Monday after Jubilate
Scripture: St. John 6:60-71 (NKJV)
6:60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?”
61 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. 65 And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.”
66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.
67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”
68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?” 71 He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.
By worldly standards Jesus is a failure. The great multitude leaves Christ because of His doctrine. “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.” Being offended at His teaching, they abandon the teacher. What had begun as a great crowd is now reduced to twelve men, one of whom has been led astray by the devil. Most people, upon experiencing such a terrible reversal of fortune, would rush after the defectors and beg them to return to the fold. Many in our day see people leaving the church and rush to soften the Christ’s doctrine in order to appeal to fleshly understanding and human reason.
Jesus does neither. He asks the Twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” His question brings forth a beautiful confession of faith from Peter. “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
By this the Holy Ghost teaches us that the size of the crowd or the number of people in a church is not a sure sign of God’s blessing and favor. Rather, “narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matt. 7:14). Whether the church is large or small is irrelevant. We do not rely on numbers, for that is the Lord’s business. We rejoice that we have the words of eternal life, Christ’s pure doctrine in all its articles. This is the sure sign of God’s blessing and favor, that we have pure doctrine and clear confession of Christ for our salvation.
We pray: O God, grant us eyes to see Your true blessing
upon our churches, Your Word purely preached and a true
confession of Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.