Bible Society of South Africa

Words of eternal life – 17 June 2022

By Ben Fourie

Bible text(s)

67So he asked the twelve disciples, “And you — would you also like to leave?”

68Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life.

John 6:67-68GNBOpen in Bible reader

You will find this verse at the end of one of the longest chapters in the Bible. In the first part of this chapter, we read about how Jesus fed a huge crowd and later walked on water. Those who were present at the miracle of the bread and fish kept following him everywhere. One day, when they could not find Jesus, they took some boats that came from Tiberias to sail over the lake to look for him in Capernaum.

After they had found him, they started questioning him about the Scriptures. The questions were about the right way to follow God and about the manna that God had sent from heaven to feed the Israelites in the desert. They were obviously very interested in his message, but when he answered their questions, they were not happy with what he told them. When visiting the synagogue in Capernaum, he said that he himself is, like the manna, the bread of life that God sent from heaven. This claim to be God’s messenger from heaven upset all the Jews that were gathered there.

When Jesus expounded on the subject, the Jews became even more upset and many of his followers found it too hard to swallow, so they turned away from him. When Jesus saw the people turning away, he asked the twelve disciples if they also wanted to leave. At that point, Peter came forward with the beautiful words in our verse for the day. Indeed, where can we turn for salvation but to Jesus.

These days, a growing group of people believes that there are a multitude of roads leading to God and every one of us should find the most appropriate road for him- or herself. However beautiful this idea may sound, it is not true. Along with Peter, we know that only Jesus “ha[s] words that give eternal life.”

Prayer: We thank you, Lord Jesus, that you are the bread of life. Please feed me with this bread every day. Amen

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