I had a phone call once from a young man, a relatively new Christian who said to me, "I can't make it. Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, âWhom shall I send? God may work on them so that, later in life, they come again to an awareness of truth. Hermon, where Peter confessed that Jesus was the Christ. We ask in Jesus' name. âThen said Jesus unto the twelve, Will you also go away? Notice that he says, "We." However you can feel him. Peter was not asking Jesus to name someone else for the disciples to follow. That is the heart that he is looking for. John 6:68, NIV: "Simon Peter answered him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? Our Lord also gave Judas the trusted position of treasurer within the apostolic band. Jesus corrects that, saying, "No, Peter, that is wrong. Psalm 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? I blow it all the time. Then Jesus said to the twelve, âDo you also want to go away?â But Simon Peter answered Him, âLord, to whom shall we go? Thus we read, "After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him." (John 6:67-69 RSV). Notice the marks of these who drop out from the Christian cause: First, it is clear that they take offense at difficult truth: "Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, 'This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?' You alone have the words of lasting life. Then there are those who cannot leave, no matter what happens. Bread of Life, manna in the desert, Saving Cup, promise from above. 69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. That passage in Isaiah closes with a remarkable verse. Peter tells the truth: ""Lord, to whom shall we go? This question and answer is probably a variant of the more frequently quoted confession of Peter as recorded in the synoptics, given in answer to the question, âWhom do you say that I am?â However you can get to him. We don’t want to be responsible for anyone but ourselves (“Am I my brother’s keeper?” a human once asked). I have every reason to believe that at least some of those who drew back returned again, and that people who forsake the Christian cause because they are not willing to explore deeply into the mysteries of the truth, or they resist obeying what they already know, are not necessarily lost. Sometimes the problem is simply that Jesus asks for everything, and thatâs more than we â¦ 68 Simon Peter answered him, âLord, to whom shall we go? For you alone have words of eternal life.1. ( Log Out / For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. Everybody wanted to see him make a fool of himself that way, so they scrounged the neighborhood and brought in every and any warm body they could find. and there is none upon earth that I â¦ Nicodemus was thinking of gynecology, but Jesus was talking about eternal life, the gift of life imparted, which physical birth symbolizes. You know the comfort of his presence. It means to simply believe what God has said concerning His Son, and receive Him as your personal Savior. But we can’t have it. Living an Ecumenical Life is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Yes. Talk to eacah other. That is what Jesus fulfilled when he came: He had learned how to speak to the weary, and his words give life. You have the words of eternal life. There are many such prayers prayed today, I am afraid. Notice how Peter puts it: "We have believed, and have come to know." That holds us. But many people do not want to be bothered with searching out anything that is difficult. in Music and a B.A. Mostly gone (and thank God) are the days when the old white male pastor wielded unilateral authority in the church, dictating everything from the budget to the art decorating the sanctuary to the congregation’s involvement in the neighborhood to the correct interpretation of scripture to membership in the community to what color the carpet should be. ", 61Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, "Does this offend you? They explain us and they explain life to us. I had heard that kind of thing before, so I said to him, "That's a good idea. 'To whom shall we go?' Hebrews 11:6 says, "He who comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him." That is what Jesus is saying: "My words are spirit and life." Judas stayed with the group; he lived with them, ate and slept with them, and yet was not one of them. Peterâs question, âTo whom shall we go?â was really a statement. Keep me from worrying about such things. With the successful attacks against what were always presumed to be legitimate sources of authority and meaning leveling the playing field, so to speak, everyone looks like (and sometimes believes themselves to be) an expert. Some conspiracy theories occasionally rise to a dangerous level of acceptance: Pizzagate, anti-vaccination, anti-Semitism, COVID-19 theories, etc. 69 We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.â d 70 Jesus answered them, âDid I not choose you twelve? That is a picture of the natural man, the man of the flesh, depending on his own wisdom to get things going, kindling fires and lighting brands everywhere by his own natural energy. Lord, to whom, &c.