March 26 Devotional

Today we’ll be taking a look at one of Jesus’ interactions with his disciples in John 6:60-69:
When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”
After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
This section follows right after a lengthy exposition where Jesus has been telling his followers he was the bread of life. Large crowds had been continuing to follow him around because they’d heard how he fed the 5,000 and wanted their needs supplied as well. Earlier, the Jews had been grumbling because he said he is the bread of life, and none of them were cannibals! So then we zoom in Jesus’ closest disciples, those with whom he’d be living, walking, and eating. They’d heard his teachings and mostly believed in him. Until now.
The disciples first response is one of incredulity. Jesus words have cut them to the heart and they’re struggling to believe. Augustine of Hippo once said of Christianity, “I believe in order to understand.” There are some things in the Christian faith that we don’t and won’t ever understand, so in the midst of that we believe that God is still good and working everything out for our good (Rom. 8).
One thing I want to focus on today is Jesus’ response. There’s a temptation for anyone when they’re reading the Bible to leave these people as two dimensional characters instead of remembering they were real flesh and blood people who really lived, experienced the same things we experience, yet in this case Jesus is God! So because of that temptation I think we can miss that Jesus experience emotions. How do you think Jesus felt in the midst of this story? Right in the middle it says “MANY of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.” Those that he had given so much time and energy to just abandoned him, so (I think) in an act of desperation, he looked at the twelve and asked them the same thing.
Peter, who gets it wrong as often as he gets it right, hits a grand slam with his response! Jesus alone has the words of eternal life (we sing that together at church in the song ’Show Us Christ’). What are you doing to feast on his words? The only place we can find these eternal words is in God’s Word! I’d encourage you to spend some time while you’re at home digging in to it! Spend time praying through the Psalms, or using one of the resources I’ve sent out to learn more about God and connect with him in some new ways!
Today’s song is an exposition of the pain many of us as humans experience, yet in the midst of that God is good and true. It’s by one of my favorite artists, Andrew Peterson, and it’s called ‘Always Good’ you can listen on YOUTUBE or SPOTIFY.
Ligonier Ministries, the organization founded by the late R.C. Sproul is giving away all their teaching resources through June 30. I’d strongly recommend pretty much everything Sproul does (with the exception of his view on baptism!). But you can see the resources available HERE.
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