…And Come to Know

“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and come to know, that you are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68-69 ESV).

Peter always spoke his mind. Sometimes he spoke when he should have kept his mouth shut! This was not one of those times. We need a little background to frame these words.

In the sixth chapter of the book of John, Jesus feeds the 5000 and sends the disciples off in a boat to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Then He rejoins the disciples in the boat after walking on the water. It was a pretty momentous day, to say the least.
The next day the crowd searched for Jesus, having eaten their fill the day before, and having watched the disciples leave without Him. When they found Him on the other side they queried Him regarding how He arrived there. Jesus, seeing their hearts, told them that they weren’t really seeking Him, but full bellies. This led to a discussion about manna sent down from heaven to feed the Israelites in the desert.

Then Jesus drops a bomb on the crowd, telling them that He is the true bread sent down from heaven (v.41). He further surprises them by saying, “if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever” (v.51), and, “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you” (v.53).

At this point, a lot of those who had been following Jesus turned back. The saying was just too outrageous for them to swallow (pun fully intended!😁 Happy Friday!). And so Jesus looked at the twelve and asked them if they were going to turn back, too. And that brings us to Peter’s statement.

“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and come to know, that you are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68-69 ESV).

Some people claim that blind faith is sheer stupidity, that faith blinds one to reality. Yet they climb in their vehicles every day assuming that they will start and get them to their destination. They go to work every day with blind faith that they will still have a job when they get there.

They might argue that they have history that gives them reason to believe that all of those things will continue as they have for years. Ummmm. Duh!?! God has a long and storied history of taking care of His own. There are more surviving early texts of the Bible than of any other ancient document. Second place isn’t even close! We have the testimonies of those who have gone before, and the testimonies of those who are living for God now. And, not least of all, we have our own personal experiences with God.

Peter said, “we have believed.” Faith. They took a chance. They trusted.

“…And come to know.” Blind faith doesn’t stay blind. Blind faith leads to faith with history. And faith with history leads to knowledge.

We all experience times of doubt. Even the disciples would’ve admitted as much. But doubt is just another opportunity to add to your own personal faith history.

I have a picture in my mind of a huge mountain of stone. On this mountain are several steps carved with hammer and chisel. I see a believer, tools in hand, chipping away at the stone, creating  a new step. The mountains are our journey, and the steps are our faith history. Each success is marked by a step. With each faith success we carve another step, moving closer to full knowledge, when we will know even as we are known by God (1 Corinthians 13:12).

When we have doubts, we can choose to set them aside and continue our journey, or we can experience a loss of faith and retreat a step or two. But when we turn and take a step back we can see our history, all of the times God has proven Himself to be faithful and true to us. Then, when we turn back around the steps of our retreat remain carved. It’s easier to regain the ground we have lost. At least, that’s the way I see it.

There are areas of my life where I have gone from believing to knowing. And there are areas where I struggle daily with doubts and fears. And I’m certain it is that way for all of us. When we face those inevitable moments of doubt, we need to look back at our faith history. More importantly, we need to look back at God’s history of faithfulness to us and to countless others.

By all means, believe! But then leverage that belief until you have come to know.

Blessings on your weekend.

 

**image from http://dondougan.homestead.com/theprocess6_history.html

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