Author: Ron Graham
Lord, To Whom Shall We Go?
—Peter’s Question John 6:68
When Jesus asked his disciples whether they would leave him, Peter answered with the question, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life!' However, one of the twelve, Judas Iscariot, did go to someone else.
¶“66From that time many of Jesus’s disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67So he said to the Twelve, 'Do you wish to go away as well?' 68So Simon Peter replied, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of life eternal, 69and we have believed and known that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'” (John 6:66-69).
¶“70Jesus answered them, 'Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.' 71He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for Judas, one of the twelve, was going to betray Jesus” (John 6:70-71).
1 Who Could the Disciples Go To?
Peter’s question, “To whom shall we go?” was really a statement. Peter was not asking Jesus to name someone else for the disciples to follow. Peter was saying that there was no one else.
Nobody could replace Jesus as the disciples’ Master. He was so much to them. To name just a few things...
- Jesus was their Teacher: As Peter said, "You have the words of life eternal" (John 6:68). Only Jesus was Christ the Son of God who had the gospel of eternal life.
- Jesus was their Shepherd: "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." (John 10:11). Who else could do that for the disciples?
- Jesus was their Lamb: John the Baptizer said of Jesus, "Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world." (John 1:29). Nobody else could be a sacrifice to make atonement for the disciples.
- Jesus was their Way: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me." (John 14:6).
- Jesus was their God: Thomas said to Jesus, "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28). What other man could the disciples recognise as God?
2 Who Did Judas Go To?
Judas Iscariot did go to someone else! Jesus said to his disciples, "Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil." (John 6:70). By “devil” Jesus means a follower of Satan.
What did Judas achieve by following Satan as devils do? Judas betrayed Jesus (John 18). His reward was destruction. "Then Judas threw the silver coins [the betrayal bounty] down in the temple and went out and hanged himself." (Matthew 27:5).
Judas apparently made a mess of hanging himself. "Falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out" (Acts 1:18).
What a sad and heart-rending story is the death of Judas. It is Satan’s parody of Christ’s death on the cross. Nevertheless it shows us clearly the consequences of following Satan instead of Jesus.
3 Who Can We Go To?
Two thousand years have passed since Jesus, and there were many thousands of years before him. In all that time, was there not a spiritual teacher with words as good as the words of the man from Nazeth?
Among the philosophers and spiritual teachers like Zoroaster; Krishna; Gautama Buddha; Moses; Mohammed of Mecca; Joseph Smith; Gandhi; to name a few —was there no teacher as great as Jesus?
Jesus is Unique
John summed it up this way: "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We beheld his glory —the glory that belongs to the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14).
"And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we may know the true One. We are in the true One, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life." (1John 5:20).
“1That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched —this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. ” (1John 1:1-2 ESV).
“3We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ” (1John 1:3 ESV).
This testimony of John and his fellow disciples makes Jesus uniquely able to deliver real eternal life. He is God’s only begotten Son. He was not just another great teacher with words to impart. He was the Word. "The Word was with God and the Word was God" (John 1:1).
Christians don't follow Jesus because they prefer his words. They follow him because he is unique; he is God; and he alone has the words of eternal life. To whom shall we go, if not to him?