Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live for ever.’ John 6. 36-58
The word made flesh tells us to eat his flesh, literally to eat the Word, to ingest his body, to ingest the Word into our lives. Quite a challenging thought, but also an amazing comforting spiritual realisation. We all can take the Word into our very core, the centre of our being. Literally becoming one with the bread of life.
As a result of these words, we are told that many of his disciples said this teaching is difficult and turned their backs on him. They stopped following Jesus and went home. I am sure many of us agree with this sentiment. It is hard, a mystery beyond our understanding. But more importantly it is also a gift. We are being given the key to eternal life. A present beyond price. It really doesn’t matter how it works.
Imagine if tomorrow we were suddenly given the latest electronic gadget which would make our lives unimaginably easier. A washing machine which not only washes the clothes but irons them and puts them away afterwards or even better a self-cleaning house. If we were offered these, I’m sure we wouldn’t refuse to use them unless we understood exactly how they worked.
So how come people don’t seem to be able to do this with faith. They are not able to trust the one who makes these promises in the way they trust an inventor or designer. But trust is what we need. The kind of trust that Simon Peter expressed in response to Jesus’ question to the twelve “Do you also wish to go away?” He replied – “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”
We need to find the trust to say – WOW, thank you for such an amazing awesome gift, the gift of eternal life, the gift of abiding in Jesus and Jesus in us. Trust to hold onto our faith and commitment to the end of this life and beyond. Because living in Jesus, taking him into our very souls brings eternal life. Who as Simon Peter says would want to turn their back on that?
With all my love and prayers