door of their mind to accepting
the truth He spoke. Down through the church age millions more have
done the same.
It is absolutely essential that we do not test
the words of Jesus by the words we have received from man. Virtually
all that we have been taught by man is flawed in some way. We need
to humbly present our minds to God and sincerely say, "Lord, take my
mind and remold it with truths of Your words made clear to me by the
Some turn away from Jesus because they sought Him
for the wrong reasons in the first place. This crowd that sought
Jesus out were part of the 5000 men that had been miraculously fed
by Jesus with five fish and two barley cakes. Jesus said to them, "Most
assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs,
but because you ate of the loaves, and were filled." John 6:26.
In the early years of mission work in China it
was found that great numbers would profess to become Christians…as
long as they were supplied daily rice provisions by the
missionaries. When the ability to supply rice was interrupted for
any period of time many of these professing Christians would turn
away. In mission circles the term "rice Christians" is well
understood to this day. The sad thing is that many people become
professing Christians for physical, material, social, and even
financial advantages. When these "wrong reasons" aren’t met to their
satisfaction they often turn away.
To Whom Shall We Go If We Do Turn Away
That was the first thought of Peter. He, too, had
been jolted by the statements of Jesus. He briefly considered the
prospect of turning away, but as he surveyed all the alternatives he
found nothing acceptable. Peter knew something of the disappointing
promises of pleasure and materialism, the fleeting exhilaration of
popularity, the deadness of religious legalism, the darkness of
agnostic doubt and the hopeless despair of pagan idolatry. In Christ
alone he found the words of eternal life.
Shall we turn away from Christ to pursue sensual
Sensual pleasures of food, rest, recreation, etc
can have their place when kept in proper balance with other areas of
life. However, Jesus gave us a powerful illustration of what happens
when we forsake our God and give ourselves to the pursuit of
pleasure. The prodigal son forsook his father’s house to pursue the
pleasures of the far country. No doubt he experienced many thrills
in the bright lights, torrid music, raucous laughter, unrestrained
drinking and immoral vices…. But in a short time he ran out of
money. When he ran out of money his far country friends left him.
Nobody would open their home to him or help him. They only job he
could get was feeding hogs. Fortunately, he came to himself and
realized how stupid he was to leave the Father’s house. He would
have been far better off if he had not left in the first place
Shall we turn away from Christ for the religions
We are told that the number of idols in the
various nations runs into the hundreds of thousands. For virtually
every one of these idols there is a form of worship. For some idols
the worship can be very complex.
The founders of some religions gave teachings
that contained good moral values. The teachings of other religions
have motivated the worshippers to gross immorality, human sacrifice
and even demonic possession. All the founders of these religions are
dead or will die. All of these religions have a system of works by
which the worshippers gain acceptance with their deity by the things
Only Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God sent
by the Father and sealed by the Holy Spirit. Only Jesus Christ has
fulfilled some 4000 years of prophecies and prophetic symbols. Only
Jesus Christ spoke as no other man spoke because He spoke nothing
but what He heard His heavenly Father speak. (See John 8:26-28;
12:49, 50; 14:10). Only Jesus Christ had all the sins of mankind
laid on Him and received the full punishment of God’s law for sin
(Isaiah 53:5,6). Only Jesus Christ rose again from the dead in a
glorified body never to die again. Only Jesus Christ has been given
all authority in Heaven and in Earth (Matthew 28:18) Only Jesus
Christ is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God by Him
(Hebrews 7:25) Only Jesus Christ is the coming King of Kings and
Lord of Lords before Whom every knee shall bow and every tongue
shall confess that He is Lord to the glory of God the Father
(Revelation 19:18; Philippians 2:9-11)
Two Reasons We Should Cling Tightly To Jesus
Because we need Him in this life.
We need Him for the forgiveness of sins we have
already committed and the ones we will commit.
We need Him to give us the power to have
victory over sin and live as the Christian we should.
We need Him as our Great Physician in times of
We need Him as Comforter in our times of
heartache and grief.
We need Him as a Counselor for wisdom and
guidance to solve the great problems of life.
We need Him as the Water of Life for our
…as the Bread of Life for our spiritual hunger
the Robe of Righteousness for our spiritual nakedness
…as the Light
of the World for our spiritual darkness.
Because we need Him when we depart this life
Our life could end suddenly as it does for
thousands of others every day.
Our life could endure until the body is frail
and weak, and we know that each breath could be our last.
Should we die our soul will depart the body.
Only Jesus Christ can provide us acceptance with God. Should Jesus
come in the twinkling of an eye we shall rise to meet Him only if
we have placed our faith in Him as our Savior.
May you be one of those who have hungered and
thirsted after righteousness. May you have seen Jesus Christ as the
Bread of Life Who gave Himself as a sacrifice for your sins on the
cross. May you have appropriated Jesus as the Bread of Life by
faith. May you continually feast on the Bread of Life as you think
about all that Christ and His salvation means to you now and for
Copyright © 2002 Thomas E Berry
All Scriptures quoted from NKJV unless otherwise noted
Copyright © 2008 Truth Helpers Inc.