Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” – John 6:66-69 (NRSV)
To whom can we go?
Some translations use the word where instead of who, but who is more faithful to the original language. And it makes more sense theologically as well.
The disciples weren’t on their way somewhere. They left their old lives to become fishers of people not to set up shop on a new corner. This was always about who rather than where.
And this is countercultural.
We’re all trying to get someplace. When we meet new people, our questions are usually about “Where do you live?” or “What do you do?” We don’t really ask “Who are you?” Or even more importantly, “Who are you becoming?”
This declaration by Peter comes after a hard teaching by Jesus that causes many to fall away. They can’t accept who Jesus says he is. This is more about the disciples than Jesus.
So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.” – John 6:53-58 (NRSV)
If I accept who Jesus is, then it will affect who I am. Abiding will do that. Jesus talks about eternal life and living forever but not as a description of place. It’s a description of being. Jesus isn’t offering directions on where to find eternal life but offers the words that are eternal life.Jesus isn’t offering directions on where to find eternal life but offers the words that are eternal life. #FMF #John6 #Who Click To Tweet
What, where, why, and how are all important. But if we don’t know Who, then the answers to those other questions aren’t really important. Because who we are and whosewe are follow us wherever we go.
May we all find at least a few moments to abide in who Jesus is today – and to reflect on who we are becoming in response.
Another Friday, and another five-minute writing prompt. You can read more great responses here.