John 6: 60-70
Many Disciples Turn Away
60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?”
61 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. 65 And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.”
66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”
68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”[a]
70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?”
Jesus had just alluded to what seemed to be acts of cannibalism and violation of the Law against consuming blood, much less doing it willingly.
Being simple men, these disciples did not understand that Passover itself embodied the coming of Christ through the symbolic eating of bread and drinking of wine.
A hard saying, indeed. “Who can understand it?”
Jesus’ attempt to clarify by teaching on the Spirit only served to further obfuscate.
63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
It seemed that at this point, the desertion of Jesus began en masse, since He turned to Peter after the uncomprehending crowd dispersed and asked him, “Do you also want to go away?”
And Peter’s reply, eloquent and affirming as it was, did not keep him from denying he even knew Jesus at all.
I wonder if, even though Jesus knew from the beginning that this would happen, if it broke His heart to see the disconnect in the eyes, the stopping of the ears, and as they began to turn their backs on Him, if he felt hurt.
I’d like to think so, yet He loved on many who didn’t believe, and as they ‘walked with Him no more,’ neither did He walk with them.
I’m thankful that the year of the Lord’s favor, the covenant of grace, allow us to yet seek Him through the Spirit’s divine revelation, at the Father’s direction, while He may be found. But if we continue in doubt, willful disobedience, and outright rebellion, there will come a day Jesus can’t be found.
And it will be too late.
If, therefore, He will not let us be snatched from His hand, let’s not pry his fingers open with hard hearts, blind eyes, and stoppered ears.
Let’s not think eloquent prayer will keep us from sinfulness.
Let’s not think we won’t sleep in the garden when the hour has come.
Let’s not think we’d believe on His Name without signs and miracles.
Let us take heed not to think we stand, lest we fall, as the Apostle Paul admonishes us.
Let us hold fast to our Savior, knowing that the lamb’s blood sprinkled on the wooden doorposts of the Israelites delivered from slavery has become the Lamb’s blood shed on the wooden cross to break our spiritual chains to sin and death, and reconcile us in love and worship to our Eternal Creator, now and forevermore.
Therefore I pray:
Lord Jesus, thank You for grace and mercy, thank You for healing and restoration, thank You for blessings, and delivering me through my trials.
On the days, and in the moments, when I would turn my back to walk no more in communion and fellowship with You, I beg of You to call my name, and to remind me that I am in the Book of Life because of the Bread of Life, because of the vine that connects You to me, and us to the Father.
I repent of belief based on signs and wonders, and embrace the faith of the centurion, a faith so great that even You exclaimed in admiration of it.
I repent of not obeying Your words, for I am a foolish man in a house of sand, founded on sand.
Call me forth from my spiritual grave, Lord Jesus, that I may never turn away, because as Peter said, there is nowhere to go, for only You have the words of Spirit and Life, and You speak them to me, casting pearls…