--that is, "We cannot deny that we have been staggered as well as they, and seeing so many go away who, as we thought, might have been retained by teaching a little less hard to take in, our own endurance has been severely tried, nor have we been able to stop short of the question, Shall we follow the rest, and give it up? We have come to that point in John's gospel where many of Jesus' disciples drew back and no longer followed him. I didn’t give it much thought. Amen. Amen. You have the words of eternal life. 63The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. 67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? We have looked at some alternatives, but I want to tell you this, Lord: we have never found anyone who can do what you can do. Many people start out the Christian life and seem to do very well for awhile, but then they drop out of sight and nobody seems to know what happened to them. [John adds] He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was to betray him. âTo whom shall we go?â has an answer and that is Jesus. Thirdly, John tells us Judas is branded forever as the traitor above all others. View all posts by Pastor Ken. 64Yet there are some of you who do not believe." ", 70Then Jesus replied, "Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? You have the words of eternal life. Amen. You want to use God. He was so much to them. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Do not ever forget that: God can give power to do miracles even to those who are not his, if he so chooses. If we read it that way, however, we have not understood at all what Jesus is saying. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. I said, "I know it. When the Sunday School number reached one thousand, the pastor fulfilled his word and preached from the belfry. We want to be our own bosses. You will not want to follow truth when once you see it. For permission to use this content, please review You have two things that hold us, two things we cannot deny. 67"You do not want to leave too, do you?" Through reading the Bible alone? And now the Qanon conspiracy, which has been growing for almost three years, is reaching that level. But Peter was wrong about one thing. If you have found Jesus to be like that, where else can you go? They satisfy us. Notice that there are three groups of disciples in this whole passage. There was a pause on the line, and then he said to me, "You know I can't do that." 68 Simon Peter answered him, âLord, to whom shall we go? Why don't you do that? But there is another group mentioned here who cannot go away at all. And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father." All of it. You have the words of eternal life. Born and raised in Chicago, IL, he graduated from Capital University with a B.A. 68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Your words, O Lord, are my light and my hope: your Word is my hope of salvation.3. This shall you have from my hand: you shall lie down in torment. We want to make our own choices. âMaster, to whom shall we go? Then God said, "I can work with that many. Dr. Waltke was pointing out that the Messiah said that God had given him "the tongue of the learned," (Isaiah 50:4a KJV). You have the words of eternal life," John 6:68, KJV: "Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. These words can turn us on and set us afire. Chorus Lord, to whom shall we go? He knew from the beginning who it was that would not believe and who it was that would betray him, thus he says, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father." That is the word he chose: a "devil" -- always resistant, always opposed, always out for himself, never in line with what Jesus wanted. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.â In other words, âJesus, we have seen too many miracles, too many great acts of healing, to leave your side. Moriah. Events rush on: the world travails: Can screaming headlines prove Thy hand's at work This very moment, bringing near That fateful cry, "Behold, He comes?". Through personal and private prayer? He does not hold anybody against his will. We don’t get a choice in this — we belong to God alone. Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? Judas Iscariot: outwardly a disciple, outwardly a lover of Jesus (remember he betrayed him with a kiss in the garden of Gethsemane), yet inwardly a traitor, an enemy, a devil opposed to all that God wants. 66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. But our Lord is making very clear that these are simply symbols of a deeper reality, and that deeper reality is the content of what he says, the words that he speaks. 71(He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.). In todayâs Gospel, we see Jesusâ followers reacting to his shocking teaching about eating his flesh and drinking his blood by saying, âThis is a hard saying; who can accept it?â To understand Jesusâ meaning, we must understand that heâs not using symbolic or metaphorical language. In an age where most sources of expert authority–teachers, doctors, scientists, lawyers, religious leaders–are increasingly viewed as anywhere from unreliable to outright evil, figuring out who to trust can be a difficult choice. God's teaching is always to open our eyes to truth. 