We are living in a world today that constantly tests our loyalty to Christ. Staying true to our Christian commitment is becoming more and more difficult because of the temptations surrounding us. Some are even tempted to turn back from their original commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. In John 6:66-69 we see a controversy erupt over the teachings of Jesus which resulted in many people turning away from following Him. Their hearts were hardened and they could not come to terms with the teachings of Christ. The twelve disciples of Jesus were watching this incident. They certainly must have been saddened because of the majority of the crowd turning away from their Master. The people who turned away were far from being true disciples in character. It would have been an emotional moment for Peter to watch the crowd getting angry at Jesus and close their hearts to His teachings. At this point Jesus looked at the twelve and asked them the moving question, “Do you also want to go away?” (John 6:67). Because they were disturbed at the sight of people compromising, Jesus wanted to know whether they planned to do the same. Among all the disciples, the question hit Peter hard. For a moment Peter would have quickly run through his mind his decision to follow Christ. The pain of putting an end to this beautiful relationship would have cut through his heart. He could not conceive a life without Jesus even though it meant he didn't have to suffer in a grueling ministry and sacrifice the comforts of the world. Peter had an inner obligation to follow the Lord who loved him so much. He could not visualize a life without Jesus. He probably said these words with tears in his eyes, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68). These were not words merely intended to please Jesus. Peter simply could
Not think of going back to his old life and he was honest in expressing his feelings. The devil whispers in our ears to turn back from our faith because the going is tough. When we are going through the valley experiences in our Christian life we sometimes wonder whether it is worth all the efforts. Questions come in our mind as to whether we have chosen the right path. Do we have any other alternative other than following Christ? All we have to do is to think about our old life before coming to Christ. Void and emptiness filled our heart, sinful habits enslaved us, and we were squirming under feelings of guilt. Jesus picked us from the dust and brought meaning into our lives. He removed all our guilt and delivered us from the power of sin. He took all our mess and made something beautiful out of it. It would be so unreasonable to go back into that old mess again. Let us make a commitment in our heart no matter who leaves the faith, we will not leave; no matter who stumbles and fall, we will not turn back. The famous Christian chorus “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back” should be our battle cry. Jesus demands our loyalty and we cannot flinch from our commitment to Him. When we walk away from the loving arms of Jesus we will bring untold misery on our self. On the other hand our faithfulness to Christ even during difficult times will bring manifold blessings. The words of Peter should ring in our ears we have nowhere else to go except to Jesus. We have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back! Ashwin Ramani. Ashwin serves as a community pastor for the multi-ethnic ministry wing of the Centre Street Church, Calgary, Canada.
This is the fourth issue