In John 6 when a group of disciples who were following Jesus found His teaching “hard to understand” and wondered “how can anyone accept it,” they began to turn away and they deserted him. What about you, “are you going to leave also?” That’s the question Jesus asked twelve of his closest disciples.
Why Some Left
These followers of Christ who thought his teaching was “hard to understand” really were just on the fringe of commitment. When things were going well, they were being fed physically, and their needs were being met, they hung around. Otherwise, they moved on to the next best thing. Sometimes to reap the full benefits we have to endure through the tough times. These “fringe” disciples only wanted the easy way, not the Christ way.
Why Some Stayed
On the other hand when Jesus asked the Twelve “Are you going to leave also?” Peter gave four reasons they were staying.
- “Lord to whom would we go?” — Peter knew, that Jesus was the only hope they had. He knew that Jesus was the only truth that made sense. He had been with Christ long enough to know that if there were a future, that future was with Christ.
- “You have the words that give eternal life.” — Jesus declared that His words were “spirit and life.” (John 6:63) Peter and the others who stayed with Christ knew it was Jesus who had the words of life. Take the time to read the words of Jesus in the Gospels. You will find they are words that give us strength, courage, and abundant life.
- “We believe” — What is it that you believe about Christ? Even though Peter would later fail the Lord and “deny” he knew Christ, ultimately, Peter believed who Jesus was because his faith never failed. He may have failed but ultimately his faith and belief in Christ was sustained.
- “We know you are the Holy One of God.” — What do you know about Christ? Do you know Him as your savior? Do you know Him as the Holy One of God? Peter believed and knew who Jesus was. He didn’t know it by man revealing it to him, he knew it because the Father revealed it to him. When Jesus asked the disciples “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16 :15) Peter replied “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.” To which Jesus said “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.“
Are you ready to follow Christ? Are you ready to follow the One who has the words of “eternal life?” The One to whom you can certainly believe and put your faith in? The One who is the “Holy One of God? I’m like Peter. I follow Christ, because “to whom would I go?” There is no other! Nothing else makes sense.
Frank Viola has an excellent post on 12 Reason I’m a Christian. I think it’s worthy of your time to read.