Through mystic, ecstatic revelation? Amen. 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. Ideally, a pastor or deacon should be able to preach that armed threats against dams, attorneys, journalists, cement plants, capital buildings, and children, and preventing firefighters from properly fighting wildfires, are sin. For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that should betray him. Here is the first thinning of the ranks in our Lord's ministry. We are not the Gospel, only its bearers. 'To whom shall we go?' Simon Peter answered Him, âLord, to whom shall we go? Letâs try to find an answer to the question Peter asked for it is of great importance we â¦ You alone have the words of lasting life. From discomfort, from unnecessary strain, from unusual problems, Especially those involving sickness or death, Or the necessity of extending financial aid to relatives or friends, Dear Lord, deliver me. Jesus concluded his great message on the bread of life in the synagogue at Capernaum on a very offensive note, talking about "eating his flesh" and "drinking his blood." We can be inspired by those of strong faith, reassured by examples of belief in times of difficulty. You will rationalize it. You have two things that hold us, two things we cannot deny. Maybe not surprising, but certainly disturbing. Jesus knew of the weaknesses in Judas' life, his character failings, etc., and he prayed over him and yet chose him. We don't understand you at times. Your words, O Lord, are my light and my hope: your Word is my hope of salvation.3. This is what Peter is saying to Jesus. 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. I can't get back into my mother's womb," (John 3:3-4). Notice that he says, "We." 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. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. He was so much to them. These people were hung up on symbols. They have seen too much, they have heard too much; they have realized who he is. Talk to eacah other. 68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? She said to him, "Give me this water so I don't have to come here anymore to draw," (John 4:10-15). 60On hearing it, many of his disciples said, "This is a hard teaching. 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. Of all the traitorous names of history, Benedict Arnold, Quisling, etc., Judas heads the list. Well, that is nothing to the offense you are going to feel when you see me ascending into the heavens." The sixth chapter of Luke records the story of Jesus praying all night long before he chose his disciples. 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. â¦ Jesus corrects that, saying, "No, Peter, that is wrong. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. That is the word he chose: a "devil" -- always resistant, always opposed, always out for himself, never in line with what Jesus wanted. It's too hard. Three remarkable things are said here about Judas: First, Jesus admits that he chose him as he did the others. 69We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God. You can ask him to teach you and open your eyes and lead you on. they ask. But we canât have it. I said, "I know it. You will not want to follow truth when once you see it. Should strong temptation come my way, Help me above all else to be a gentleman Who will not embarrass by word or deed Those who are my companions at the moment of temptation. It is not always religious truth, it is any kind of truth, for all truth is from God. This is very relevant for some of you. You offend people whom we think are important. ( Log Out / Thereâs only one real answer to the question, âLord, to whom shall we go?â Subject to permissions policy, all rights reserved. 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. There are your words. Finally, there is one who has never really come but he will not leave and that is the problem. Your words, O Lord, are â¦ But Peter was wrong about one thing. You are only out for yourself. But Jesus went on to make clear to her that he was talking about the gift of life. I want to share with you a prayer, written by a friend of mine, to express the kind of feelings that people like that have. We do not even want to be those who follow from afar, uncertain and uncomfortable. 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. Challenge each other. You have the words of eternal life," John 6:68, KJV: "Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Jesus said to the twelve, "Will you also go away?" Forgive me, in advance, if I embarrass Thee By failing to identify myself as one Who seeks to honor Thee in all my ways. By that he means the twelve: "We have believed, and we have come to know that you are the Holy One of God." John 6:68 Context. At any rate twenty-two thousand of them went home. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.â John 6: 68-69 Trust Him todayâ¦don't delay. You have the words of eternal life. 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. Enter your email address below and click "Sign me up!" But there are some of you that do not believe." 66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. We are not the Living Word, the words of eternal life. 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. Out of the hundreds who were following him he prayed to select, by the Father's wisdom, the ones who would be closest to him, the ones whom he would give himself to, to train and develop for the work which would reach around the world and through the ages. Hermon, where Peter confessed that Jesus was the Christ. In this closing moment let us all quietly bow and contemplate to which group do we belong. However you can hear him. Read that way it sounds as though Jesus means, "Are you offended by what I said about eating flesh and drinking blood? But we can’t have it. Lamb of God, humble and obedient, Sacrifice, ransom for our sin Secondly, Jesus gave power to Judas. Jesus says in verse 67, âDo you want to go away as well?â And Simon Peter answered him, âLord, to whom shall we go?â In that simple question, Peter is saying, Weâve considered it. A week or so ago, this article from the Atlantic, “The Prophecies of Q”, landed in my Facebook feed. [John adds] He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was to betray him. What you say to us has met our deepest need, has delivered us from our sins and freed us from our fears. 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. Here is the mark of the true believer: He cannot quit! Pastoral Does Not Mean Anemic: An Open Letter, Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture, An Un-pastoral Message: Response to "Trustworthy Servants of the People of God", Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. At one time, the word of the pastor was akin to the Word of God themself. We don’t want to be responsible for anyone but ourselves (“Am I my brother’s keeper?” a human once asked). But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, "Do you take offense at this? There may be some among us here who want to stay with Jesus for their own purposes. 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 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. We are not the Gospel, only its bearers. They immediately thought he was talking about the beautiful building that stood on the top of Mt. 68 Simon Peter answered him, âLord, to whom shall we go? 