Simon Peter answered - With his usual zeal and readiness, speaking in behalf of the whole, To whom shall we go? Where shall we find a more gracious master - a more powerful Redeemer - a more suitable Savior? Thou alone hast the words of eternal life. None can teach the doctrine of salvation but thyself; and none can confer the gift of eternal life but thou alone. Reader, let me ask, whither art thou going? Has the world - the devil - the flesh - the words of eternal life? Art thou turning thy back upon God and Christ? For thy zealous services, what has Satan to give thee? Death! hell! and eternal misery! O stop! Cleave to Jesus; he will give thee that happiness which, in vain, thou seekest in the pleasures of sin.
Simon Peter answered him - With characteristic ardor and promptness. Peter was probably one of the oldest of the apostles, and it was his character to be first and most ardent in his professions.
To whom shall we go - This implied their firm conviction that Jesus was the Messiah, and that he alone was able to save them. It is one of Peter‘s noble confessions - the instinctive promptings of a pious heart and of ardent love. There was no one else who could teach them. The Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the scribes were corrupt, and unable to guide them aright; and, though the doctrines of Jesus were mysterious, yet they were the only doctrines that could instruct and save them.
Thou hast - The meaning of this is, thou teachest the doctrines which lead to eternal life. And from this we may learn:
1.that we are to expect that some of the doctrines of the Bible will be mysterious.
2.that, though they are difficult to be understood, yet we should not therefore reject them.
3.that nothing would be gained by rejecting them. The atheist, the infidel - nay, the philosopher, believes, or professes to believe, propositions quite as mysterious as any in the Bible.
4.that poor, lost, sinful man has nowhere else to go but to Jesus. He is the way, the truth, and the life, and if the sinner betakes himself to any other way he will wander and die.
5.We should, therefore, on no account forsake the teachings of the Son of God. The words that he speaks are spirit and are life.
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. ... 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 6:63-69. TDG 120.1Read in context »
This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:11, 12. TDG 189.1
When so many of Christ's followers left Him, and the Saviour asked the twelve, “Will ye also go away?” Simon Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). It filled Christ's heart with sorrow to see anyone leaving Him, because He knew that faith in His name and in His mission is man's only hope. This desertion of His followers was a humiliation to Him. Oh, how little human beings know of the sorrow that filled the heart of infinite love when such things took place. TDG 189.2Read in context »
The news spread swiftly that by His own confession Jesus of Nazareth was not the Messiah. And thus in Galilee the current of popular feeling was turned against Him, as, the year before, it had been in Judea. Alas for Israel! They rejected their Saviour, because they longed for a conqueror who would give them temporal power. They wanted the meat which perishes, and not that which endures unto everlasting life. DA 393.1
With a yearning heart, Jesus saw those who had been His disciples departing from Him, the Life and the Light of men. The consciousness that His compassion was unappreciated, His love unrequited, His mercy slighted, His salvation rejected, filled Him with sorrow that was inexpressible. It was such developments as these that made Him a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. DA 393.2
Without attempting to hinder those who were leaving Him, Jesus turned to the twelve and said, “Will ye also go away?” DA 393.3Read in context »
After the hymn, they went out. Through the crowded streets they made their way, passing out of the city gate toward the Mount of Olives. Slowly they proceeded, each busy with his own thoughts. As they began to descend toward the mount, Jesus said, in a tone of deepest sadness, “All ye shall be offended because of Me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.” Matthew 26:31. The disciples listened in sorrow and amazement. They remembered how in the synagogue at Capernaum, when Christ spoke of Himself as the bread of life, many had been offended, and had turned away from Him. But the twelve had not shown themselves unfaithful. Peter, speaking for his brethren, had then declared his loyalty to Christ. Then the Saviour had said, “Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?” John 6:70. In the upper chamber Jesus said that one of the twelve would betray Him, and that Peter would deny Him. But now His words include them all. DA 673.1
Now Peter's voice is heard vehemently protesting, “Although all shall be offended, yet will not I.” In the upper chamber he had declared, “I will lay down my life for Thy sake.” Jesus had warned him that he would that very night deny his Saviour. Now Christ repeats the warning: “Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny Me thrice.” But Peter only “spake the more vehemently, If I should die with Thee, I will not deny Thee in anywise. Likewise also said they all.” Mark 14:29, 30, 31. In their self-confidence they denied the repeated statement of Him who knew. They were unprepared for the test; when temptation should overtake them, they would understand their own weakness. DA 673.2
When Peter said he would follow his Lord to prison and to death, he meant it, every word of it; but he did not know himself. Hidden in his heart were elements of evil that circumstances would fan into life. Unless he was made conscious of his danger, these would prove his eternal ruin. The Saviour saw in him a self-love and assurance that would overbear even his love for Christ. Much of infirmity, of unmortified sin, carelessness of spirit, unsanctified temper, heedlessness in entering into temptation, had been revealed in his experience. Christ's solemn warning was a call to heart searching. Peter needed to distrust himself, and to have a deeper faith in Christ. Had he in humility received the warning, he would have appealed to the Shepherd of the flock to keep His sheep. When on the Sea of Galilee he was about to sink, he cried, “Lord, save me.” Matthew 14:30. Then the hand of Christ was outstretched to grasp his hand. So now if he had cried to Jesus, Save me from myself, he would have been kept. But Peter felt that he was distrusted, and he thought it cruel. He was already offended, and he became more persistent in his self-confidence. DA 673.3Read in context »