Monday, 1 August 2016

The Word Jesus uttered that caused his disciples to flee

Written by Trevor Richardson

The following is a personal comparison study on certain aspects of the Tablet on Understanding the Cause of Opposition to the Manifestations of God and the rejection suffered by Christ in his mission on earth, which Bahá'u'lláh states, in the tablet, had no lesser purpose than "the salvation of humankind".

All source quotes are taken either from the above-mentioned tablet or from The Holy Bible, John chapter 6, King James Version.

In the Tablet on Understanding the Cause of Opposition, Bahá’u’lláh asks us to "reflect sincerely on that which has been the cause of souls turning toward the Dawning Places of revelation and the Daysprings of inspiration during the ages and centuries and what has been the reason for turning away". We are informed that "It is necessary to think about the cause and reason for this opposition" so "There can be no doubt that the purpose of creation is the recognition of God".

Bahá’u’lláh tells us in the tablet that "The Shī’ah divines believe that when the promised Qā’im appears in the House of God [Mekka], he will utter a word that will cause even his chosen disciples to turn away from him and flee". It is interesting to note that a similar event also occurred at the time of Christ many centuries earlier.

When Jesus perceived the people, and his disciples, wanted to make him king of an earthly kingdom so that he might defeat the Romans and end the occupation of Palestine, he began to speak in ways they could not comprehend or understand. He asked them to eat his flesh and drink his blood. Their response was “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” To them, this was an impossible thing to do. The reason for this was that they could only accept or understand literal truth, so what Christ was saying to them made no sense at all. Christ knew their limitations and understood their inability to change into spiritual beings. The time had come to end his association with them and drive away 'with a word' those that could not undergo the necessary process of transformation.

Baha'u'llah, in the tablet, explains the reasons for the opposition to messengers of God. "There is no doubt that if the Exponents of divine commands and the Sources of heavenly laws appeared in a way that agreed with, and conformed to, the references, traditions and texts current among the people concerning the Manifestation, not a single soul would oppose them. Rather, all would attain to that for which they stepped from non-existence into the realm of being."

The spiritual truths given by Christ were given in an allegorical language that the people could not comprehend and that hid their true meaning. This caused many of his disciples and followers deep distress, so they turned their backs to him and walked away, no longer believing in him or his teachings.

Jesus asked those who remained with him, "Will ye also go away?" and Peter replied, "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life". Peter had made the transformation, so for better or worse, in glory or abasement, his love for Christ had so transformed him that he could no longer contemplate life without him. He had understood the hidden spiritual truths of Christ's challenging words and was of those who believed and attained the recognition of God.

The passage below is an extract from The Holy Bible John-6, which gives an account of Jesus uttering the word that caused his disciples to flee.

"When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone…

Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent…

Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you…

Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?...

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…

Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?

He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve."