Where would I go?.
“At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. Then Jesus turned to the twelve and asked, ‘Are you also going to leave?’ Simon Peter replied, ‘Lord, to whom would we go?’ John 6:66-68
i love the simplicity of Peter’s response. He knows that in spite of all the difficulties, all the challenges, there simply is no other way but to follow Jesus. There have been times in my life, maybe in yours too- when I wondered if it would be easier to walk away. Times when I felt so far away from the Jesus I loved. Times when I felt the rejection of those around me who did not understand my faith and how it was a part of me. But somehow, this Savior had gotten into my DNA and I could no more have run from Him than Peter could. Who I am only makes sense when you consider me in terms of Him. My very identity is shaped by my relationship with Jesus.
But why did so many others turn and walk away? Why over 2000years later do people still turn and walk away? Well, the words Jesus speaks are not always easy to hear-unless you are prepared to change some things in your life. And frankly, the longer one follows the harder it is to ignore His commands.
As a new follower, I was overcome with the love of Jesus, the amazing grace He had for me, His magnanimous forgiveness and offer of salvation. As the years have gone on, while those gifts continue to take my breath away, I can’t forget the other side-the side that the songwriter Bebo Norman calls ” the rebel Jesus”. The rebel Jesus, who demands that His followers do something with what they have-no more resting in your comfort ignoring what is going on around you. No more waiting for other people to feed the hungry and care for the sick. The Jesus who turned over the tables in the temple, who tells us to love our neighbors-not just the people who think and look like we do-but ALL our neighbors. These are hard words. And yes, they do cause many to turn and walk away.
But there is no other. He is our only hope in a broken world. Who we are and how we identify ourselves is through the lens of our Savior.
And for many of us, like Peter, we simply have to utter those same words, ‘Lord to whom would we go?’