Forrest Darrell Moyer
Among the great questions of the Bible, one that ranks near the very top is that question that was asked by Peter in John 6:66-68:
From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
That question, “To whom shall we go?” calls forth the grave and all important idea of the source of authority in the realm of religion. There are entirely too many sources to which people are going for religious authority today. We need to stand up and declare in bold and uncompromising language the only true source of authority. Hence, we study the great question, “Lord, to whom shall we go?”
Shall we go to the preacher for our religious authority? Many seem to think so, for they are heard to say, “I know that such is true because my preacher says it is.” Certainly, a preacher may teach, strengthen, encourage, and help you bear your burdens; but he is just a man and has no authority of his own. All the authority that he has is that which comes from a higher source. The religious division that exists in the world today can, in no small measure, be traced to the fact that people have followed men—preachers. This was even true in Paul’s day There was a divided condition over at Corinth. Over what were they divided? Preachers! One said, “I am of Paul.” Another, “I am of Apollos.” And Paul himself said to them, “Are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” (1 Cor. 3:3). Men are the wrong source of authority. We shall not go to the preacher for authority.
Shall we go to Moses? Moses was a servant of God who brought the Israelites out of their Egyptian servitude. God gave the Jewish law through Moses. Moses was the prophet and spokesman for God to the Israelites. The Old Testament law is the result of God’s work through him. But is it for us today? Should we go to Moses for our authority? Rom. 3:20 tells us that “by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight.” Col. 2:14 informs us that the law was “taken out of the way and nailed to the cross.” We are further admonished that if we seek to justify ourselves by the law we are “fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:4). Shall we go to the law of Moses! Verily not, for it is not given to us who live today.
John The Baptist?
To whom shall we go? Shall we go to John, the Baptist? John did a great work in preparing the people for the coming of Christ and His kingdom. But his work was preparatory. He prepared the way for the Lord. John himself was not even a member of the church, for he died before it was established. It seems that some of the people after the church had been established went to John’s, authority. In Acts 19:1-5 we learn that Paul found some who had been baptized unto John’s baptism. When he had taught them the truth concerning Jesus Christ, they were then baptized in the name of the Lord. John truly did a great work, but he is not the source of our authority in the realm of religion.
Shall we go to our parents? Multitudes of people in the world today are what they are religiously because of the religion of their parents. How often do we hear, “I am a Methodist because my mother was.” Or, “I wouldn’t change my religion because that would condemn my father and mother.” Folly! Certainly, we should have all the respect for our parents that is due them. But when it comes to things of a divine nature, our parents cannot be the true source of authority. Hear Jesus: “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me” (Matt. 10:37). This should forever settle this question.
Peter’s question was, “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” There, then, is the answer. Jesus Himself is the true and only source of authority in things spiritual. This is true for several reasons:
1. Because God has spoken through Him (Heb. 1:12). Upon the mountain when Jesus was transfigured with Moses and Elijah, a voice from heaven was heard, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him” (Matt 17:5). We are instructed to hear Jesus—He is God’s Son.
2. Jesus Himself affirmed just prior to his ascension, “All authority is given to me in heaven and on earth” (Matt. 28:18).
3. He further stated, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).
4. Then in Hebrews 5:9 we learn that Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey Him.
To whom shall we go? We shall go to Jesus. He is the only begotten Son of God, and God speaks through Him. He has the words of eternal life. He is the way to heaven. He is the embodiment of truth. His is the way of life. We shall go to Jesus in accordance with His directions. He said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). Will you not look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith?