Many of Jesus’ disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?” Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.” As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”
At times, Jesus’ Commands to us are “hard” for those of us living in this broken world. He Demands that we surrender fully to Him while simultaneously denying ourselves and the world in the process. Jesus speaks clearly in the Gospels when He says, “Does this shock you?” Here’s the point…it should shock us! So much of what Jesus said during His earthly Ministry was “shocking”; certainly at the time that He was delivering directly to the people of His day, as well as even today. When we enter this world, we forget Spiritually who we are in Christ and we need to find our way back Home to Him while using the challenges of this world to develop in us further the Fruits of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23). I don’t know anyone that wouldn’t be “shocked” by Jesus ascending to Heaven, walking on water, raising Lazarus from the dead, and/or walking out of the tomb three days later alive and well. So, our Mission, should we choose to accept It, is to respond like Peter does in the Gospel, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”; and, then, to go and live the Gospel. That’s the Way (through God’s Grace) to ensure that we’ll see each other on the Other Side.