June 13

John 6:53, 63, 68 53Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.

63The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.

68Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

After the miraculous feeding of five-thousand people, they wanted Jesus to continue to provide food for them like the manna in the wilderness. Jesus told them that there was something much greater worth seeking. He encouraged them to look for food that lasts forever. Then He explained that it came through His body and blood. This was a thought so difficult for them to grasp that many turned away convinced that He was not the One. After all, the law that God gave forbade such a thing. But as we see so frequently in John, the people are taking a spiritual expression to literal extremes.

In the first verses of this gospel, John explained to us that Jesus is the Word made flesh (John 1:14). Some have taken these words just as the Jews of Jesus day and said that the bread of communion is transformed into the flesh of Jesus and the wine becomes His blood. We must read on to verse 63 to see that Jesus is clearly referring to His Word and His Spirit. Notice the word "life" in these verses. Verse 53 says that life comes through His flesh and blood. Verse 63 explains that life is from the Word and the Spirit. We see the same thing in John 4. Worshipers must worship in Spirit and truth.

This ended the popular period of Jesus' ministry. The crowds would not be back until Jesus went south in the last month of His earthly life. Why did Jesus make it so hard? People were coming to Him for the wrong reason. They wanted food and health, not the Spirit and truth. But there were a few who were desperate for the words of life. When Jesus asked if even His closest would leave too, Peter answered, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."

Consider: Why do you follow? Are you desperate for Spirit and truth? Do you see that as life itself?