65He went on to say, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.". Hang it up." ( Log Out / He sent them down to the brook and tested them there, until finally only three hundred were left. This is the testimony of those who walk with him and follow him. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! It’s not all that surprising that people are turning to conspiracy theories for meaning. We do not want to be a Judas, Lord, who lives only for himself under the guise of Christian faith. We are not the Gospel, only its bearers. We are not the Living Word, the words of eternal life. Are you repulsed by that? I can't get back into my mother's womb," (John 3:3-4). Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before? Three remarkable things are said here about Judas: First, Jesus admits that he chose him as he did the others. 68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. Lord, to whom shall we go?1. Here in this congregation there are probably representatives of these three groups. When people obey the truth they see, then they will be taught more truth, but Scripture warns that if they resist the truth, then they lose the capacity to see and to hear anymore. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. You want to appear to be a Christian, but you are not. It was the will of the Father that one among the apostolic band should betray him. Simon Peter answered Him, âLord, to whom shall we go? We can be inspired by those of strong faith, reassured by examples of belief in times of difficulty. Remember that earlier he had spoken of being drawn of the Father, which he interprets as being "taught of God." And because the authority of the preacher to name sin for what it is has eroded, the Gospel message is deemed less true and less important than the conspiracy. When Gideon sent out word summoning the men of Israel to battle and thirty-two thousand of them showed up (a fairly sizable army for that day), God told him, "That's too many; I can't work with that many" (Judges 7:1-8), and directed him to send home all the newly married and the cowards. Many times in the Gospel of John people fail to grasp what Jesus means because they put too much emphasis on the symbols he employs. Anything else is of the flesh and profits nothing. thou hast the words of eternal life. Jesus points out also that those who draw back are the ones who really do not believe. The words of Jesus are truth about life. thou hast the words of eternal life." They know that despite the many times they do not understand what is happening to them yet they cannot leave. Responding to our Lord's words, Peter says three wonderful things: First, he says, in effect, "Lord, we have been thinking about it. You can ask him to teach you and open your eyes and lead you on. So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away? Qanon is becoming an “alternative religion”, says this Religion News Service article. Who can accept it? This passage from the sixth chapter of John's gospel is very revealing as to why this phenomenon occurs. But there are some of you that do not believe." The divine viewpoint on life: That is the real truth; and that is what we ought to be concerned about getting -- feeding upon the promises and observing the warnings of Scripture. Well, that is nothing to the offense you are going to feel when you see me ascending into the heavens." Who can you go to? 2. A week or so ago, this article from the Atlantic, “The Prophecies of Q”, landed in my Facebook feed. As exemplified by the very first church in Jerusalem - Ac 2:42 -- The words of the apostles preserved in their writings, can lead us to Him who alone has the words of eternal life! If you have to say, "I belong to the first group, I'm afraid," there is still hope. You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God." Grant that nothing may occur which will disturb My satisfaction with the way I am, the things I say, The thoughts I think, the acts I do. There are many missing faces. It is not always religious truth, it is any kind of truth, for all truth is from God. Verse 2 O Lord, you feed us with the finest of wheat, our pledge of eternal life. John 6:68 English Standard Version (ESV). This is the terror that I referred to. It's too hard. God is not interested in mere numbers -- he proves that over and over. Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?" Many people start out the Christian life and seem to do very well for awhile, but then they drop out of sight and nobody seems to know what happened to them. This is the kind of reckoning we have that comes at rare and memorable moments in life, when we're faced with a depth of struggle and suddenly have a glimmer of truth -- how we really feel about something or someone, what the truth is for us. Through the words of our bishops, pastors, and deacons? Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord to whom shall we go?Thou hast words of eternal life.ââJohn 6:67. The sixth chapter of Luke records the story of Jesus praying all night long before he chose his disciples. They know their own failures, their own weaknesses.
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