“From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:66-69).
The background of these verses is found in Christ’s sermon concerning the acid test of who had Eternal Life abiding in them, and who did not. (Read John 6:43-65.)
Look at John 6:60, “Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?” Note their commitment behind this question to Christ.
First, note they were Christ’s followers. They were called “His disciples”; which means they were counted among those who followed Christ and His teachings. Then see Christ’s question in verse 61b, “Doth this offend you?” Christ’s question was asked as a reply to the question of verse 60, “…when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?” Then in verses 44-45, 63; Christ revealed that unless God gave men the ability to come to Christ; they would not, nor could they, come to Christ.
Second, John records in verse 66, “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” This reveals that as Disciples of Christ, they were previously walking with Jesus. But, when Christ revealed that they were not possessors of Eternal Life (or that Christ, who is Eternal Life, was not dwelling in their spirits); then they turned back.
This reveals that they had revelation, but not regeneration. And their turning back revealed they had no true commitment. Which means when they decided to follow Christ, it was to benefit the flesh and not the spirit.
The flesh (or the soul) feeds on different food than the spirit. The food of the flesh is revealed in John 6:26-29. (Verse 26) “Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.” This proves that when guided by the flesh, it is toward physical fulfillment and not spiritual fulfillment.
True commitment cannot be based on the flesh. It must be based on the Christ of the Miracle and not the results of the Miracle. John 6:27 explains this:
“Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.”
Therefore, when you decide to follow Christ, you must know the reason; you must examine the facts that you base your commitment upon. Have you seen Who God is? Have you seen the Glory of God; seen Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords; sitting upon His Throne; high and lifted up, above all kings?
Then examine who you are. Are you a child of God? Have you been regenerated? Are you indwelt by the Spirit of God? Do you have the witness in you, whereby you cry “Abba, Father”; even the Spirit of Adoption? You will know if you are born from above, and if Christ lives in you (Romans 8:14-16; Galatians 4:1-7; 5:22-23).
If you do not know that you are blood-bought, blood-washed, and Christ-indwelt; then you have never come to confess Christ as King, Lord, and Master in your life. You have no power to perform Galatians 2:20. Your commitment is not based on Who God is and who you are, but only on what He can do for you. If this is your commitment; you will come, somewhere in your so-called Christian walk, to say, “This is an hard saying; who can hear it?” And you will turn back and walk no more with Christ.
True commitment is a work of God. (John 6:29) “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God (what is a work of God?), that ye believe (trust, obey, be firmly persuaded) on him (on Christ) whom he (Christ) hath sent.” 1 Peter 1:21 says the same thing, “Who by him (byChrist, God) do believe in God…” This work of God will manifest in you when you come to believe (trust and obey) Christ. This then reveals true commitment.
The Scripture said, “…many of his disciples went back…” That is an alarming fact. But it is true, even today. There are many professors, but not many possessors.
The reason the so-called church today is so large, with all its members claiming to be believers in Jesus, is because John 6:1-69 is not being preached in truth of the Sovereign Work of God in those who claim to be believers in Christ. If the preachers of today would press upon the members of their churches what Christ pressed upon His disciples; most would say, this is a hard saying, who can hear it; and they would turn back and walk with Christ no more, because they would know they were not born from above. They would know that their commitment had been based on the flesh and not on the Spirit of God. They would know that they have no internal witness of adoption (Romans 8:14-16).
True commitment is all important. The results are doubt and defeat in the saved man’s life (those with only revelation and not regeneration; such as Israel in the Wilderness); without having received the Gift of the Holy Spirit, as did the Apostles and the 120 believers on the Day of Pentecost.
In time, if you have no true commitment, it will be revealed that you have slipped into the wedding, but have on the wrong garment. You will be cast out as National Israel was. That is why Peter wrote 2 Peter 1:1-10, “… make your calling and election sure…”
Know Who God is and who you are.