11th April 2011

Is There Some Other Place?

“Lord, to whom shall we go?”
John 6:68 (NKJV)

The winter morning was extremely cold, one of those days when you really look forward to holding a cup of hot coffee in the cosy environment of Starbucks Coffee Shop. As I entered, I joked with a couple of regulars about how wintry the morning was, and one replied, “When we got here the heating wasn’t on and that was really cold!” I teased them and said; “You should have got some placards saying ‘Boycott this cold place’, and walked up and down outside.” Her reply caused a very important scripture to pop into my mind when she said, “But where would we go?”

In the 6th chapter of John’s gospel, Jesus is confronted by a crowd of people who had followed him to Capernaum (verses 24-26), because He had fed them miraculously the previous day with five small barley loaves and a couple of fish. In this chapter, Jesus is confronted by a crowd that is probably looking for more food and demanding a ‘sign’ (verse 30)—wasn’t the feeding of 5,000 people 24 hours ago enough? In verse 33, He tells them; “For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” And they reply, “Sir, from now on give us this bread.” Then Jesus rocks them to the very depths of their being because they have still failed to realise that the whole point of that miraculous supply of food had been Jesus, and Jesus only—He was the source of life to which it pointed. So, He tells them (verse 35), “I am the bread of life!”

Now they got angry (verses 41-42), and began grumbling saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” Again they refused to acknowledge him as God’s Son, and receive the spiritual insight and life that He was trying to impart to them. So He moves into a higher gear and informs them that, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” This was the last straw, even for some of the disciples, and we read in verse 60 that many of His disciples on hearing this said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” Sadly, Verse 66 tell us, “From that time many of his disciples went back and walked with him no more.”

Then Jesus said to the twelve, “‘Do you also want to go away?’ But Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.’” (verses 67-68). That’s a great question for us to ask ourselves: “Where shall we go?” Who else has the words of eternal life?

By the way, the coffee shop soon warmed up!

Father, thank you for your Son, Jesus, whom you sent with a precious gift for us—the words of eternal life.

Study by Cliff Neill 

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