When Jesus was on earth, he had many followers who believed in his teachings and miracles. However, as his ministry continued, some of his disciples began to question his teachings and eventually walked away from him. The Bible provides accounts of how many disciples abandoned Jesus, and their reasons for doing so.
Jesus Predicts His Betrayal
One of Jesus’ twelve disciples, Judas Iscariot, famously betrayed him by identifying him to the authorities who arrested him. In John 6:70-71, Jesus had already predicted that one of his disciples would betray him. When Judas asked if he was the one who would betray Jesus, he responded with “You have said it.”
The Bread of Life Discourse
In John 6:22-71, Jesus gave a lengthy discourse on being the “bread of life” that came down from heaven. He stated that whoever ate of this bread would live forever. Many of his followers found this teaching difficult to understand and questioned how it could be possible for him to provide such bread.
Many Disciples Left Jesus
As a result of this teaching, many of his disciples left him. In John 6:66, it says “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.” This was a significant loss for Jesus as he had invested much time in teaching these individuals.
Jesus’ Response to His Disciples Leaving
After losing many followers due to this difficult teaching, Jesus turned to his remaining twelve disciples and asked if they also wanted to leave. Peter responded with a powerful statement in John 6:68-69 saying “Lord, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
The Importance of Faith and Perseverance
This account of Jesus losing many disciples serves as a reminder that following him can sometimes be challenging and require faith and perseverance. As Christians, we may face difficult teachings or situations where we question our faith. However, it is important to remember that Jesus is the only one who has the words of eternal life and to hold onto that truth.
In conclusion, while many disciples walked away from Jesus during his time on earth, his faithful twelve continued to follow him even when his teachings were difficult to understand. As Christians, it is crucial to have faith and persevere through challenges in order to follow Jesus fully.