Drawn by the Father*
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” – John 6:44,
As we thought of how to apply this passage, we considered the implications for our ministry. If no one can come to Christ unless drawn by the Father, then we should commit to those means of grace given and approved by God. We live in a day of many false conversions, where people have been persuaded to call themselves Christians without having understood the Gospel.
First, this means that our witness must focus on the Word of God. God promised in the Old Testament Book of Ezekiel 36 to give new hearts to his people. The very next chapter dramatizes how this happens, with a valley of dry bones, picturing man’s spiritually dead condition, coming alive as the prophet began preaching! What a vision of God’s power! This means that if we are to be used by God to bring spiritual life to others, it will be through the witness and teaching of his Word!
Second, Jesus’ teaching should induce us to a greater commitment to evangelistic prayer, especially as we continue in a New Year! If only God can open the heart of our parent, spouse, child, or friend, then let us appeal to God! Our witness can have no effect without God’s drawing people through it, so let’s pray to God for his power to bring new life to those who hear his Word!
Third, while we might face the kind of frustration that Jesus felt with this Jewish crowd, we must not despair. Let us look at no one and say, “He cannot be saved.” Instead, let us keep pointing to Christ by living in a way that commends our witness, and let us keep praying, never giving up on anyone.e H
And fourth and finally, do not give up on yourself, if you have not yet really come to Christ! None of the things keeping you from Christ can stand against God’s mighty grace, if he is drawing you! (I’m living proof of that fact!) If God is speaking to your heart, come to Jesus Christ! Then rejoice, for as Jesus said back in verse 47, “Whoever believes has eternal life.” Then you will be free from the bondage of sin over your mind, heart, and will. For as Jesus teaches later in John 8:36, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” As we continue into this still New Year, let us remember the priority of reaching out to others in the name and power of Jesus!
*John, Volume 1: Chapters 1-10, Reformed Expository Commentary, by Richard D. Phillips