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Words of Eternal Life 

John 6.68 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • September 8, In the year of our Lord Christ, 2019 

Prelude

  1. During my backhoe-operating days, 
    1. I had a business card, 
    2. which was vital if you wanted guys to call you back, and 
      1. that is exactly what I wanted. 
      2. I wanted more work. 
  2. Therefore, when I began preaching in 1980, 
    1. it was the same thing, 
    2. I wanted to have a business card 
      1. that people might remember my visit or whatever it was, but 
      2. I did not just want them to remember me
        1. Therefore, I put something on my card 
        2. that I thought people needed to know and 
        3. that I believed they needed to know that I believed. 
          1. Perhaps they might even want the same thing 
          2. as the quote that I put on my card:

            “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.”

            – John 6.68 (ASV of 1901)
  3. Peter is the one who asked that question. 
    1. Let’s find out what led up to that question, and 
    2. why Peter made that conclusion. 

Persuasion

  1. Seeking Jesus 
    1. Jesus accused the Jews of seeking Him, 
      1. not because they saw a sign or a miracle, for 
        1. He had multiplied bread miraculously, but 
      2. He said that they sought Him because 
        1. they ate the bread that had He made and 
        2. it filled them. 
          1. He supplied free food, and 
          2. they wanted to continue to receive free food. 
      3. Imagine that, 
        1. free food impressed them more 
        2. than a miracle impressed them! 
    2. However, He told them not to work for the food that perishes (John 6.27), 
      1. the food that they put into their bellies, but 
      2. they were to work for the food that gives them eternal life. 
    3. They wanted to know what work they should do. 
      1. He said:

        29 “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

        – John 6.29
      2. They wanted Him to do a sign 
        1. that they might believe what He said. 
        2. They wanted to know what work He would do. 
          1. So they gave Him a challenge, saying 
          2. that their fathers had eaten bread (miraculously) in the wilderness. 
            1. Although Jesus had just given them bread miraculously, 
            2. they wanted it to last as it did for Israel in the wilderness. 
              1. He had just fed them one time, 
                1. as though that was no big deal, but 
              2. Israel ate for 40 years, 
                1. implying that He should at least match that feat! 
    4. Then the Bible says this:

      32 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

      – John 6.32–33
      1. Moses was not the source of the manna, but 
      2. the Father in heaven gave Israel daily bread. 
        1. In the same way, the Father still gives bread to the world, but 
        2. Jesus did not speak of bread for the belly. 
          1. No, He spoke of a different kind of bread, 
          2. of which the manna was a figure or a type. 
            1. In other words, God wanted Israel and the world to see 
            2. that even as He gives bread for the body, 
              1. so He gives bread for the soul
                1. that’s the connection He wants to make with the world. 
              2. However, the Jews then and people during our day, 
                1. fix their eyes on what God can do for their bodies. 
                2. The Jews responded to Jesus 
                  1. by asking that He give them that bread always. 
                  2. Then He declared that He is the Bread of Life. 
    5. Listen to what John wrote further:

      41 The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” 42 And they said, “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’?”

      – John 6.41–42
      1. As Jesus explained Himself to them, 
      2. He continued to use figures of speech:

        51 “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”

        – John 6.51
        1. He added that since He is the Living Bread of Heaven, 
        2. they had to eat of that Bread to have eternal life. 
          1. He made Himself available as the Bread of Heaven 
          2. by giving His body and 
            1. anyone who consumes Him, 
            2. shall have eternal life. 
    6. That bothered them more:

      52 The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?”

      – John 6.52
      1. They missed the point and 
      2. so do we when we think He refers to the Lord’s Supper. 
    7. Many of His disciples could not handle what He was saying:

      60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?”

