“From that time on many of His disciples turned back and no longer walked with Him. So Jesus asked the Twelve, ‘Do you want to leave too?’ Simon Peter replied, ‘Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’” John 6:66-69
As it was during Jesus’ earthly ministry, so it is today. Many are glad to follow Jesus in the hope of receiving some earthly benefit — to be healed of a disease, to be helped with a need, or to be blessed with earthly riches. But, when they hear that they must repent of their sinful ways and place their faith in Jesus as the Messiah and atoning sacrifice for the sins of all — that they must partake by faith of His body given for them and His blood shed for the sins of the world — they turn away from Him and go their own way.
And, at least at times, Jesus’ own disciples may be filled with doubts and fears. Their faith in Jesus and His words is challenged; it becomes weak. They, too, may be tempted to turn away from Jesus and go back to their worldly ways and lives, perhaps to seek another way, an easier way with less resistance from the world.
Jesus’ question could be asked of us as well: ‘Do you want to leave too?’
Simon Peter’s answer is so fitting and instructive for us: “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
To whom would we turn? What other religion or teacher offers the truth and life Jesus offers? They all direct us back to our own lives and works, to our own attempts to please God, whether it be by our deeds, our lives, or our forms of worship, and they all fail and come up short. We stand condemned by God’s holy law (cf. Rom. 3:9-20; Eccl. 7:20; Isa. 64:6).
It is as Peter confessed to Jesus: “You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:68-69; cf. Matt. 16:16-17). Jesus is “the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through” Him (John 14:6).
Jesus is the Son of the living God. He is God in the flesh, and He came into this world to fulfill the righteous demands of God’s law in our stead and to bear on the cross the full and just punishment for all our sins that we might look to Him and partake of Him in faith and be pardoned, forgiven and given eternal life in communion with God our Creator! There is no other way for sinners like you and me to be saved than turning to Jesus and His cross in faith.
As Peter professed of Jesus in Acts 4:12: “Salvation exists in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
Don’t turn away from Him! Look to Him and partake of His atoning sacrifice in faith that you may have eternal life!
O merciful Father, grant to me faith in Your Son and my only Savior, Jesus Christ, that I might not be lost and condemned for my sinfulness but be pardoned, forgiven, and granted eternal life for Jesus’ sake. In His name, I pray. Amen.
[Scripture is quoted from the Majority Standard Bible, freely available at www.biblehub.com.]