John chapter 6 and verse 30, and as we come this morning to verses 30 to 40, we come to one of the most beloved discourses that Jesus ever gave, His discourse on the bread of life. Now this discourse, or this sermon, or this speech that Christ gave is given on the morning after He walked on the Sea of Galilee, the very day after He had fed the multitude with the loaves and the fishes. To set the stage a little bit, you remember that Christ had fed them. Then Christ sent the disciples across the Sea of Galilee in a little boat. Then He sent the multitude away, and then He went into a mountain to pray. He stayed there for a while, came down, walked out into the midst of the Sea of Galilee and met the disciples who were fighting a storm and couldn't make it to the other side to Capernaum. Stepped into the boat and immediately they were at the shore at Capernaum.
And so, Christ and the disciples arrived in Capernaum. In the morning the multitude couldn't find the disciples and they couldn't find Christ. Other peoples came from Tiberias, landed right there where they were. They gathered them in the boats and they all went to Capernaum and so Christ is again confronted with a multitude, part of them from Tiberias, but the most of them, the same crowd that He had fed the very day before. So as we come to chapter 6 and verse 30, Christ is again confronted with a multitude. He has been with them the very day before in feeding them, teaching them and healing them. And now they meet again across the northern part of the Sea of Galilee on the western shore to Capernaum and the same multitude confronts Christ.
Now in this discourse Christ more than anything else presents His deity. As I've said many times in our study of the gospel of John, this is John's theme and by deity I mean He is God, Christ is God, not a god, not one of many gods, not lesser than THE God but He is the one and only God in a human body. This is John's theme again and again relentlessly, he bears on this theme. And since in the discourse on the bread of life Jesus claims to be God, John, of course, includes that discourse in his gospel because he would never miss an opportunity to present the deity of Christ. And so as we come to verse 30, Christ is stating by analogy His deity, the fact that He is God.
Now it's very interesting in noticing the characteristic of John's gospel...this is kind of a little side light...to notice that John really is concerned about the words and claims of Christ. The miracles are all right, but the words of Christ are really the burden of John's heart. And so from verse 1 to 29 it's almost as if John just sort of flies by the miracle to hurry up and get to the claims of Christ. And so in a sense, all the previous verses which are in a great way historical and biographical, are included only to lead up to the stupendous claims of Christ that are in this discourse. And the discourse is rather lengthy and so we will take it in several parts.
Now as we look at those first 29 verses and have looked at them in the last few weeks, we found that the accounts of the miracles that John gives are very sketchy. John doesn't give any details at all. In order for us, as you remember, to fill in the miracles of the feeding of the multitude and the miracle of walking on the water, we had to go to Matthew's gospel, you'll remember, and we had to go to Mark's gospel for the details. John doesn't even bother with the details. He states those miracles as if they were just facts and that's it. He just says it happened and...boom...He's gone again. He doesn't dramatize them like Matthew and Mark. He doesn't glorify them and spew out adverbs and adjectives and glamorize these miracles and even make them really what they were in the sense of divine and unbelievably supernatural. He explains them as if they're just matter of fact in his hurry to get to the words of Christ, it seems. You'll notice in verse 11 of chapter 6, for example, in recording the most massive miracle Jesus ever did on earth, feeding fifteen thousand people while He's just created food in His hands, John says this, "And Jesus took the loaves and when He had given thanks He distributed to the disciples and the disciples to them that were sitting down and likewise of the fishes, as much as they would. When they were filled, He said unto His disciples, 'Gather up the fragments that remain that nothing be lost.'" Now you don't even see the world...the word "miracle" there. You don't even see the word "glorious." You don't even see "fantastic," you don't even see "fabulous." He just handed out the food...that's it. Massive miracle, tremendous evidence of divine power. John just goes right on by.
