"From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him" (John 6:66).
One of the most discouraging events that confronts the evangelistically-minded believer is when those who make a profession of discipleship cease to walk with the Lord. Yet the fact that some would respond in this way was predicted by our Savior in His parable about sowing and reaping: "But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended" (Matthew 13:20-21).
It should not dim our faith or discourage our witness when someone who makes a public profession ceases to fellowship with the saints and identify with Christ. Indeed, the apostle Paul knew such disappointment. "For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world" (II Timothy 4:10).
John, the disciple of love, reminds us: "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us" (I John 2:19).
We note in our text that Christ experienced a rapid decline in His popularity with the crowd who had made a simplistic profession. Some of the reasons are given in this same chapter. Amongst every such crowd there are those who follow the multitude (John 6:2), those who want to see the miracles (v.2), those who come for the meat (vv.26-27), and those who seek the master (v.68). Our concern must simply be to plant the seed and let God give the increase. DW