To Whom Shall We Go?

After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

(John 6:66-69, ESV)


Increasingly you hear that Christians are being “marginalized” in our culture. To marginalize is to treat a person or group of people as insignificant and unimportant. I would agree that this is happening more and more. I don’t write or say this to create a culture of victimhood for us or to cause panic. Christians have a long history of being marginalized. The first century gives ample illustrations.

As this marginalization happens more and more, what will happen? I can see increasing numbers of churches denying Biblical teaching -particularly in regard to marriage- in order to regain influence or their place at the table. It will be seen as a way to make the Christian message more palatable to a hostile culture. In their own way, such churches will be turning their back on the teaching of Scripture. They’ll be turning their back on Jesus and in the language of John 6, walking away.

As we can see from the text above, that will be nothing new. Many of Jesus’ followers walked away when he gave some hard sayings, words with sharp edges. Jesus then asks the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Don’t you love Peter’s answer? It’s direct and to the point, “To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know that you are the Holy One of God.” In other words, “Where else is there to turn?”

When it gets to the bottom line, that’s where we have to rest. Where else will we go? Dare we walk away from the Lord and King of the Universe? Dare we turn our back on the only legitimate authority? Dare we turn from Him who holds the power of eternal life who rescued us by His grace from the penalty and power of sin?

We must do our best to be as gracious and as humble as possible as we proclaim the truth of the gospel and stay rooted in it. When we get the gospel, we come to understand that all we contribute to our relationship with God through Christ is sin and resistance. There’s no room for pride or arrogance. Therefore, we must hold firm and fast to the truth and proclaim it boldly. We must be suativer in modo, fortite in re, which is Latin for “gentle in manner, strong in deed.” May God grant us grace to do just that.