We don’t have to understand everything about Jesus to have faith in Him. We need only to trust in what He tells us about Himself. When in the synagogue in the presence of many disciples, Jesus delivers a difficult teaching. He uses the idea of eating food to describe how fully we must receive Him in order to have eternal life. But Jesus’ teaching is difficult for many to understand. Because these people are having trouble accepting His teaching, they decide to stop following Jesus altogether. They would rather leave Jesus than seek to understand. The Twelve Disciples, on the other hand, decide to stay with Jesus. While it is not known whether or not the Twelve completely understand Jesus’ teaching, Simon Peter proclaims that what they do understand about Jesus is enough: “You have the words of eternal life,” he says, “We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God!”
Difficult times in our faith are times when we should remain close to Jesus. It is when we have trouble understanding His teachings that we should seek Him even more. Even the most faithful believers and mature followers in Christ will admit that they do not know everything about the things of Heaven. But our faith in the Savior is shown in how desperately we cling to what we know to be true even in uncertainty. While we may not know all the things of God, we can still declare that only our Lord has the words of eternal life, that what He says in His Word is true. And in the midst of uncertainty or doubt in our circumstances, we can still remember with blessed assurance that our Savior is indeed the Holy One of God. The certainty of Jesus our Messiah overcomes any uncertainty we might face, whether it be of the things of earth or Heaven. Jesus grants the understanding we need to grow in faith in Him, and when we reach our limits, He gives us the grace to be sustained by what we can understand.