To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life

Imagine if you were to ask Peter what was the most pivotal moment of his life with Jesus.   Maybe it was the act of faith we hear in today’s Gospel (John 6:68).   Or was it when he made the whopping catch of fish after Jesus told him to put down his nets?   It could have been when Jesus walked on water and called him to walk toward him.   What about when he saw Jesus taken away by the guards to be condemned to death, or when he peered into Jesus’ empty tomb?

But Peter’s life is a story not of one pivotal moment; it’s the tale of a growing relationship with Jesus.   Every encounter with Jesus deepened that relationship.   Peter asked questions, listened to every word Jesus spoke, and grew in understanding.   He watched the way Jesus related to the people around him, and it increased his faith.   Even when Jesus ascended to heaven, their relationship didn’t end.   Peter kept praying, and Jesus sent him the promised Holy Spirit.

Clearly, Peter was not just pursuing pious rules or trying to get on Jesus’ good side.   He wanted to know Jesus more.   Like a parent and child or best friends their relationship developed and deepened.   As Peter learned more about Jesus, he trusted more.   As Jesus saw Peter persevere, he revealed more of himself and entrusted more of his work to this brusque fisherman.   Then, when Jesus poured out his Holy Spirit on him, Peter was able to move forward in faith, determined to build the kingdom of God.

Are pivotal moments important?   Yes, but they are not goals in themselves.   They help build our relationship with Jesus and encourage us to keep pressing on.   But each day, with or without pivotal moments, we deepen our relationship by pursuing him who has the words of eternal life.

That’s the relationship that Jesus invites you into.   Not a series of flashy moments.   Maybe not even one big pivotal moment.   But a consistent, growing relationship with him.   That’s what deeply affects us.   So don’t be so concerned with seeking out dramatic encounters with Jesus.   Just look for him every day, and your life will change.

Word Among Us