Summary: Jesus comforts those called by the Father with a guarantee that we will be raised again on the last day.
One of the obstacles I had to face this week is being so familiar with this text. That sounds a little strange, and I suppose it is, but this is one of those “Doctrines of Grace” proof-texts. One reason we study verse-by-verse is because we don’t want to deal in proof-texts; we want to study the whole word and see what it means when it’s all taken together. And so, while it’s easy to prove Grace with this verse, I think it’s more necessary right now to understand the context: why did He say this to these people at this time? It almost comes off as an insult. Why would Jesus waste time talking to people who don’t believe and, therefore, won’t be saved? Why bother telling them they can’t come if they really can’t and won’t?
And so we’ve got to pull our noses away from the page a little and consider the book as a whole. John writes so that we will believe and have everlasting life (20:31). A recurring element throughout these first six chapters has been Jewish unbelief. He came to His own but they rejected Him. He gave signs and they only asked for more. He identified Himself directly and it made them angry. They have seen His miracles and heard His teachings yet they refuse to believe:
But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.
This sort of seems like a failure doesn’t it? I mean, God takes on flesh in the likeness of a man; He comes all the way from heaven to be the Messiah and no one really believes. But compare this to Romans 9:6-8—“Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”
The Jews don’t believe, but so what? It’s not as though God’s word has failed. Israel is not physical Israel. These verses aren’t an insult to the crowd; they are words of comfort for us. Will God save His people? If many are lost and the road to destruction is wide, has God in any way failed? No!
37All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
Think about what this verse really means: “All that the Father gives me.”
Who, how, why, and when did the Father give to the Son?
Let’s look at a few verses and find the answers all through them:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ (Eph. 1:3-12).
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Eph. 2:1-10).