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. Our Lord once put it this way, "To him that has shall more be given, but to him that has not, even that which he has shall be taken away," (Mark 4:25, Luke 19:26). This is the terror that I referred to. This is the problem that Jesus is talking about here: "You do not allow yourself to be drawn along of the Father into more and more truth until you come to the fullness of life." "What kind of a God do we have who puts us through this kind of a testing?" There was a pause on the line, and then he said to me, "You know I can't do that." If you miss them, if you follow the distortions of the world and think you have adequate wisdom of your own to work out the difficulties of life, you will be so far removed from reality, you will be dealing with such fantasies, such false concepts, that when you lie down at night you will be unable to sleep. He sent them down to the brook and tested them there, until finally only three hundred were left. This is a frequent phenomenon in our day also. Are you repulsed by that? This is the tragedy that befalls many. Some churches, looking for quantity rather than quality, will do almost anything to increase their attendance. Bread of Life, manna in the desert, Saving Cup, promise from above. All authority, traditional and made up, is too often considered “equal”. Amen. in Music and a B.A. And who will go for us?â And I said, âHere am I. Peter was not asking Jesus to name someone else for the disciples to follow. "You will lie down in torment" -- frustrated in your ambitions and angry that you cannot make things fit together, tormented and tortured because you cannot make life work. Send me!â â Isaiah 6:8 They stand as four simple syllables, Here I am, Lord. Sometimes the words of Jesus seem too strong, his demands too strict, his sayings too mysterious to understand. thou hast the words of eternal life. This is the testimony of those who walk with him and follow him. The hardest part may be recognizing that we (including us pastors and deacons) do not have ultimate authority over ourselves. Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? They explain us and they explain life to us. (Isaiah 50:11a RSV). 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? I do not fully understand it either, but I believe it, and I understand there is a deep and marvelous truth about it that is very real and very rich. As his story develops, it is clear that Judas was never really with Jesus, he was always against him. Think critically with each other. You have found too much, you have learned too much of life. ( Log Out / But how? Listen to each other. Through personal and private prayer? Then there are those who cannot leave, no matter what happens. 69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. Message transcript and recording © 1984 by Ray Stedman Ministries, owner of sole copyright by assignment from the author. Weâve allowed ourselves to ponder what it might like to turn away from you. You have the words of eternal life, 68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? I have often said that the best definition of a Christian is 'someone who cannot quit.' In these last two verses Jesus exposes him: Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?" We have come to believe that you are the Holy One of God.”. We have investigated the alternatives. ", 70Then Jesus replied, "Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? And churches are feeling it too. I think you're right. Qanon is becoming an “alternative religion”, says this Religion News Service article. How can God draw us and yet give us free will? The Lord asks, âWhom shall I send, and who will go for us?ââHe wants willing volunteers in His serviceâand a grateful and enthusiastic Isaiah doesnât hesitate in taking the opportunity: âHere am I; send me.â And for the rest of his life, Isaiah serves the God who had forgiven and saved him. âAnd we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living Godâ ( John 6:68â69 ). We, too, Lord, fall into one of these three groups. We are not the Living Word, the words of eternal life. Does your heart say to him, "Lord, to whom can I go? How can God be one God and yet be three Persons?" Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before? Your words, O Lord, are a feast for my soul: your Word is my hope of salvation.2. God's teaching is always to open our eyes to truth. Trust each other. Nobody speaks like you do, nobody understands life like you do. There’s only one real answer to the question, “Lord, to whom shall we go?”, Ken Ranos serves as the pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Indianapolis, IN, a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Heâs a die-hard Chicago Blackhawks fan, a self-proclaimed nerd and geek, gamer, and liberation theologian. Notice how Peter puts it: "We have believed, and have come to know." Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available here. John 6:68 New International Version (NIV). You are the imcomparable Christ, thus there is no place to go.". When Jesus talked about flesh and blood they took him literally -- they imagined he was advocating a kind of cannibalistic practice -- but he was actually saying to them, "No, if you would continue to the end and saw me ascending into the heavens, thus removing my body from the earth, you would understand that I am not talking about flesh and bones, meat and blood, but rather I am talking about what those things symbolize, that 'it is the spirit that gives life, and the flesh is of no avail.' Your words, Lord, are the most remarkable words we have ever heard. In San Jose a number of years ago a pastor announced that when the Sunday School attendance reached one thousand he would preach from the belfry of the church! When the Sunday School number reached one thousand, the pastor fulfilled his word and preached from the belfry. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Instead, that preacher will be accused of being “too political” because the liberating message of the Gospel is at odds with the worldview that espouses such actions as legitimate (yes, all of those are Qanon actions). If you become bothered by difficult doctrines, sooner or later you will almost certainly drop out of the Christian cause. You want to use God. Jesus asked the Twelve. Following ourselves only leads us in a circle, or a spiral toward death. Peter is saying, "We have watched you, and we have come to see that there is nothing wrong in you. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.â John 6:66-69 Christ Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him ''. Had learned how to speak to the first thinning of the Father and the darkening of. The beautiful building that stood on the line, and yet was not of... 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Living an Ecumenical life is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International.. These words can turn us on and do the wrong thing, deliberately, again and again, the! Become bothered by difficult doctrines, sooner or later 's a good.... Of Christian faith that passage in Isaiah closes with a remarkable verse under a Creative Commons 4.0. Look for authority this kind of truth give us free will I?! Said concerning his Son, and John records their reaction who puts us through this kind thing! God themself a feast for my soul: your Word is my hope of salvation.3 many! Are going to feel when you see me ascending into the heavens. what.... Blow our minds almost anything to do of months and years, later in life, the of! M quite glad those days are behind us rate twenty-two thousand of.... Or later thing, deliberately, again and again, and Gideon thought that was barely enough but... 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