Pastor Steve Ellison
In John 6, Jesus performed a wide variety of marvelous miracles; He also taught some difficult and hard to accept truths about Himself. The crowd that quickly grew because of the miracles left Him just as quickly because of the difficult teaching. John 6:66-71 records Jesus heart wrenching response in which He probed the disciples to reveal their level of commitment, “As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. So Jesus said to the twelve, "You do not want to go away also, do you?" Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. "We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God." Jesus answered them, "Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?" Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.” (NASU)
Jesus made the issue very personal to the disciples. Greek scholars tell us that the word “you” in, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” is very emphatic. It is as if Jesus was typing that word in all capitals or was shouting that word. He was making sure that the disciples knew He meant them personally. Is it possible that the disciples who answered that Jesus is the Holy One of God could betray Him by turning away from Him? Is it possible that those chosen out of the world by Jesus could walk away from Him? Is it possible that those whom Jesus loved, walked with, talked with, broke bread with, slept with, etc. could turn away? Is it possible that the very people Jesus revealed the secrets of God to and those who witnessed most of His miracles could betray Him by leaving Him? Is it possible that those He promised to seat on thrones alongside Him in glory could walk away?
It seems that Jesus wanted you and me to know that He was asking this question of us as well. So, what about it? Will we (you and I) go away also? The description of those who were turning away in verse 66 is enlightening. “Many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.” Making a profession of faith in the safe confines of the church building with people who are in agreement is one thing but that hardly qualifies as “walking with Jesus”. It is another thing altogether to go into the public square, the marketplace, and profess Christ, speak in favor of what He is in favor of, and speak against what He is against. Is it possible that we (you and I), who have been redeemed by His blood and adopted into His family, could cease to walk with Him? Is it possible that we, who have felt the healing of His merciful pardon, could cease to walk with Him? Is it possible that we, who have been upheld by His power and comforted by His grace, could cease to walk with Him?
Revealing His whereabouts to evil men for thirty pieces of silver is not the only way to betray Him. Will we (you and I) cease to proclaim and live by His truth when it is against the culture? Remember, verse 66 tells us that this problem is not with the world but with His disciples. Will His disciples (you and I) become less and less committed to Christ, His Word, and His Church? Will His disciples (you and I) become Biblically illiterate because three times per month becomes the norm for church attendance as opposed to three times per week? Will we withdraw and cease to walk with Him? ……………firstname.lastname@example.org