Jesus said therefore unto the twelve, Would ye also go away? Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.John 6:67-68 ASV
These words were spoken sorrowfully and with deepest concern lest the Twelve themselves should be swept away by the great defection; nevertheless, the Lord would not force even them.
Every man was free to leave if he chose to do so.
God’s plans always go forward, with or without men’s cooperation.
God does NOT need help from anyone, but we are honored and blessed to be part of His Holy Will!
… YOUR FATHER KNOWETH WHAT THINGS YE HAVE NEED OF, BEFORE YE ASK HIM.
After this manner therefore pray ye:
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come.
THY WILL BE DONE, AS IN HEAVEN, SO ON EARTH.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.Matthew 6:8-15 ASV
Even the Twelve were not indispensable; and, if they had defected, others would have been chosen, and the Master’s work would have succeeded just the same.
In verse 68, we see Peter’s answer, was the secret of why many defected that day, and a few did not.
It was not that God in some imperial, inscrutable election, before all time and eternity, had decreed that some should go and others stay.
Far from it!
Peter had regard to the word of God which Jesus was teaching; and that word was the anchor that held Peter, despite the fact that the metaphor must have shocked him as much as it did the multitude.
TO WHOM SHALL WE GO?
I. Peter’s question carried the implication that all men require someone to whom they can go.
It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps; he is never free to order his own affairs but is always the slave of the philosophy he accepts.
This explains man’s irrevocable commitment to religion. He may have the true religion, or any one of a thousand false religions; but religion he must have.
For example, dialectical materialism is nothing but a godless, anti-Christian religion, the same being also true of many other systems and “-isms.”
II. Peter’s reply carried also the implication that human loyalties are inherently directed to a person, rather than to some philosophy, system, or ethic. Peter did not ask, “To what shall we go?” but rather, “To whom shall we go?”
It may be questioned if to an abstract principle men have ever yet, since the world was, built one solitary temple, reared a single altar, offered a single sacrifice, or breathed a single prayer.
III. This need for going to someone is inherent in the helplessness of humanity. Peter’s reply made mention of “eternal life,” and therein is the admission that the present existence is mortal and ephemeral.
Man’s mortality, ignorance, and sin are components of his need, which, like an open wound uncovered, sends him to another.
IV. “Thou only hast the words of eternal life …” Peter had already found the Lord to be food and drink for his soul; and although Peter, like the others, was no doubt shocked by Jesus’ metaphor, nevertheless, the meaning of it he already knew.
Of all the teachers who ever instructed the human race, only Jesus Christ delivered a convincing body of truth regarding eternal life and the procurement of it by men.