To Whom Shall We Go?
In the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John, we witness a scene so controversial, that its ripples continue to this day. The ex-carpenter, Jesus, who has become a rising star to a large group of disciples who call him Rabbi and Master, and whisper hopes that he is the Messiah, has just returned to his home town, and delivered a teaching which has evoked accusations of madness and blasphemy.
He has claimed to have come from heaven; that his words are those of his Father, God, whom he has seen, and that whoever believes in them will never die; that he is the Bread of Life; that anyone who eats his Flesh and drinks his Blood will live forever; that his Flesh is real food and his Blood is real drink.
Many of his disciples protested out loud, proclaiming his words intolerable and unacceptable as they left Him. Jesus asked His faithful Twelve if they too wanted to leave Him. Peter, speaking for all of them, said, “Lord, to whom shall we go?”
Why did the Twelve stay and the other disciples leave? Both groups had an intimate relationship with Jesus; witnessed countless miracles and lives transformed; both were moved to hope and joy by His words; and both, were equally confounded by their Master’s explicit declaration.
How is it that, what started as a large group of disciples, would end as a small remnant? I believe the answer lies in Christ’s response to those leaving Him, “It is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh has nothing to offer. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit, and they are life.”
Those who lost faith, who disconnected from their Master, demanded that His words make sense according to their human understanding, according to their flesh. They could not allow for the Mystery of His Spirit. Those who remained faithful, who stayed connected to Jesus, trusted that He would make sense of the incomprehensible, that if they remained in Him, they too would come to understand the Mystery of His Flesh and Blood.
Only faith, stretched beyond reason, can transcend into knowledge beyond our realm of understanding.
Lord, humble me. Give me a child’s heart, that I may know my Father’s Love.