Those are the closing words from Peter in John chapter 6. The words are spoken in response to a question by Jesus, the question was: “What about you? Are you going to leave too?”
On Sunday we explored the story of the feeding of the 5000 from John 6, a story that spans all 71 verses of this chapter, not just the first 15 that we often associate with the story. Jesus feeds the crowd, departs from them during the night (when he walks on water to get the disciples boat), and the crowd (or part of it) follows him across the sea the following day. When they find him, Jesus makes it plain that they were only looking for him because he had fed them.
Instead of offering them more food, Jesus offers them himself as the bread of life. John makes it clear that from that moment on, many people stopped following Jesus. So Jesus challenges the 12, asking if the would leave too. And we have Peter’s fantastic response. Who else can we go to? Only you have the words of eternal life.
Sunday began the start of a journey in answering the question: Are you a fan or follower? A fan follows Jesus based on what he can do for them, based on how he can meet their needs, based on how he can scratch their itch. A follower follows Jesus because he/she recognizes that it is all about Jesus; that there is no one else that gives life that lasts, not just fills their stomachs. In many ways, this is the first step in being a full follower of Jesus: recognizing that he is the ONE and ONLY Lord who brings life and gives us truth.
Follow up questions:
What was new about the story of the feeding of the 5000? Was anything shocking? Where do you see yourself in that story: like one of the crowd that went home or like one of the disciples? Do you follow Jesus because he is Lord or because he scratches your itch? Why do you follow Jesus?
Discussion for young families:
Take a few moments to talk with your kids about why you say grace before (or after) a meal. Talk about how Jesus meets more than just your physical needs as an adult and ask you kids what needs they have that Jesus can meet. Pray with them about the things they mention.
Challenge for the week:
Spend time reflecting on why you follow Jesus.