In John 6 we are told that many followers of Jesus left him.
His claims of being the “One that came from heaven”, of being the Bread of life and that those who did not eat of his flesh and drink of his blood could not be his followers, were simply too much for them.
Jesus asked for a complete and total commitment to himself. Some of his followers could not even comprehend such dedication and left him. This is the reason why Jesus asked the “twelve” in John 6: 67 and 68 an important question - “Do you want to go away as well?”
The image is clear. Just as bread sustains physical life, so does Jesus Christ sustain eternal life. Just as God once saved his people from starvation in the dessert by giving them manna, so in Jesus Christ, God saves his people from eternal death. In both cases what is necessary for life to be sustained, is a gift from God.
Jesus Christ alone gives life. And all of this is still true today.
Many changes occurred in the Church during the stormy times we experienced over the last 2 years - and the “good habits” of serving the Lord consistently and regularly changed the spiritual life of many households and families. Many may not return and may find Christ’s expectation to serve him above all and make sacrifices for the coming of his Kingdom in the world as too much, too tiresome and doubt whether they ever really understood the demands of following Christ correctly. Can what he taught be really true. So they leave – without fanfare or debate. They are simply leaving to live for themselves first of all.
I know that Jesus wants to ask all of us who still commit to his service and expect the glory of his reign the same question he asked the “twelve” when many others left:
Verse 67 - 69: 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.”
While many today abandon the call to follow Christ as their first love and first priority, do you too want to leave his service and stop following him, because he asks too much of you?
Or are you going back to our Lord serve him as part of his Body in this world?
And if you decide to go away – where would you go, and what bread would you have to eat?
Jesus alone can give you the bread that grants you eternal life. Serve him with all your heart, sold mind and existence!