The words that I have spoken to you – they are full of the Spirit and life (v 63)
The Words of Jesus are full of the Spirit
Jesus the Son of God was full of the Holy Spirit. So His words convey the Holy Spirit and release the Holy Spirit in those who hear His words. Jesus is the man from heaven who comes to reveal the truth about God.
John 3 31 The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. 33 Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful.
We know that we need the Holy Spirit to work in our lives to help us to respond to Jesus’s words.
6 65 He went on to say, ‘This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.’
In different places the Holy Spirit is described as the Spirit of God’s Son, the Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of Christ. Everything the Holy Spirit does is centred on Jesus – the Spirit comes to reveal Jesus and to make Jesus real to us. The Holy Spirit only works in our lives through the words of Jesus and the revelation of God which Jesus brings. So the words of Jesus release the Holy Spirit like nothing else can. And the Spirit works to bring us life through the words of Jesus.
The words of Jesus are Life
Everywhere in John’s Gospel the blessings of salvation come to people as we receive for ourselves the revelation of God which Jesus brings.
Humanity’s problem is that we are separated from God by our sin. We are alienated from God and this is expressed in John’s Gospel as ignorance, darkness, failure to know God and refusal to believe in God.
John 1 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 3 19 This is the verdict: light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
So human beings are trapped in darkness. A wise man once said, “There is no greater darkness than a soul that has lost its way.” And it’s true. If you turn your back to the light, all you can see is your own shadow. That is humanity’s problem.
And Jesus is God’s solution. God has revealed Himself in Jesus, the light of the world. Jesus reveals God by His actions and by His words. In John’s Gospel there are seven miracles which are described as “signs” which reveal to us who Jesus really is. Earlier in John’s Gospel we find the signs of changing water into wine, healing an official’s son and healing the paralysed man by the pool on the Sabbath, feeding the 5000 and walking on water. In due course Jesus will heal the man who was born blind, and even raise Lazarus back to life again. All these miracles are signs which reveal that Jesus is indeed the Son of God and the Light of the World.
John 14:7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.
At the same time Jesus reveals God by His words – his claims and his teaching and his parables. This is why “The Word became a human being and moved into our neighbourhood.” (John 1:14 Message) To reveal the Father to us and teach us about God.
John 6 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life.
54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. … 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.
Jesus is able to reveal God to us because He IS God. We feed on Jesus the Bread of Life as we believe the truth about God which He reveals to us. So the revelation of God which Jesus brings to us is unique. Only Jesus can bring us salvation.
John 6 66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
67 ‘You do not want to leave too, do you?’ Jesus asked the Twelve. 68 Simon Peter answered him,
‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. (v 69)
You have the words that give eternal life. That is the heart of everything that Christians believe. That Jesus reveals God to us and His words bring us eternal life.
John 5 24 “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. 25 I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.
Jesus reveals God to us, and knowing God is what eternal life is all about. Life in all its fullness comes from having a relationship with God as our Father and Jesus as our Saviour. When we come to have that relationship with God, God brings us from death to life and from darkness into light.
John 6 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
We are trapped in darkness and ignorance, and the words of Jesus bring us into God’s light. Only Jesus can do that. The idea that all religions lead to God is a lie. The very idea that people could come to know God in any way apart from through God’s Son Jesus Christ shows us how far away from God human beings have fallen.
“To whom shall we go?” There is nowhere else people can go to find God.
John 1 18 No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.
Jesus Himself said, John 14 6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
You have the words of eternal life, words which release the Holy Spirit and bring eternal life to all who believe in Jesus.
We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.
We BELIEVE that Jesus is the Son of God
John 20 30 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
God has revealed Himself in His Son Jesus Christ, and as we put our trust in Jesus we receive God’s gift of eternal life and God makes us His children.
John 1 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
As we put our trust in Jesus God gives us new life and makes us His children.
We believe – but Peter doesn’t stop there. He goes on
We believe, and KNOW that you are the Holy One of God. Knowing God is more than knowing ABOUT God. Other languages make a distinction between knowing something intellectually and knowing from experience. In French, the difference between savoir and connaître. It’s the distinction between knowing facts in our minds and knowing a person in a relationship. Peter and the other disciples didn’t just have some vague intellectual belief that Jesus was the Son of God. They had come to KNOW for certain from their experience who Jesus really was.
Like the people in that town who had heard the testimony of the woman from Samaria but then came to trust in Jesus for themselves.
John 4 42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”
When we know and believe who Jesus really is then that brings us eternal life, life in all its fullness which not even death can take away.
John 17 3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
This is what salvation is all about. Knowing God. There’s a simple slogan. “Know Jesus – Know God”. You can spell it two ways. With K.N. “Know Jesus – Know God.” If you know Jesus then you know God. Or you can spell it just N.O. “No Jesus – No God.”
John 10 14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Jesus shares with his followers the relationship He has with the Father. This is how His words bring us eternal life.
This story tells us about the day when Jesus stopped being popular. When the crowds who had been following him turned away from Him.
66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
67 ‘You do not want to leave too, do you?’ Jesus asked the Twelve.
If Jesus asked you that question – what would your answer be? There comes a point for all of us when we have to decide whether we want to get closer to Jesus or whether we can’t be bothered. Do we want to follow Jesus? Or we you want to go back to a nice easy quiet life ignoring Him? Five thousand families were fed. They listened to his teaching. But only the disciples were prepared to follow Jesus. Do you want to leave too?
68 Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.’