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The Journal of Biblical Accuracy

http://www.jba.gr/

Article

• “Do you also want to go away?”

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"Do you also want to go away?"

It was a full of action day. Jesus had just fed thousands, using only five loaves and
two fishes. After this miracle, in John 6:15 we read:

John 6:15
“Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to
make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.”

They wanted to make Him king! In verse 26 however, the Lord reveals their
motives:

“Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because
you ate of the loaves and were filled.”

They didn’t seek Him for the miracles but because they ate and were filled. Many
people follow the Lord for the same reason, because “they ate and were filled”.
However, once the …. loaves disappear, once “tribulation or persecution arises for the
Word’s sake, immediately they stable” (Mark 4:16-17). Yes, they are ready to make him
king, but they don’t have root in the faith, as - we will see it later - those folks of John 6
didn’t have either. Of course, the Lord gives abundant blessings in every field of life.
Yet, there would also be periods of trial of the faith, of “persecution or tribulation for the
Word”. Those that have faith will stay while those that are only temporal, that just ate the
loaves and seek Him for the loaves, will go away.
So they would take Him and make Him a king. Somebody may ask, “that would
be great. Why Jesus lost this opportunity? He would be declared exactly what He truly
was.” So while the multitude was full and joyful, the Lord left and went to the mountain
“BY HIMSELF ALONE”. He left from the noise and the vain expectations of these
people and went to the mountain ALONE.

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“when the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they also got
into boats and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.”

The multitude being full was running to find Jesus. Like in election where some
voters are running behind the politicians that promise more - more loaves, more
prosperity - so did they. They were rushing behind the Lord because they were filled.
“What miracles are you telling me? What teachings? I follow you because you can
increase my welfare. You can give me more things, better things, bigger things.” They
were seeking him everywhere. When however they found him, He reproved them. It is
not the perishable you should put your attention on but the non-perishable, the eternal
life (John 6:27). And there a conversation starts:

John 6:28-34
“Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" Jesus
answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He
sent." Therefore they said to Him, "What sign will You perform then, that we may see it
and believe You? What work will You do? "Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it
is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat." Then Jesus said to them, "Most
assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father
gives you the true bread from heaven. "For the bread of God is He who comes down
from heaven and gives life to the world." Then they said to Him, "Lord, give us this
bread always.”

Then the Lord explains to them that HE is the bread of life and that it is the
Father’s will “of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the
last day”, He said.

“The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, "I am the bread which came
down from heaven." And they said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father
and mother we know? How is it then that He says, I have come down from heaven?"

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and in verse 52
“The Jews therefore quarrelled among themselves, saying, "How can this Man give us
His flesh to eat?"

From following him in multitudes, once they heard His Word, the same people
that had eaten from His hands the previous day, the same people that had taken the ship
seeking him, and who wanted to make him king, “complained about Him”. When
somebody follows the Lord for wrong reasons, he may call Him Lord and King but when
the things do not turn up as he desires, then the Lord becomes “this”. Jesus obviously
was not fitting to what they thought. Thus, instead of changing their view, they left.
Verse 60 tells us:

“Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying; who
can hear it?”

The complain did not pass unnoticed from the Lord, who explained:

“Does this offend you? "What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He
was before? "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I
speak to you are spirit, and they are life. "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.”

Is it possible that though they had seen so many miracles they didn’t believe? As
it seems, it is. The whatever faith they had was like the one of the second category of the
parable of the sower (“they believe for a little and in time of temptation they fall away”
(Luke 8:13). “How is it possible Jesus to say such hard things?” they murmured. “Come
on Jesus, tell something lighter that the multitudes can accept.” And verse 66 tells us:

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“From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.”

It was not one or two the disciples that did this. As the Word says many chose to
go back and not follow Him any longer. The multitudes leave therefore, and together
many of the disciples. However the Lord does not run behind them to …. explain the
misunderstanding. He knows that in order to stay with Him they have to have the right
reasons. And then He turns to the twelve:

“Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?"

“Do you also want to go away?” The Lord didn’t keep (and does not keep) anybody
compulsory. He had invested so much to these people. He had given them power. He had
given them authority. They made miracles. He had opened His heart to them. He had
called them His friends. However He didn’t control them and He does not control
anybody. He wants us with Him not only because He wants it but also because you want
it too. “Do you also want to go?” And here comes Peter to give Him the right answer:

“But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of
eternal life. "Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the
Son of the living God.”

Let this be the answer and let these be the reasons for which we follow the Lord.
Only those that believe that HE HAS WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE AND HAVE
BELIEVED AND KNOW THAT HE IS THE MESSIAH, THE SON OF THE
LIVING GOD will not go away but will follow Him constantly, up to the end.

Tassos Kioulachoglou