Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,” (John 6:68, ESV)

From impetuous Simon Peter comes a simple, profound statement of faith.

Many of Jesus’ followers have just decided to leave him because his teaching was too controversial for them.  They did not believe what he was saying about himself (“I am the Bread of Life”).  Jesus turns to the twelve and asks them if they too will leave him.  This is Peter’s answer.

Peter shows deep understanding of the metaphysics of life and salvation.  We see that he understands that:

  • He needs eternal life. Peter understood that there was life beyond just the immediate physical world, that the end of physical life was not the end of the possibility of life.  Indeed, what lays beyond the end of physical life is life eternal.  Something that the so-called scholars of our generation–wrapped up in hubris–are blind to.
  • Eternal life is contained or discovered or revealed in words. “You have the words of eternal life,” says Peter, and we would do well to pay attention to him.  The word that is translated “words” here pertains to “things spoken and the content of what is said” [Lexham Theological Wordbook]. “For whom God has sent utters the words of God” [says either Jesus or comments John in John 3.34].

    Peter understood that there was a message that needed to be communicated and in that message was contained “the words of eternal life.”  Indeed, he grasped this truth so well that he would spent the rest of his life, after Jesus’ ascension, going anywhere that people would listen and proclaiming this truth.

  • Jesus was the only way to eternal life. “Lord, to whom shall we go?” asks Peter.  There was no other person who had “the words of eternal life.”  Only Jesus alone.  What good would it do to abandon the very one who had what was necessary for eternal life?

We would do well to heed Peter’s words here and come to our own deep understanding of the metaphysics of life and salvation.  Our [eternal] life depends upon it.

 

Advertisements