Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God."
A great deal could be and probably should be written about the things Peter said. He is a spiritual Everyman whose every word seems to be rich with meaning (even when he is putting his foot in his mouth). I think I have been drawn to him because he never seems to have a filter, and often says exactly what he thinks, from his heart. No, from his very being.
Here Peter does not say to Jesus, "You say some pretty smart stuff. We think you are kind of wise. And since we know you can feed thousands of people just like that, I'm sure we are probably doing the right thing hanging out with you." He answers Jesus' question with a question: "Where else would we go?" Then he succinctly states why Jesus in their choice.
Jesus has, in the discourse that precedes this conversation, whittled down his followers from a great multitude of people looking for the great Jesus magic show and banquet to a handful of faithful who are just beginning to see the difference between a great teacher and the one and only Messiah. In another place Peter reminds Jesus that they had put everything behind them to be His disciples. Here Peter gives the reason.
Had he stopped with "You have the words of eternal life, Peter would have been calling Jesus a great teacher. "We have believed" means that those men at that moment have been convinced that Jesus is One sent by God to redeem the world. The phrase alone is merely an intellectual assent. But the words "have come to know," placed in the context of Our Lord's declaration that He is the Bread of Life, gives us insight into what Jesus was doing in the hearts of these few and faithful, and to those who do more than look upon physical face of Christ.
Jesus has become part of them, as much as they were able to take Him in. Nothing could shake The Lord out of them. Even the threat of death or the supposed reasoning of wise men and philosophers could not move the Bread of Life from their very being anymore than cutting one's hair could keep a person from walking.
When The Lord died on the cross, Peter and the disciples would be emptied almost completely of hope. But at this moment, they were satisfied. After (and because of) the resurrection, they would be filled forever.
Oh Bread of Life, fill us with Yourself. Help us to do more than see and believe. Help us to know, and to make You known. In Christ Jesus, Amen.