You have the words of eternal life
Peter’s confession made me curious. While almost everyone else grumbles and turns away from Jesus after His Bread of Life sermon, Peter replies, “You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68-69)
When Jesus asks His disciples, “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Peter answers, “Lord, to whom shall we go?” (John 6:67) Peter was convinced he had found something he could get nowhere else. What had Peter already heard Jesus say by this point? I looked back to see what Peter had heard in the chapters that precede this text.
Jesus had taught Nicodemus that unless you are born again of water and the Spirit, you cannot enter the Kingdom of God. Here are words about eternal life that Peter had heard nowhere else. Even today, many Christian churches have turned Jesus’ words about being born again into an emotional experience, instead of being born of “water and the Spirit.” How important baptism must be! No wonder Peter himself would later write in one of his epistles that “Baptism . . . now saves you” (1 Peter 3:21). And again it was also Peter who pointed out that being “born again” happened only through the “living and enduring Word of God” (1 Peter 1:23).
Jesus had said that He had to be lifted up as Moses had lifted up the bronze snake so that people would put their faith in Him and live forever. He had taught that God so loved the world that He gave His Son to save the world, and that through faith people would not perish but have eternal life. Jesus had announced to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well that He was the Savior the Old Testament prophets had promised.
Jesus had healed a man on the Sabbath and made Himself equal with God, even telling people that the Father had entrusted the task of judging the world to Him and expected people to honor Him just as they honored the heavenly Father. Jesus said that those who believed in Him had crossed over from death to life. The life Peter was now living was new, it was eternal. Later Jesus would put it this way to Martha, “Whoever
lives and believes in Me will never die.”
Jesus declared that the Scriptures had predicted His coming and that everyone who came to Him would have eternal life. These were just some of the amazing things Peter had heard. He had not fully digested everything. He still struggled and we know how he would mess up in the future. But what Peter had heard convinced him. He wanted to live forever.