God is large and in charge
Chapter 6 begins with 5,000 followers and ends with 11. As once commentator put it, “chapter six ends on a note of failure”. Resistance to Jesus is getting stronger and stronger until almost everyone abandons Him. What this chapter does is help us gain a robust understanding that God is sovereign when things are tough. God is large and in charge!
Jesus’ words are spirit and life – v.63. Peter knows there is no-one else to go to for eternal life – v.68.
Judas gets mentioned a couple of times here – betrayer; “a devil” – not because of anything he has said or done at this point, but because he illustrates the point that God is large and in charge. Judas is who he is and yet Jesus has called him to be part of the 12. There is a lot of unbelief in this passage and the devil appears to be winning. But he isn’t. Jesus has him right where He wants him and the devil will do exactly what God has planned for him to do.
Verse 70 can raise lots of questions: Why did Jesus choose someone who would betray Him? Who has to betray him? How can he have free will? He’s called a devil and yet is responsible for the choices he will make. It can fire up so many questions. Or…
We can see here that God is large and in charge. When everything seems to be going wrong; when all hell is breaking loose; everyone is against you; everything is tough, the devil seems to be winning. Instead of seeing the problem, Jesus says ‘Yes, there is a devil in our midst, but I put him there. I chose him. He will do what I planned. He won’t take my life; I lay it down.’ God is large and in charge. The devil is not in charge. Man is not in charge. God is in charge!