The Great I AM

John 6:66 “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.”

From what time is being discussed here? From the time He said they must eat of His flesh and drink of His blood.

In the natural, this does seem to be like being a cannibal, but Jesus had already told them that they must worship in spirit. This great number of followers of Jesus who had just wanted to make Him king and ruler of all Israel, now suddenly leave Him.

The language indicates that the abandonment was decisive and final.

They really did not have the love of God in their hearts. They wanted a great warrior to lead them against Rome. They followed them in His power. They wanted no part in His weakness.

They were like people in our churches today, who just look at the words and not at the meaning of the Word. It is impossible to follow Jesus in the flesh. We must follow Jesus Christ by our spirit.

John 6:67 “Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?”

Here is the first mention of the twelve in John’s gospel. Only five of them have been named thus far: John, Andrew, Peter, Philip and Nathanael. Perhaps this is John’s account of the confession of Simon Peter at Caesarea Philippi.
When things get really hard to do, many will give up and go home. This is just what these disciples did who was not of the twelve.
In the seventh chapter of Judges, we read of a man about to do battle with the enemy of God. Thirty-two thousand men came to take up arms, but God told Gideon to send all of the fearful and all who were not prepared for battle home. Only 300 out of the 32,000 men stayed to do God’s battle.
That is what happened above. The mass of disciples left and the twelve remained. God does not get the glory when it is possible for us to win a battle on our own. God gets the glory when an impossible (in the flesh), job is to be done and God brings the impossibility into being.
These twelve had seen the multitude fed, seen blind eyes opened, seen the lame to walk. Is all of this not proof enough that He is Messiah? Are they like the others, so void of understanding the spiritual meaning of what He had said?
He had taught these twelve to look beyond the physical, or literal, and see the hidden message. He had taught them how to interpret parables, and those lessons were a look into the spiritual.
Jesus says to them “Can you not trust me?” This one percent of true followers, seen in the Gideon lesson, is about the way in most Christians today. Only about one in one hundred are willing to face ridicule from their friends and family to live the kind of separated life Jesus our Lord requires of us, if we are to truly be His.


Cathey Lynn

Taken Aside by Jesus

And he took him aside from the multitude (Mark 7:33).
Paul not only stood the tests in Christian activity, but in the solitude of captivity. You may stand the strain of the most intense labor, coupled with severe suffering, and yet break down utterly when laid aside from all religious activities; when forced into close confinement in some prison house.

That noble bird, soaring the highest above the clouds and enduring the longest flights, sinks into despair when in a cage where it is forced to beat its helpless wings against its prison bars. You have seen the great eagle languish in its narrow cell with bowed head and drooping wings. What a picture of the sorrow of inactivity.

Paul in prison. That was another side of life. Do you want to see how he takes it? I see him looking out over the top of his prison wall and over the heads of his enemies. I see him write a document and sign his name–not the prisoner of Festus, nor of Caesar; not the victim of the Sanhedrin; but the–“prisoner of the Lord.” He saw only the hand of God in it all. To him the prison becomes a palace. Its corridors ring with shouts of triumphant praise and joy.

Restrained from the missionary work he loved so well, he now built a new pulpit–a new witness stand–and from that place of bondage come some of the sweetest and most helpful ministries of Christian liberty. What precious messages of light come from those dark shadows of captivity.

Think of the long train of imprisoned saints who have followed in Paul’s wake. For twelve long years Bunyan’s lips were silenced in Bedford jail. It was there that he did the greatest and best work of his life. There he wrote the book that has been read next to the Bible. He says, “I was at home in prison and I sat me down and wrote, and wrote, for joy did make me write.” The wonderful dream of that long night has lighted the pathway of millions of weary pilgrims.

That sweet-spirited French lady, Madam Guyon, lay long between prison walls. Like some caged birds that sing the sweeter for their confinement, the music of her soul has gone out far beyond the dungeon walls and scattered the desolation of many drooping hearts.

Oh, the heavenly consolation that has poured forth from places of solitude!

Taken aside by Jesus,
To feel the touch of His hand;
To rest for a while in the shadow
Of the Rock in a weary land.
Taken aside by Jesus,
In the loneliness dark and drear,
Where no other comfort may reach me,
Than His voice to my heart so dear.
Taken aside by Jesus,
To be quite alone with Him,
To hear His wonderful tones of love
‘Mid the silence and shadows dim.
Taken aside by Jesus,
Shall I shrink from the desert place;
When I hear as I never heard before,
And see Him ‘face to face’?

Cathey Lynn