Summary: The sermon is designed for the believer to trust in the presence and provision of Christ.
There is a song that says: Where do I go when there’s nobody else to turn to? Who do I turn to when nobody wants to listen? Who do I lean on when there’s no foundation stable? I go to the rock, I know He’s able, I go to the rock. When the earth all around me is sinking sand, on Christ, the solid rock I stand. When I need a shelter, when I need a friend, I go to the rock.
The faith of the church and faith in God has been categorized in the context of a rock. In Psalm 18:2, The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. Jesus responded in Matthew 16 to Peter’s response, upon this rock, I will build my church. Paul in his letter to the church at Corinth builds on the analogy as well in I Corinthians 10:4, as he talked about the blessing of Israel under Moses, and did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.
This text this morning comes at a crucial time in the life and ministry of Christ. It almost seems that Christ actually wanted this to happen, or perhaps it needed to happen. It almost seems that Christ does this in an attempt to weed out those who were just baggage in the ministry. Peter’s statement, “to whom shall we go’, comes as a result of Christ raising the bar and using language that apparently offended some.
It actually begins in verse 32 when Christ says, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto you.
So He just told them that He was greater than Moses and that He was the bread that came down. He even takes the idea stronger by saying in verse 49, your fathers ate that bread (manna) in the wilderness and they eventually died. This bread (meaning Himself), that if you eat it, you will never die. Then Jesus really goes to the extreme, He says, in verses 53-56, except you eat this flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life. And he is not talking about communion; this is not an analogy of the Lord’s Table. We are a year before His death. Jesus is using metaphors to drawn people to a personal conclusion. But Jesus discovers something that we all have discovered; people hear what they want to hear. And when you place standards and expectations upon them they will often misinterpret them. They turn what you say into something totally different. They did in John 2, He said that if you destroy this Temple, in three days I will raise it up, and immediately Christ was accused of blaspheming the Temple. In John 3, when Jesus talks about the new birth, Nicodemus immediately went to a biological concept, whereas Jesus was speaking spiritually. In John 4 when He told the woman about living water, she thought about making no more trips to the well.
What Jesus is simply doing is challenging their real commitment to the ministry, He is asking them to confront their faith. There were those who wanted the experience of being disciples, but did not want to live up to the expectations of discipleship. There were those who wanted to be identified with the Christ movement, but did not want to invest themselves with any intimacy in the movement. There were those who wanted to be close enough to benefit from the ministry but far enough not to be committed. There were those who wanted the privilege of discipleship, but had no real passion to make a decision. They wanted a moment on the stage, but not a permanent part in the drama.
And in verse 60 it says; many of His disciples walked no more with Him, His sayings are too hard. His expectations are too much, too high. Christ turns to the twelve and says, does this cause you to stumble (or to hard for you). If you stumble over this earthly expectation, you would surely stumble over who I was before I came here on earth. He then asks, will you also leave me? It’s in Peter’s words that rests the truth of this text.
First, hear what Peter is saying in his response, To Whom…In other words he admits that we have thought about it, we are having our struggles as well. After all, they have left houses, families, Christ is not letting folks join whom they think could be helpful (rich young ruler). But the twelve have something that the others who were following did not have. Peter proclaims it. What Peter says is the only reason they have not left is because of our deep conviction. It will become the reason for you as well in your walk. It revolves around 3 simple phrases that flow out of the text.