In John chapter six, Jesus was successful in trimming the count of those who were following Him by making some pretty tough statements. Where He once had a following numbering in the thousands it had now dwindled to only 12, but Jesus wanted to know where even these 12 stood with Him.
After the majority of those who followed Jesus left to return to their lives Jesus turned to the remaining 12 and simply asked them, “Do you also want to go away?”. Simon Peter then answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” Peter and the other 11 believed that their eternal future was dependant on Jesus and His words, and to go elsewhere held no real eternal future for them. These men continued to follow Jesus not knowing what was in store for them, namely the death of Jesus and their hope of eternal life. These men had come to know Jesus as the messiah, and with that they had tremendous hopes for a bright and eternal future. There was nothing and no one else that they considered important enough to pull them away from Jesus. Their life, identity, and future was now found in Him, and in Him alone.
What about you? If Jesus were to ask you the same question He asked the 12 disciples, what would be your response? Would you echo Peter’s response, or would you respond differently? If you echoed Peter’s response, does your life echo that? People look to a number of different sources for their identity and their future, oblivious or uncaring of an eternity that awaits them. These sources present themselves as ones that are “in the know” when that is usually far from the truth. What are these sources of such lies? The first thing to remember is that it is anything, or anyone, that you listen to and live by more than Jesus and His word. This could be a well-known celebrity, entertainer or politician. It could be a group, an organization, or a material object of some sort like money. It could even be an idealogy promoted by some that one listens to and embraces. Well, each of these can be quite broad in scope, but what about those which are more personal. On a personal level these sources could be anyone from an employer, a teacher, or even a pastor who does not follow or embrace Jesus and His teachings in their entirety. It could get even more personal through a parent, siblings, a spouse or even ones children. So, are you sticking with Jesus because He alone has the words of eternal life, or is your life more identified and directed by any one or more of these and other sources?
Jesus wants to speak words of eternal life to you. There is no doubt about that. The question is, are you listening, or are you even available for Him to speak life to you? Just as Jesus spoke into the lives of the soon-to-be disciples to follow Him, Jesus is speaking into our lives to follow Him. The disciples lives had their world turned upside down and inside out because they chose to follow Him, which had significant implications for not just themselves and their livelihood, but also for those close to them such as a spouse or children. They didn’t know what was in store for them, but we know that they received far more in the end than whatever they lost in following Him. They found out that the cost of following Him was great, but they also found out that the reward for following hard after Him till death was greater than the cost they paid in following him. Jesus spoke words of eternal life into them and that is exactly what they received, but if we reject His words of eternal life, or treat and view them as anything but first and foremost in our lives, we will experiance eternal death in hell instead of eternal life in Heaven.
So, my question to you is simple. Are you embracing Jesus and His words as your source of eternal life? Or, are you listening and embracing someone or something else first and foremost as your source of life and direction? Remember, eternity and your eternal destination hangs in the balance for you. Will it be for and with Jesus, or is anything or anyone else of greater importance and value to you and worth the gamble of missing eternity in Heaven with Jesus for?
Think about it.
Copyright 2012 – John Johansson