Summary: A Five Point Sermon.
A PERPETUAL PROMISE FOR THE PEOPLE OF GOD
Jesus said, ‘I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst’ (John 6:35). The reaction to this statement was one of antagonism. Jesus’ listeners ‘then murmured at Him, because He said, I am the bread which came down from heaven’ (John 6:41).
1. Their unbelief did not catch Jesus by surprise (John 6:36). They could not, they would not believe Him (cf. John 8:47; John 10:26). Without Christ, man is only able to operate within the limitations of his own predisposition and propensity to sin, and will not call upon the LORD (Isaiah 64:6-7), and cannot serve Him (Joshua 24:19). Left to himself, man is totally unable to choose anything spiritually good for himself: and “No-one can come to Jesus except the Father draws him” (John 6:44).
2. Believers, on the other hand, find that they have already been “given” to the Son (John 6:37). They are ‘chosen in Christ from the foundation of the world’ (Ephesians 1:3-4). Our salvation was not of our own doing, and neither did we deserve it more than any other person, but it is the free gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-10).
This fact is full of consolations for the believer: we are given, we come to Him, we are not cast out (John 6:37). We have eternal life (John 6:40; John 6:47). Jesus re-emphasises, ‘No-one can come to me, except it was given to him by my Father’ (John 6:65).
3. Jesus teaches the efficiency and efficaciousness of His sacrifice for His people: “all”, every one of them, “shall come” (John 6:37). Those who thus “come” to Jesus are only those whom “the Father gives” Him (John 6:37).
In His great high priestly prayer, Jesus recognises these as distinct from ‘the world’ (John 17:6; John 17:9). They are ‘the Church’ whom Christ loved ‘and gave Himself for’ (Ephesians 5:25). They are ‘the many’ for whom the blood of Christ’s covenant is shed (Matthew 26:28), for whom the Son of Man came ‘to give His life as a ransom’ (Mark 10:45).
4. There is a certainty, an inevitability, about their coming to Him: “they shall come to me” (John 6:37). We thank the Lord that there are those in every generation who have been ‘born again’ of the Spirit of God (John 1:13), or else no-one would be saved. Jesus says, “Everyone that has heard, and learned of the Father, comes to me” (John 6:45).
5. Believers in Christ Jesus also have a perpetual promise of preservation by God. “I will in no wise cast them out” (John 6:37); “I will lose nothing” (John 6:39); “I will raise them up at the last day” (John 6:39; John 6:40; John 6:44).
This teaching informs us of the keeping power of God (Philippians 1:6). It calls us to gratitude, and the grateful outworking of our salvation in the full knowledge that God already has it in hand (Philippians 2:12-13). It reassures us that, in the final analysis, nothing shall “separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).