68b Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
These were the words of Simon Peter to the Lord Jesus Christ at a time when “many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him” (John 6:66). The Lord Jesus then confronted the twelve: “Will ye also go away” (John 6:67)? It is in answer to this query that Peter, with his characteristic fervour and promptness, declared: “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.”
Many followers of Christ had been offended at His doctrine. They used their own feeble sense, without the aid of the Holy Spirit, to judge His wondrous words of life. So they ended up saying, “This is a hard saying; who can hear it?” (John 6:60). They were not saying that His saying was hard to understand, but that it was hard for them to agree with or accept. His words were displeasing to their unbelieving hearts. They took offence at His statement: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life, in you” (John 6:53). They misrepresented His doctrine by critically looking at the “letter” of His profound saying, without perceiving the “spirit” of His words. How rash and foolish of them to choose to leave Him immediately! If only they had a little more patience to tarry with Christ!
Upon their departure, Jesus turned His attention to the twelve. The sudden departure of the multitude must have troubled the disciples. However, Jesus asked the bewildered disciples a probing question: “Will ye also go away?” He tested the genuineness of their decision to stay with Him. He wanted them to affirm their faith in Him and renew their allegiance to Him. The Lord compelled none to remain with Him against their will. He wanted each of them to make his choice whether to follow Him or not. Yet even among the twelve, there was one who would leave the Lord in order to betray Him (cf. John 6:70, 71).
When faced with the departures and betrayals of nominal Christians, we should not be unduly alarmed. Like Peter, we should seize the opportunity to reaffirm our faith and commitment to Christ. We too must boldly make our confession: “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” Let us also have a firm resolution to adhere to Christ, our only Saviour and Lord. We ought to follow our Lord even when others leave Him. We seek no other companion more than our Saviour and Lord.