He does the same thing over in verse 19 when Jesus walked on the water. "So when they had rowed about five and twenty, or thirty furlongs, somewhere around three and a half miles, they see Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near unto the boat and they were afraid." No explanation. How did He do it? Just there was Jesus walking on the sea. "And He came over to the boat and He got in and immediately they were at the shore." You say, "What's the hurry? What's the hurry? Doesn't John think the miracles are important?" Absolutely important, he wouldn't have included them at all. But listen, John records them briefly and undramatically in order to get to the real meat and the real meat in terms of the Word of God is not so much what Jesus did in His ministry, is what He said that is definitive. All miracles can do...watch it...all miracles can do is show divine power, they can't define it. They can't even describe it. And least of all, miracles can't show men what's required of them. You see, it's not enough to have a miracle without an explanation. For example, Paul in Romans 1 says, "It's enough to look at nature to...to look at nature and you can see that God is, right?" But you can't stop there, Paul. Paul said that in Romans 1 but he also added fifteen other chapters to the book of Romans to explain what God requires and what He's like and what He wants. It's not enough to just see the deeds of God, or the miracles of Christ, you've got to hear what he says so he defines himself.
And the multitude is a graphic illustration of this. That multitude had seen the feeding of all those people. They were in on it, they ate the food. That's the best fish they ever ate in their lives. That was the best bread they ever ate in their lives, ever touched to their mouths. The glorious miracle of the feeding of those people was fantastic. They saw it happen. They had no doubts about divine power. But you know what? They didn't have the faintest idea about what to do about it. When they saw that miracle they said, "Wow, let's make Him king and He can knock off Rome." That wasn't the point. "Oh, let's kidnap Him and haul Him down to Jerusalem. He can provide free food for the rest of us for good." See, they didn't understand and so the miracles only drew their attention and then words of Christ became definitive. And so, John rushing by the miracles to establish divine power then moves rapidly to the words of Christ which become the real crux of the matter. That multitude had seen the miracles, in fact they even concluded that this is possibly the Messiah, that prophet Moses spoke about. But then their ignorant selfishness ran wild as they decided that they wanted Jesus to do this, and they wanted Him to do that and they'd just use Him. They felt they had found Aladdin's lamp, rubbed it, the genie popped out and now they were supposed to tell Him what to do.
Well they never questioned His power, that was obvious. But they were absolutely, totally in the dark about His purpose and His plan and so the words of Christ had to be defined. And that's just exactly why Jesus gives this discourse, to show them that His purpose is not political, His purpose was redemptive and it wasn't physical, it was spiritual. He didn't come to satisfy bodies, He came to satisfy souls. He came to do the Father's will, a plan laid down in eternity past, and that will of God, that plan had to do with a man's soul, not his body.
And so, the miracle set the stage for this discourse. Now you remember what happened. Having completed the miracle, the disciples had gone over to Capernaum. He had walked on the water. Then the multitude followed Him. Now verse 26 tells us why they followed Him. He says to them in the middle of the verse, "You seek Me not because you saw the miracles." The first time they came around because of the miracles, now they're not even that good. "But this time because you did eat of the loaves and were all foddered up," remember that word chortos, they were like a lot of stuffed animals that had been jammed full of hay and they were back for another load because it was morning and breakfast was due. He says...you were all foddered up so you're back again, you want free food, you think I represent a permanent welfare state. You think that now that you've discovered Me, you're just going to get Me to provide all the things you need for good.
Then Jesus says in verse 27, and I'm reviewing, "Labor not for the food that perishes, but for that food which endureth unto everlasting life." He says you're looking for the wrong stuff, folks, you're working for a perishing food. What you ought to be doing is looking for that food which endures unto everlasting life. And they were thinking, "What kind of bread is that? I wonder how you bake that?" They were still hung up on the physical. They never do get off it in this whole passage. He says, "This bread...verse 27, or this food the Son of Man shall give you for Him hath God the Father sealed or approved." In other words, He says the Son of Man can give you this food because He has been approved by God as the dispenser. He can give it out.
