"Will You Also Go Away?"
One of the most poignant scenes in the Gospels (John 6) is when our Lord Jesus asked His twelve disciples a question after the rest of the people following Him had turned away because they found His teaching about their eating His Flesh and drinking His Blood to gain eternal life a "hard saying."
The question "Will you also go away?" Is like asking "Do you also not believe Me? The reply of Peter, "To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life!" Is as poignant because it is full of faith in the Master Who had called them to follow Him.
Truly, Christ's flesh being eaten and His blood being drunk by us is a "hard saying" and not understandable to us. But Jesus did not say it is merely metaphorical or just symbolic. But also hard sayings are the commands "Thou shall not kill," "Thou shall not bear false witness against your neighbor," "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods," etc.
Many have left because they find all these "sayings" of God hard to understand and comply with. Those who practice and promote the killing of the helpless unborn, destroying the reputation of others, engaging in immoral practices, etc., have left, too, even if they do not realize it, or admit it.
Christ probably grieved seeing all the disciples except the twelve leaving Him. How He wished they had not gone away because He loved them immensely. For them He had come. But He would not change His words and tell untruths. This is because He is the Truth Himself. Besides, He does not force Himself upon people for that would not be love but coercion. He just waits for them to repent and go back to Him.
The concrete way He shows He loves us is by suffering and offering His life for our sake. If we still do not see the point, we are blind, or our hearts are hardened, and we are hurting ourselves.
Equally poignant in the Passion account is when Christ while being led through the courtyard after His condemnation by Pilate on His way to Calvary gave Peter a loving look, and Peter went out and wept bitterly.
Later after the Resurrection, Peter would three times profess his love for his Master to counter his three denials, and after preaching Him to many parts of the world, be crucified upside down to prove that love.
"Will you also go away?" If we have left, we can still go back . . . anytime. We can weep bitterly for having left by our acts of denying Him. But we must be ready to live for Him, even to die for Him in the face of an unbelieving and hostile world.
That is proof that we have come back, that we love Him. After all, He loved us first.
Like the prodigal son who went back home to a welcoming Father after squandering his inheritance in wild living, there will be rejoicing . . . in the Father's house. #
Jesus said to Thomas, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
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