Prepared by John E. Marshall
John 6:36 (Holman) As I told you, you=ve seen Me, and yet you do not believe.
Here is the scandal of humanity. Our hearts are so depraved that if Jesus Himself physically stood before us, many would not believe in Him. Faith is so different from sight that we can actually see yet not believe.
God has spoken clearly and distinctly in Jesus. The unbelief of this crowd was not a reflection on God, but rather a reflection on themselves. Hence, Jesus spoke in defense of the Father.
John 6:37a Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, . . .
These words stress God=s love and sovereignty. He loves. He controls. Behind the whole plan of salvation is God. The Father is the prime Mover in the story of redemption. Never regard the Father as mankind=s enemy. He is the great Lover. He is love.
The Father is the Cause in three vital areas of redemption. First, His love for people initiated it all. The Father decided to send Jesus to earth (John 3:16).
Second, the Father=s love for the Son prompted God to promise Jesus a people. Before earth and sky existed, God promised Christ a Bride.
Third, the Father=s love for people and Jesus drives Him to bring the two together. God=s purpose for history is seen in His efforts to bring people to Jesus.
God does all He can to break down the rebellion and pride hindering us from His Son. He moves in our hearts to awaken our desire for Jesus. Not only is salvation a divine miracle; our desire for salvation is also a miracle.
We would never seek Jesus unless the Father through the Holy Spirit had already found us. People do not come to Jesus because they think it is a good idea. In fact, it never seems a good idea to us naturally. Unless a divine work is done in our spirits, we remain contented and mired in our sins.
The Father sends His messengers, Word, love, and Spirit to woo us to Jesus. The Holy Spirit draws our hearts to Jesus, urging us to come to terms with Him. God, always a perfect gentleman, never drags anyone to heaven by the hair of their head.
How can we be one of those given by the Father to Jesus? Our text helps provide answers.
John 6:37b . . . and the one . . .
God deals with us personally. He gave Jesus to the whole world at Calvary. Now He wants to give Jesus to each of us, and each of us to Jesus. AEveryone@ is the total gift to Jesus, but each Aone@ is handled personally.
AThe one@ means one person. Sinners need personal comfort. We need the Gospel applied specifically to our case. Our sin is personal, so must our salvation be. God deals with each of us as if we were the only sinner in the world.
John 6:37c . . . who comes to Me. . .
We must carefully explain what it means Ato come@ to Jesus. The stern words of Jesus to this crowd may have been viewed as a casting out, but the hearers were not truly coming to Him. Lest we make the same mistake, let=s pinpoint three distinct phases of Acoming@ to Jesus.
First, coming to Jesus entails a recognition of separation from God. Come implies we are by nature distant from Christ. We must realize our lostness before we can be found.
Second, coming to Jesus requires realization Jesus alone can meet the needs of our life. He said Ato Me@ we must come B not to baptism, the Lord=s Supper, the Church, nor worship. Salvation is a coming to Jesus, the only One who can satisfy our needs.
We are accused, Jesus is our Advocate. We are broken, He is Potter. We are condemned, He is Savior (Romans 8:34). We are in debt, He is our payment for sin. We are estranged, He is Mediator. We are enslaved, He is Redeemer. We are miserable, He is Comforter. We are sick, He is Physician (Matthew 9:16). We are weary, He is rest. Our every need He supplies.
Third, coming to Jesus means we must trust Him. We have to lean hard on Jesus, forsake all other confidences as false. To come to is to come from. We must renounce all love for sin, and look to Jesus as the only pillar of our confidence and hope.
If we do these three things, what will be the result?
John 6:37d . . . I will never cast out.
ANever@ translates two Greek words: an adverb of negation and a particle of negation. Using the two together increases the force of negation. It is emphatic. ANot at all, in no wise, by no means. I will not, not cast out.@ Our text would probably best be rendered as, AI will never, no, never cast out.@
Jesus will not reject us at first, He will not reject us at the last. He will never let anyone be wrested from His hands. No member of Christ=s body can be cut off. Otherwise, Jesus would be mutilated. We do not come to one who will receive us a month or two and then send us packing. His acceptance of us is forever.
The Gospel would become a farce if anyone who came to Jesus was ever rejected. No one has ever come to Him and been turned away. Come to Jesus. You will be received.
If we could go to Hell and ask if anyone there truly came to Jesus, the anguished cries would be Ano.@ None of them sought Him or let Him reign over them. No one in Hell can ever say, AI trusted Christ.@
At this moment, the Devil is probably suggesting a host of reasons why we should not come to Jesus. But every reason he can muster is crushed by Jesus= promise, AThe one who comes to Me I will never cast out.@
Don=t let doubts keep you away. Salvation is not based on what we have been, but on what we are willing to be. Even one who thinks he is fit only to be swept into some back corner of Hell can come.
Mary Magdalen had seven devils. The thief on the cross had no merit to offer Jesus. Saul of Tarsus was stained with the blood of Saints. Chuck Colson was the meanest man in Washington.
No category is disallowed: rich, poor, famous, obscure, moral, debauched. Never did a soul come to Jesus even a hundredth as much as Jesus wanted him to come.
John Bunyan was a foul blasphemer. Even a prostitute who heard him swearing said he was enough to corrupt the whole parish. The rebuke of such a woman shocked this man who later wrote APilgrims Progress.@
John Newton was such a terrible blasphemer that sailors in a boat with him in a storm said they would never make it to port with such a sinner aboard. Newton later wrote AAmazing Grace.@
Charles Spurgeon heard that St. Cross Hospital in Winchester gave a piece of bread to anyone who knocked at their door and requested it. He went one day in fine apparel, knocked Aas bold as brass,@ and made the request. Without question, bread was brought to him. There truly was bread available for all. Spurgeon received it because he was willing to knock.
The same is true for Jesus= offer of the bread of life. Come. You will receive. The supply is abundant.
A ship was once lost at sea. All aboard were dying of thirst. Unknown to them they had drifted into the mouth of the Amazon River. When another boat came near, they signaled AWater! We are dying for water!@ The stunning answer came back, ADip it up! Dip it up! You are in a river. It is all around you.@ All they had to do to live was dip a bucket overboard. Sinner, you are in a river of grace and mercy. Over with the bucket. Drink to the full.
Only one thing can thwart God B the defiance of a human heart. Free will is God=s only Self-appointed restriction. Everlasting life is available for us to take or refuse. Come to Jesus. He is eager to receive us.