(60) …his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”
Perhaps this teaching is like a Zen Koan – a difficult riddle that is only difficult because of our paradigm, the way we try to figure it out from our narrow perspective. The way John words this entire scripture is a bit of a riddle – I actually think John is being playful with us. And the Gospel of John does entice much rich dialogue in us as we put our heads and hearts together to decipher this profound message.
I imagine Jesus had a twinkle in his eye when he responds (62) “What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before?” (Buddhists would call this ‘your original face’) “The Spirit gives life, the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” This is God’s message – I hear Jesus (God) saying “don’t get distracted by the flesh – the human voice the message comes from.” Jesus’ words reflect the Spirit – and speak of the fundamentally true eternal life – beyond our personalities, our bodies, our “little lives”.