This chapter follows Jesus through his betrayal, arrest and trials. He faces all of this calmly and willingly. Peter, on the other hand, is not prepared to face the consequences of his faith.
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We thank you that Jesus has come not only to save us but to overcome our enemy the devil. Thank you that we can have confidence that you are at work and have won the battle, even when we face various trials. Help us to remain strong in our faith and to never fall away as so many others have done.
We thank you for the work of the Holy Spirit within us and for the way he inspired the human authors of your word. We now ask you to help us fill our hearts and minds with the Bible and stay focused upon it, that we might continuously experience your peace.
And we pray this in Jesus’ name,
Our Father in heaven,
You have your own perfect plans for us. You know exactly how best to form us and shape us, how to mold our character and bend our will. Help us to trust you as you do your perfect work.
Cause us to always keep looking toward Jesus as the perfect example of humanity. He perfectly understands us in all of our trials and our weaknesses because he live through such things himself.
We receive him also as the perfect Savior, who died for us, rose again, and is the source of eternal life for all of us who believe.
With Martha we can respond to Jesus by saying, “Yes, Lord; we believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who has come into the world.”
66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
If you have walked with Jesus long enough, you are familiar with this problem. People hear things, experience things, do things, or maybe someone does something to them. The end result is just as in John 6:66.
After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.
Whatever the reason, this is a sad outcome. At its root it is an expression of unbelief, of a lack of trust. There is a way in which it belittles Jesus, his identity as God and his work on the cross for us. It is saying that you, Jesus, are not big enough, nor is your cross effective enough to resolve this issue. It is saying that my inability to understand why you work the way you do gets the final say. There is nothing you, Jesus, can say or do to persuade me otherwise.
If we could see the big, eternal picture, we would know that this response would border on insanity. However big our problem is, however difficult to understand, however wicked the forces that have raged against us, however cruel the attack, Jesus is bigger still and his cross provides the ultimate victory.
Through faith in him we will eventually rise above the battle just as he rose from the grave and conquered death. In eternity we will hear remarkable stories of incredible evil experienced by weak but trusting saints. And the end of each and every one of them will be along the lines of, “But that is over now, and we have found everlasting joy in the presence of our Savior. The cruelty of the battle that almost ended in utter defeat only makes the victory sweeter. He rose, and he reigns forever and I am one of his.”
May our response to Christ when we don’t understand what he is saying or doing ever be,
“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.”