      – John 6.60
      1. He knew that what He had taught them offended them. 
      2. However, He let them know of what nature He spoke:

        63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”

        – John 6.63
    8. Suddenly the numbers of those following Jesus shrunk. 
      1. John 6.10 says that 5,000 men were following Him. 
      2. Now notice to how small Jesus had whittled the numbers down:

        66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”

        – John 6.66–67
        1. From 5,000 men to 12 men! 
        2. Would His closest and most devoted disciples follow suit:

          68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

          – John 6.68–69
          1. Peter responded with pure reasoning, 
          2. explaining to the Lord 
            1. that no other options existed. 
            2. If a person wants eternal life, 
              1. Jesus alone has the words that lead to eternal life. 
              2. Where could Peter and his fellow disciples go? 
  2. What Peter Knew of Jesus 
    1. Peter knew the true identity of Jesus of Nazareth. 
      1. He is the Lord. 
      2. He is the Christ, the Chosen One of God. 
      3. He is the Son of the Living God. 
    2. What does all that mean? 
      1. He knows everything. 
      2. He is the storehouse of all knowledge and wisdom. 
      3. He knows all about life. 
      4. He knows all the situations of life that we experience. 
      5. He knows all the troubles, problems, and aggravations of our lives. 
      6. He provides the only error-free form of instruction.

        3 …in [Him] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

        – Colossians 2.3
  3. To Whom Then Shall We Go? 
    1. Peter’s rhetorical question makes sense. 
      1. No one else has the words that we need to hear 
        1. not only for living eternally, but 
        2. for living now. 
      2. Jesus created life and He inhabits eternity. 
        1. As John had written earlier:

          1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

          – John 1.1–5
        2. Peter knew who had multiplied that bread. 
        3. Peter knew whom he was following. 
        4. Peter knew the true identity of Jesus of Nazareth. 
    2. Peter did not know anywhere else he and his fellow disciples could go. 
      1. They did not even need to investigate 
      2. since they knew that Jesus was the Creator 
        1. of life and 
        2. of man. 
          1. Peter and the 11 knew 
          2. that Jesus as the Creator 
            1. provides for our bodies’s nutritional needs perfectly, so He 
            2. provides for our spiritual nutritional needs perfectly. 
      3. With the body, 
        1. He created natural food that is just as we need it. 
        2. Our food provides certain nutritional needs and 
          1. our bodies require certain nutrients, and 
          2. amazingly, the food matches our bodies perfectly. 
      4. With the spirit, 
        1. He provides the perfect teaching that our inward nature requires. 
        2. What we need and what the Scriptures provide 
          1. make a perfect match. 
          2. There is, therefore, no reason to go anywhere else. 
    3. Peter knew of no other teacher with the qualifications of Jesus. 
  4. Words of Eternal Life 
    1. Peter and the other 11 apostles 
      1. had heard the same teaching as the 1000s who left Jesus, but 
      2. either they understood what He taught or 
        1. they were willing to hear more 
        2. that they might understand His teaching 
          1. on the Bread of Life, and 
          2. what He meant by eating His flesh and drinking His blood. 
    2. They had heard enough to know 
      1. that He often spoke figuratively. 
      2. They knew that they were not to eat His flesh and drink His blood, for 
        1. He had said that the words He spoke 
        2. were spirit and life. 
          1. That is why Peter said that Jesus had the words of eternal life, 
          2. although Jesus had said:

            50 “This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”

            – John 6.50–51
            1. Jesus said consume Me. 
            2. Peter understood that to mean embrace the teachings of Jesus. 
              1. The imagery of 
                1. eating Jesus as bread, 
                2. eating the flesh of Jesus, and 
                3. drinking the blood of Jesus, 
              2. pictured 
                1. consuming Jesus daily 
                  1. as we do food and 
                  2. as we do drink, 
                2. eating full meals, 
                  1. not just nibbling. 
                  2. Nibblers die. 
                  3. Eaters live. 

Exhortation

  1. Many people today make the deadly mistake of 
    1. combing the words of Jesus 
    2. with the words of man. 
      1. Jesus does not need any help from us. 
      2. No man has invented any philosophy 
        1. that rivals the words of Jesus, nor 
        2. has the Lord made His word compatible with theories men invent. 
  2. Embrace the words of Jesus alone 
    1. on gaining eternal life and 
    2. on living life now.