7TH MAY 2022
ACTS 9:31-42, PS 116 AND JN 6:60-69
GENUINE FAITH CANNOT WALK AWAY
When John chapter 6 opens, Jesus has over 5,000 people following Him and listening to Him speak. When this chapter closes, He only has 12 men with Him and one of them is not even serious. If Jesus is doing anything in these verses, He is issuing a call to commitment. He knows that many of these followers are merely there for what they can get for their flesh. Jesus lays down the gauntlet and calls for every one of those followers to commit to Him and to Him alone. His call to commitment has a two-fold outcome. First, it clarifies His call, His mission and His ministry for those who would follow Him. Second, it purifies the ranks of His disciples, effectively weeding out most of those who are not genuine in their faith or commitment.
Our text verses reveal Jesus clearly stating the truth about Himself and His ministry. Here, we are allowed to see thousands of people turn their backs on Him and walk away. After the crowds leave, Jesus immediately turns to His 12 disciples and asks them to make a personal commitment as well. One can almost hear His heart break as He asks them, "Will you also go away?” When the disciples are asked by Jesus if they too will leave Him, Peter answers for the group. He expresses their total commitment and states the fact that they know Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and is the way to eternal life.
Peter had taken a step that many in his day had not, or could not take. Peter had made the necessary connection between the words of Jesus and Jesus Himself. To receive Christ is to receive His Word. To receive His Word is to receive Him! They are always taken together! Because Peter had placed his faith in Jesus and in His Word, Peter was made the partaker of two great possessions. These two possessions allowed Peter to make an absolute commitment of his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. Those two possessions are: Faith - ("we believe") An inward conviction that Jesus is Who He claims to be. Experience - ("and are sure") A changed life, a full heart and a new desire and direction in life are all to potent to be ignored.
Peter knew how his life had been changed and this was enough to make his state with confidence that he would not walk away! Oh, there came a time of weakness in Peter's life when he failed the Lord. He did turn his back on Jesus for a time, but he did not walk away forever! One of the best definitions I have ever heard of what a Christian really is was this: "One who cannot walk away!" Once you have felt the powerful touch of Almighty God, once you have walked in the light of His glory, once you have tasted of His goodness and experienced His best, you will never be satisfied with substitutes and imitations! You may wander for a time, but you, like the Prodigal son will "come to yourself". You will remember what it was like in the Father's house and you will come home! When you do, He will receive you with open arms and perfect restoration.
Not everyone walks away, what will you do? Like peter let us make a total commitment to the Lord and to His will for our lives.