Summary: Jesus shows that the promise of the gospel is guaranteed to all God’s children by grace through faith and that it cannot be lost or gained by any good work.
We return to the conversation between Jesus and the Jewish crowd. He performed a miracle in feeding them and now they want to make Him king. But that’s because of their earthly mindset; they accept Him in some things but not as the Son of God. Not in the heavenly things.
We have to be very careful with these verses because we aren’t proof-texting and this isn’t a message about the Doctrines of Grace. That’s not to say that these verses don’t support those doctrines but the immediate context is somewhat different. Jesus claims to be from heaven and:
The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. 42And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?
If John were written in our time the people wouldn’t have rejected the idea that He came from heaven; they would have been flustered over the whole “of all which He has given me I shall lose nothing” thing. But these are Jews and their used to thinking of themselves as the elect nation and chosen people of God. Of course none of them will be left out!
But they have a different problem, don’t they? They think Jewishness and priests and sacrifices are what please God. He’s already told them “Labor not for the meat which perishes, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” It’s not the earthly things which please God, but instead those earthly things point towards Him.
But they don’t understand what He means; “We know Joseph and he’s not from heaven. How can Jesus say he’s from heaven when we can so clearly see that He’s not?”
43Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. 44No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
First of all, they’re murmuring. That should come as no surprise, should it? Isn’t that just what their ancestors in the wilderness did? These people want manna from heaven just like their fathers had and they murmur just the same.
But His answer seems so detached from the conversation. What does He mean? Why does He answer this way? Keep the context: they think they know His Father. They also think they have access to God through the priests and the temple. They think eternal life comes from Jewishness and Jewish practices. But Jesus refuses them all this.
He is the Bread of Life; it’s not about manna.
He is the great High Priest; it’s not about Aaron.
He is the access to God; it’s not about a building.
Go back and read verses 36-39: But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. 37All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
See how it’s all tied together? Life cannot be separated from the Son and the Son cannot be separated from the Father…the Father “which has sent” the Son!
Imagine how it makes the Jews reel to be told that no man can come. He actually says, “No man has power” to come to God. No man is able to come to Him. To “draw” means to hoist or pull. It’s literally that men cannot get to God. Life does not come through keeping the Law!
The only way to the Father is through the Son and the only way to the Son is through the Father. This is why He says what’s next:
45It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee. 11O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. 12And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. 13And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children. (Is 54.10-13).