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Troubling Words

by Esther Griggs

After Jesus spoke to the Jews at the synagogue in Capernaum, they argued among themselves and tried to understand the words they had heard. “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life.” These were hard words indeed. How does one respond to such troubling words. In John 6: 60 -71, the Jews respond to the troubling words of Jesus by walking away, by looking to Him, or by betrayal.

“Walk in the light as He is in the light.” 1 John 1:7

By Walking Away

Jesus had many disciples who on hearing such troubling words murmured amongst themselves. They could not understand. They tried to figure out who this man was. Was John the Baptist alive again? How about Elijah or one of the other prophets? There definitely was something about Him, but bread from heaven? Jesus knew their thoughts. “Is this offensive, will it be a stumbling block? What if you saw Jesus go back to where he came from? It is the Spirit who gives life.” Jesus already knew how each one would respond. He told them again that the ability to come to Him was granted by God the Father. Many walked away even among his disciples who had walked with Him.

By Looking to Jesus

To the twelve remaining, Jesus asked if they too were going to respond by walking away. But Peter asked the right question. “Where else would we go?” Then he says, “You have the words of eternal life.” Beyond the life-giving words Jesus spoke, Peter believed. He believed Jesus to be the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. Even if he didn’t understand, he knew Jesus was where to look. Jesus had the answers. Peter stuck with Jesus because oh what the Father in heaven revealed it to him.


While some walked away, some stayed, yet another group determined to be rid of Him. Although it didn’t happen in this passage, Jesus refers to the betrayal by Judas. He chose twelve but still one of them was “a devil.” He became the one through whom the Jewish people found a way to be rid of this man they could not understand.

There is always a response when the light confronts the darkness. Some in blindness walk away, some look to the light for further illumination while others choose to destroy it. In John 6: 60 -71, the Jews respond to the troubling words of Jesus by walking away, by looking to Him, or by betrayal.

Pray to the Father for revelation.

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1 comment

Joyce Smith February 23, 2022 - 2:47 pm

Difficult words indeed! So thankful for Peter who could see the ‘light’ even if he didn’t understand completely. May we ponder, but never betray.


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