‘From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” John 6: 66- 67
Jesus had just finished feeding the five thousand, and the people were so impressed that they wanted to come and take Him by force and make Him king. But Jesus knew this was not the job God had destined Him for, so He quickly departed to be alone. When the people found Him again, they wanted Him to perform more miracles to prove who He was, but Jesus did not because He knew He was not a performer.
Instead He talked to them in deeper spiritual terms about who He really was and what He was really here to do, but no one understood. The Jews quarreled and complained, and now even His disciples began to doubt and turn away from Him. But Jesus stood firm, He turned and asked His other twelve disciples if they wanted to go also.
Jesus was not afraid of people abandoning Him physically or spiritually because of His testimony of who He was. He gave them free will to come and go as they pleased and did not fight for them to return. More importantly, Jesus did not change His identity to make Himself more acceptable to others. He refused to be king. He refused to perform. He refused to change to make other people happy.
Why? Because Jesus had His identity wrapped up in God His Father and His spiritual foundation was based on God. Jesus was not dependent upon the disciples or the approval of others to help Him feel better about Himself. He depended upon God and who God had told Him He was. Even though the people did not accept Jesus as the Bread of Life, Manna from Heaven, the Son of God, it did not phase Him or lead Him to question Who He was.
I am thankful for the example that Jesus continues to show us of steadfast faith and a secure identity in You. It is very easy to be a people pleaser and to change to make others happy, especially when they decide to leave. Though it is hard to watch people leave, we know that Jesus had to let people go who did not accept the identity that You gave Him.
I pray that you will help us all to hold onto the characters that you have given to us and to seek approval only from You, and not from man. Our job, is to make You happy by fulfilling Your will and to testify of it, just as Jesus did. We need to daily claim our identity in You, knowing that we are indeed Children of the Heavenly King!
In Jesus’ Name