“At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?” Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God. ” Then Jesus said, “I chose the twelve of you, but one is a devil.” He was speaking of Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, one of the Twelve, who would later betray him.” John 6:66-71
Consider this — Jesus was bringing some hard teachings and those listening had a choice to make. They were either all in or all out. They were called to give all they had to Jesus or take another route.
So, as the text says, “at this point many of his disciples turned away.” Did you catch that? It was “disciples” who deserted. Now it wasn’t any one of the twelve (although Judas would have been better leaving now) but some of the folks who joined him after the initial selection. These newer disciples turned away to which Jesus responded, “Are you also going to leave?”
What a question! They were at the point of no return. Leave Jesus now and the gamble would be over. Was he the Messiah? Would he really deliver on the ‘goods?’ Was he who he said he was? Could he really be God in the flesh?
It’s at this point that Peter steps up as the leader and spokesperson for the group as he does many times in the gospels. He says, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life.” And then he adds, “We believe….we know you are the Holy One of God.” Slam dunk, Peter!
And this is the truth that we know — he is who he said he is? Those of us who know the truth, who walk in it, live in it, bask in it and live by it know Jesus to be true. We who have surrendered to the King know who he is and what he has to offer. At times we want to throw in the towel and give it all up for the sake of sin and our own evil desires. But we do not give up. We hold fast, keep steady, we stay the course.
Have you echoed the words of Peter in your own experience? Have you come to the point of no return and said to Jesus, “I believe….I know you are the Holy One of God,”? Why not do so right now? Surrender all to him and allow the King of the World to capture your heart again.
“O Lord God, you are good. You’ve created a world that is in open rebellion to you. Even among the church goers, many of whom were your disciples. They have deserted you when the teachings get difficult. When your word counters culture, sometimes the church caves in to pressure. But not Peter and not us! Don’t allow us to compromise your true and submit to sin. Help us remain faithful to our calling and to your word. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen