"These things said He in the synagogue, as He taught in Capernaum. Many therefore of His disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples murmured at it, He said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where He was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray Him. And He said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of My Father. From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered Him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that Thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray Him, being one of the twelve."
Since their focus was on themselves and the trappings of their physical religion, Jesus says, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." A person can put on a religious act, but God is impressed only with a humble heart. The heart that bows itself to the Word of truth is the heart that finds peace in God, and truly, God's Word does bring revival to the spirit and life to the soul. God's Word must be received on a spiritual plain or it does not profit the hearer.
Confronted with their sin and unwilling to forsake their own false works of righteousness, the unbelieving disciples depart and follow Christ no further. Most believers would have given up on ministry right here. In fact, according to the worldly philosophy of many Christians, Christ would be considered a failure because He lost such a large following. The truth is however, the gate into life is narrow and "few there be that find it." Undaunted and not intimidated by the lack of followers Jesus simply turns to His remaining disciples and says, "Will ye also go away?" Christ is testing their loyalty at this point. Peter's reply is steadfast and sure. He says, "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that Thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." His statements are very emphatic. A literal interpretation would be, "Lord, to whom shall we go? Words of life eternal you are holding. And we, we have believed and we, we have come to know that You, You are the Christ the Son of the God, the living One." Though he would forsake Christ at the cross because of misplaced confidence in himself, he was a man who had been converted by faith in Christ. Though the large masses had turned back and would no more follow, yet Peter remained in confidence that This was and is the Son of God.
Christ, in His omniscience, foretells of Judas' betrayal, knowing that not all the twelve had come to the same conclusions as Peter. Religious gatherings and lots of people in the congregation do not guarantee genuine conversion. The heart is what must change in the sight of God. Peter's confession stands out in the midst of all this disbelief. He reminds us of the dispersed believers in Elijah's day, the ones who were testified of by the LORD saying, "Yet I have left Me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him." I Kings 19:18