Mini Messages

Bite-sized bits of faith to help uplift you throughout your week

Will Ye Also Go Away?

Posted by Pastor Dave Johnson on February 19, 2022

“Will ye also go away?” That was the question that Jesus addressed to his disciples after many decided not to be his followers any longer (John 6:67). So, just what was the breaking point in their decision to “go away?” The context gives us their reason; namely, it was their human reasoning in unbelief. They, in their followership of self-will, were offended when Jesus told them “that no man can come unto me, except it were given him of my Father” (v. 65). Those were the Lord’s words in context with “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing, but the words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit and they are life” (v. 63). So, regarding “some … that believe{d} not” (v. 64), “from that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him” (v. 66). As the narrative unfolded, it was Peter who drew the line concerning real discipleship when he answered the Lord’s question on “going away.” Here’s his take on being a follower: “Where shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life” (v. 68). “Where shall we go?” Interesting words, and why? The answer: The WORD gave Peter life; the spiritual word of the Lord quickened him (giving him life), of which “nominal hearers” did not want, desiring no gospel-life transformation. They “missed” the message from the LIFE-CHANGER, who is none other than the Lord who enlivens the dead spirit of man unto salvation (Ephesians 2:1-9). None other can match, or even come close to real life HE intended for man (“abundant life - John 10:10). But that’s not all; then, after the Lord taught the doctrine of Biblical salvation and LIFE therefrom, he goes on to tell us all that REAL LIFE, HIS LIFE can only be fully experienced in Biblical discipleship.

“Will ye also go away” are now the words of our Lord challenging every believer in being his disciple. Before going any further, let not the teaching of discipleship be compared to the doctrine of salvation. It’s not the efficiency of MUCH faith (may it be as the size of a “mustard seed” in validity - Matthew 17:20), but the efficacy of the HIS blood, the payment for sin that brings salvation. “For by grace are ye saved, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works” (Ephesians 2:8-9). You see, all true disciples of our Lord are saved, but not every believer is a disciple. However, as one is “born-again … by the Word of God which liveth, and abideth forever” (I Peter 1:23), so it is through HIS ABIDING, WORD ALIVE in the believer in which discipleship is alive. Alive, in following HIM because of the “words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit and they are life” (John 6:63). So, just what are those life-giving words that our Lord gave us concerning discipleship? As Peter would “not go away” because the Lord had life-giving words concerning his discipleship, we can have the spiritual mindset in “not going away,” and to be filled with the WORDS OF LIFE initiating and empowering our discipleship. Again, what exactly are those life-giving words challenging us to follow our Master as his disciple? Here they are: “And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, ‘Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take us his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it, but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s the same shall save it’” (Mark 8:34-35). So, the cross is essential, giving a death sentence to the fallacious ideal of “saving one’s life” (to be made whole, to keep safe and sound) by one’s own accord. So, here’s the Lord’s question addressed to us all: “Will you also go away?” How about going away from “that which (will) obstruct the reception of the Messiah granting His life-giving power” - (“Saving and Losing” - Word Studies, James Augustus Strong). As “the Lord called the people unto him” (Mark 8:34), and taught them the symbolic meaning of the cross, HE calls us to that death-to-life experience. The cross is the Lord’s central teaching on being a disciple, with new life given by the Master. “Will ye also go away?”