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“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
Never before had they heard anyone speak as Jesus spoke. The words that Jesus spoke
had penetrated their hearts. Those words had convicted them of their sin , and convinced them of
forgiveness and truth, and life. They didn’t know everything yet. In fact they still had no
understanding of the coming cross. They had no idea yet that their salvation would cost Jesus His
life. But they believed that Jesus’ words came from God and that they were true words.
3. They made a deliberate choice
And we believe and know that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
It was no small thing for them to embrace the one whom the Scribes and the Pharisees,
and the Priests and the Elders were rejecting. To stand with Jesus when everyone else was leaving
was no small choice. To stand with Jesus when he made such difficult claims like “Unless you eat
the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you”, was a monstrous step of
faith. Somehow they understood the spiritual meaning of those words, when the rest understood
them literally and were offended.
But they believed that this was the Messiah, promised in the scriptures. They may not have
understood everything about him, but they believed that he was the Son of God, and when he
talked about coming down from heaven, they were beginning to grasp the fact that he was
claiming to be God come to earth. No, even if everyone else left, they would stay with him.
It was a deliberate choice to follow Jesus, no matter what!
4. They made a costly choice.
They had no idea yet how costly the choice would be. They did not yet know that it would
cost Jesus his life. They had no idea that this choice would cost every one of them their own lives.
As yet all they understood was that it meant staying true to him, even if everyone else did drift
But not everyone made that choice for the same reasons.
They had no idea that there was one in their number who did not stay for the same reasons
they did. They did not know that there was a false apostle with them, one who would sell Jesus
out. But Jesus knew. “Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?” He spoke of
Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray him, being one of the
We might ask, why did Judas stay? Certainly his presence demonstrates how little benefit
some people receive from even the most awesome religious privileges. A chosen disciple, a
constant companion of Jesus, a witness of the miracles, a hearer of his sermons, a commissioned
preacher of his kingdom, a friend of the other disciples, Judas shows us how far a person can go,
and still never have his heart changed.
Children can grow up in Christian homes, attend a sound Christian church, learn loads of
memory verses, profess faith in Jesus, perhaps be baptized and join the church, yes perhaps even
become a preacher of the gospel, and still turn away.
I go back to my earlier questions: “What is it that keeps a person true to Jesus? How
may I know that I shall not turn back one day?”
Perhaps you even experience doubts about your faith, about your salvation.
I have become convinced that such doubts are not a bad thing. They keep us from presumption.
They encourage a humility of spirit rather than
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