We must not let there be a sad departure from Jesus in our life
John 6: 66, 71
The ministry of Jesus was a stumbling block to many who followed him. The Scripture declared “From that time many of his disciples when back, and walked no more with him” (v 66). Why would this take place? Because Jesus’ ministry revealed their true character to themselves and others. Many were not honest, they lacked in sincerity and earnestness. So many of them were worldly, carnal, and was in need of spirituality and a great number of them were in need of true concern for their soul.
Many were self-seeking, wicked and unbelieving. We must keep in mind that Jesus proclaimed repentance, inward reform, and a spiritual birth (St. John 3:5) which were opposed to their ideals. Christ affirmed the superior claim of the soul which they were also opposed to in their carnality.
The Lord declared self-sacrifice and love for mankind and all these things they rejected. Jesus Christ call for practical and genuine faith. Christ denounced their conduct, and asked for opposite principles with much honesty that at last His ministry not merely became unattractive to them but offensive and troublesome. Jesus’ ministry was uncompromising and unchangeable. There was no shortcomings in Jesus example and life. Those who followed Him had to change and exercise their faith in Him, or follow Him under a cloak of false pretense, or leave Him completely. “Many of his disciple went back.”
It is possible to go a long way with Jesus and then leave Him. We see a sad departure, they “walked no more with him.” The people left Jesus, and not Jesus them. He did not send them away. All moral and spiritual separation from Christ is terminated by man. Keep in mind Judas remained in the fellowship of Jesus till He departed himself. Here is an illustration of what Jesus had just said, “…Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (v 37).
Many had separated from him after being with him for some time, “They walked no more with him.” They had walked a great deal with him. They were His followers, they had attend His ministry, heard His gracious words and saw His mighty deeds, but separated at last. They separated from Him although they had received much kindness from Him. Their sick were healed, their miseries lighten, and their hunger satiated. They had just been feeling on His bounties in the desert, (v.11) but now they are willing to leave Him, the one who was more than able and prepared to bless them spiritually and eternally.
There are painful social separation by distance and death, but of all separation the saddest is the final separation of the soul from Jesus. This was a sad degenerating, they went back. To go back from Christ is to go back from good. Jesus is the incarnation of goodness, the true and fresh treasury of all spiritual blessing, and the only Saviour of the soul of mankind. Neither is there salvation in any other: ‘…for there is none other name under heaven given among men, where by we must be saved’ (Acts 4:12). To walk away from Jesus is to go backward into sin and evil and all it’s consequences.
To go back from Christ is one of the worst waring of the soul of a person. While a person walks with Christ there is blessing and eternal rewards. But when we walk away from Christ we manifest a sinful force which breaks through the strangest moral power which can be brought to bear on us. “…Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap… For for he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” (Eph.6:7,8) Our character seems fixed and our destiny decided. “Many of his disciples went back.”
Thank God that Christ went on in His eternal course of Benevolence, redemption, and glory. The apostle Paul stated “…I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil.3:14).