John 6:26-27; 53-69
Life in captivity can be a terrible psychological, if not physical burden. Having once been a powerful and sovereign nation, the Jews of the first generation found life especially onerous. Every Hebrew child was raised with stories of Abraham, Moses, and David; men that had defended Israel against all invaders and that had governed a strong and independent nation.
It is small wonder that the miracles and teachings of Jesus set many hearts aflame with hopes of building a new Israeli kingdom. With time, it became increasingly obvious that Jesus’ plans were somehow different from those of the masses. He was not preaching deliverance from Rome but from sin. Even more confusing were His words to the effect that the Jews should endure rather than rebel. Instead of killing Romans, the disciples of Jesus were to love them and pray for them!
Once the people realized Jesus did not intend to overthrow Roman rule, they began to desert in droves. Ultimately, there were but a few remaining. Among these were 12 that He had called for special service. To these He posed the question I would ask this morning, “Will you also go away?”
I. Those That Left Him
A. Revealed to be mere hangers-on
1. The show and the free food were gone
2. Following Him was not what they expected
3. Once they discovered the cost of discipleship the honeymoon was over
B. Even the redeemed may leave His service
1. God does not use a cattle prod on His sheep
2. We are encouraged to first count the cost
3. Men need God and not vice versa
4. It is always man that walks away from God
C. The tragedy of such a departure
1. The loss of eternity (for the lost); the saddest of all separations
2. For the redeemed there are also many losses – blessings already gained (learning, growth, peace, and hope), the loss of what might have been
3. *Man cannot be spiritually stationary*
D. Why many depart
1. For reasons of gain
2. For fear of persecution
3. They are led by evil companions
4. They have grown cold at heart
5. They are poor
6. They are wealthy
7. Unsound doctrinal beliefs
II. Peter’s Answer – Let It Be Ours!
“To whom can we go but to You Lord?”
A. Only in Him is eternal life attainable
B. Outside Him is only uncertainty, fear, death, and shame
1. How can we return to a life of uncertainty and despair having once caught sight of glory?
2. Can we so easily give up the companionship of One we have grown to love?
First, let us ask “Why?” Why am I still lost in uncertainty and fear? Why do I delay in answering His call? Secondly, let us ask “What?” What is there without Him? There is no legitimate reason to be unredeemed other than foolishness.