"You do not want to leave too, do you? ..." (John 6:67-70)

"You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, "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." Then Jesus replied, "Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!" (John 6:67-70)
Here Jesus responds to the situation that occurred in response to his previous teaching:
From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. (John 6:66)
Jesus is asking these questions of his students who remained. Simon Peter answered the first question by saying:
"Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the holy one of God." (John 6:68)

The "Holy One of God."

Jesus responds positively above, confirming that he is the "Holy One of God." Jesus did not, however, as many sectarian teachers today claim, state that he was God. Otherwise, Simon would have said, "you are the Holy God."

This is an important distinction because to claim that Jesus is God is to remove from the equation the Supreme Being Himself. And Jesus repeatedly instructed his students to love God and do the will of God (serve God).

To worship Jesus as God is the same as idol worship because Jesus clearly is not God. He never claimed to be God, nor did his disciples. Why would God not be direct and honest about being God? Why would God play word games? Also, we find Jesus prayed to God. Would God pray to Himself?

As Simon says, Jesus is of God, or from God. In other words, Jesus is empowered by God and is representing God. This means that there are two individuals involved: God and Jesus. One is God and the other is the servant of God and the representative of God.

Jesus' oneness with God

Because Jesus is representing God, and doing God's will, there is a oneness. It is a oneness of purpose. It is a oneness of will. They are still two individuals, but one is doing the will of the other.

We would find this same scenario for an ambassador of a foreign country. The ambassador is the ambass,ador of that country. He is not the country itself, nor is he the country's leader.

Next we find an interesting statement by Jesus about one of his disciples. John 6.71 says that Jesus is speaking of Judas when he said that “one of you is a devil.” So this means that out of the twelve of his students that did not abandon him, Jesus, one would betray him.

“Devil” is being translated from the word διάβολος (diabolos) – which means, according to the lexicon, “prone to slander, slanderous, accusing falsely.”

So Jesus is speaking not of a devil in the sense that ecclesiastical teachers portray – but of one of his disciples falsely accusing Jesus before the high priest. This is a very practical matter. It is one where one of Jesus’ close students turns against him.

Such a concept is not foreign in spiritual life.

Why? Because each of us has the freedom to turn against God. Adam turned against God by eating from the forbidden fruit, for example. This is symbolic, as it applies to each of us. We have each turned against God, in other words.

What this means is that each and every person living in the physical world has turned away from God at some point. Each person living in a physical body is here because we have rejected the will of God at some point. We have turned against Him at one time or another.

This is why we are now away from God.

Just as God pushed Adam out of the Garden of Eden and clothed him in "skin" (The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. (Genesis 3:21)), each of us has been pushed out of the spiritual world and into this physical world where we are now covered by these physical bodies.

This means that there isn’t just a devil who sits on our shoulder tempting us: Each person not loving and serving God is a devil. Unless we are doing the will of God, we are devils by Jesus’ definition.

As to the reason Jesus chose Judas as his disciple and kept him by his side even though he knew he would betray him; this is because Jesus was not doing his own will. He was doing God’s will.

He knew that this is what the Supreme Being had ordained for him: To be betrayed by one of his own disciples. If Jesus was doing his own will, he would have likely sent Judas away at that moment or whenever he knew Judas would betray him.

So even though he was repulsed at the thought of being betrayed by someone so close, Jesus knew that this was the will of the Supreme Being. So he let it happen. This is what a devoted loving servant of God does: God's will.

Did God condone Jesus being crucified?

To this point one might also ask: Why would God allow Jesus to be crucified?

The fact is, those around Jesus involved in the murder of his physical body chose to do this. God did not condone it. It was their choice.

To prevent them would be to remove their freedom of choice. Because the Supreme Being gives each of us the freedom to love Him, in order to exercise that freedom we must also be given the opportunity to go against His will - which even includes murdering God's representative.

Can Jesus' crucifixion save us?

Yes, it can, but only if we understand it for what it was. It is not an automatic thing that comes from a ritual or from emotionally staring at the cross.

Jesus could have run away and avoided the crucifixion at any time. Especially now that we know he understood this would happen. He could have avoided it one way or another.

But he didn't. Why? Because Jesus was standing up for his teachings - the teachings of love for God. Those teachings were so important to Jesus that Jesus was willing to give up his physical body in pain and agony in order to indicate to us just how important those teachings are.

So yes - if we understand this and as a result take Jesus' teachings of love for God to heart and sincerely follow them (not as those students who abandoned Jesus did) - then Jesus' crucifixion has the power to save us from our emptiness and self-centeredness, and deliver us home to our loving service relationship with the Supreme Being.