the Words of Eternal Life
(John 6:60-71) Many therefore of his disciples, when they had
heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?
When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it,
he said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall
see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the
spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words
that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there
are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the
beginning who they were that believed not, and who should
And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come
unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no
more with him.
Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go?
thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure
that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of
you is a devil?
He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that
should betray him, being one of the twelve. (KJV)
Many mistake the words of Jesus as always being easy; but, His disciples recognized that some
of His sayings were hard to accept, or hard to understand. The disciples were still at the point that
they too had difficulty in realizing how eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Jesus would give
(2 Peter 3:15-16) And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our
beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As
also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be
understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other
scriptures, unto their own destruction. (KJV)
Jesus, thus, addresses His disciples in their confusion and complaining. Does what He has said
offend them? He then presents them with another scenario: What and if you shall see the Son of
man ascend back up to where He was before? Would this make a difference in how difficult this
would make this saying? Would it make it easier to accept, or understand, if they saw Jesus
ascend into heaven? This they would do in the future, following His crucifixion, burial, and
(Acts 1:9-11) And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and
a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he
went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee,
why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into
heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. (KJV)
The spirit gives life. The flesh is just meat. What gives life are the words of Christ: they are spirit,
and they are life. Jesus has emphasized that life, eternal life, is to be found by faith in Him.
Whether it is in the new birth to Nicodemus, the water to the woman at the well, or the true bread
from heaven, faith instilled by His words grant eternal life. But, that does not mean that all who
heard Him believe. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who
should betray Him. (see John 6:44-45)
From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him. This is not in
reference to the twelve, whom we later refer to as the apostles (including Judas); but, refers to the
multitudes which followed Him around the country.
The reduction in numbers was so significant, that Jesus turned to the twelve (apostles plus
Judas) and asked them, Will ye also go away? Had they lost faith in Jesus being unable to accept
the hard saying about eating His flesh and drinking His blood?
Will you turn away from the Savior because you think His sayings are too hard? Is it asking too
much to have the type of faith which will eat His flesh and drink His blood? Will obedience to His
words seem too much of a sacrifice? Are His words too difficult to understand? Are His teachings
on marriage, divorce and remarriage too severe? His commands on purity too restrictive? The
requirements on attendance too strong? The sacrifices in contribution too much? Will we turn
away from the Lord, too?
Simon Peter, the impetuous one, answers Jesus’ inquiry. It is an answer of faith, which answers
not only if, but why they would not depart. Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of
eternal life. We believe and are sure that You are the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the living God.
The answer is supposedly for all. Yet, …
(John 14:6) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the
Father, but by me. (KJV)
I am the way, the truth, and the life. This is said in reply to Thomas. Without him there would be no
Way revealed; no divine and saving truth, no immortal life.
No man cometh to the Father, but by me. Not only can no one enter the Father's house without
him, but no man can come to the Father on earth so as to enjoy his favor. "There is no other name
given under heaven among men whereby we must be saved" [Ac 4:12]. – The People’s NT with
Notes, B. W. Johnson
Jesus replies to Peter, Have I not chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He knew that
Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, was going to betray Him, even though he was one of the twelve
Jesus Himself had chosen.
Who will we follow? The example of Peter and his brethren, or that of Judas? It is our choice.