At this point, some disciples are dismayed by the hard teaching and decide to leave. Jesus asks the rest if they will also leave. They answer that they have nowhere else to go. Peter is quick to recognize that only Jesus has the words of eternal life and called him the Holy One. These ordinary men with no exceptional credentials would eventually be used to spread the Gospel to then ends of the earth.
We’ve probably all known someone who professed to follow Jesus but walked away. I’ve often wondered why it is that people can willingly walk away from a relationship God and throw away eternal salvation. There is a difference between acknowledging that Jesus is our salvation and believing it enough to live one’s life in that belief. This isn’t unlike the parable of the seeds sown in different soils. Jesus offered a relationship with God through his sacrifice. A failure to allow that relationship to grow and flourish leaves people with an inside that may not match the outside appearances. The hard teachings that prompted Jesus’ followers to go another direction still lead people to walk away. But God is less interested in numbers. He wants the whole hearts of those who choose to follow.
Questions: What challenges your faith? What hard questions feed your doubts?
How would you respond to Jesus’ question, “will you also leave”? Explain what it is that draws you to stay with Jesus.
Prayer: O Lord, I see the pattern in this chapter of John of Jesus teaching the many and ending with the few faithful followers. Help me to reflect on this as I seek to be one of Jesus’ disciples.