In verse 28 they say to Him, "What shall we do that we might work the works of God?" How do we get in on all of this? And, of course, they're hung up on works...what shall WE do that WE might work the works, you know, all works. He says, :Well, this is the work of God, you don't work, you believe...just believe, all you've got to do is believe and you can have this bread." They were still thinking physical bread. All we have to do is believe to have physical bread. Believe in You and You're going to provide us with this super-bread? This super-food that once you eat it you don't have to eat it anymore and it gives you everlasting life?
Now remember, folks, they didn't doubt his power. They didn't doubt His power at all, they just didn't understand His purpose, nor His plan. They probably believed that He could roll out some kind of bread and keep it coming. But they didn't understand that He wasn't even talking about physical bread. They said, "Well what do we have to do?"
He says, "Just believe on Him whom He has sent, whom God has sent." And He was claiming to be that One that God sent, wasn't He? Sure.
So that brings us to verse 30. He has claimed to be the One sent from God. He's told them He's the One they need. Now watch this, they don't accept this just (snap) you know, like that. They can't, their minds won't let them. So in effect they say, "Ah, that's a pretty big claim, telling us You're the One approved of God. You're the One coming down here with this eternal bread. And we're supposed to believe in You. Well, prove it. How do we know who You are?" That's, in effect, what they say and Christ replies to them.
Now in verses 30 to 40 we want to see four things. They make two demands on Christ and Christ gives two replies. Demand one, and Christ replies. Demand two, and Christ replies to that. Kind of interesting that they're still demanding from Him. You know, they've been doing that ever since they met Him, haven't they? They never stop demanding. They never fall at His feet and worship Him. They never fall down and cry for mercy and love Him. They don't do anything but demand of Him. "Do this...do that...give us this." As I've said before and said last week, Christ is no genie, Christ is not for you to govern by your little whims and desires, nor for that multitude. But they make two demands and He gives two replies.
Now notice their demand number one, verses 30 and 31. Point one is demand number one, "They said therefore unto Him, 'What sign showest Thou then that we may see and believe Thee? What does Thou work?" You know what they're saying? "You tell us You are the approved one of God to hand out the bread? You tell us that we're supposed to believe in You? Who are You? If You're something special, prove it!"
Now that is absolutely the most idiotic demand imaginable. That's the same crew the day before that had been fed by the creative hands of Jesus Christ. What kind of proof do they want? As if the feeding of fifteen thousand, including the men and women and the children is not enough, they want something else. Oh, is this a profound lesson...oh, is this profound. Did you know that that is exactly the character of unbelief? You approach unbelief in terms of signs and wonders, brother, and it's a never-ending thing. It's impossible for the natural man to be convinced of anything in terms of signs and wonders. If he can't come to the point of simple faith in Christ and His finished work, all the signs and wonders in the world aren't going to convince him. The Lord said "believe," they said, "show us a sign." The Lord said "have faith," they said, "do a trick."
You they were really down deep in their heart, I can't help but believe that they were really phonies. You know what I think they were saying to Him? I think they weren't...they weren't just saying "do any sign," they were saying, in effect, "how about providing us permanent food? If You can really do this, start doing it NOW." See. Oh, this is so characteristic of men. Men can be confounded and confronted with enumerable evidences of the existence of God and still not believe. And it's amazing how Christians fall into the same trap. You know, we can...we know the care of God, we know the protection of God, we know the love of God, we know God's...God's deliverance in various things and God's working in our lives. Oh, we're so grateful. And all of a sudden some great crisis comes into our lives and we say, "Oh, does God really care? Does God love me? Does God...oh, God, I'm going to test You, God. If You heal So-and-so, I will believe You love me," see. Callously asking God to do a sign. "Oh ye of little faith."
But for an unbeliever there are never enough signs, never enough wonders, never enough miracles to shatter his stony heart. This crowd wants more tricks and they're still hung up on free food. You say, "Well how do you know they're asking for food here?" I know it because of verse 31, look what they say.
Just get this picture, now here they're standing and saying, "Well now, okay, You say...You say You're from God. You say You're the one to deliver this terrific bread." And they're still thinking of a physical bread but on a permanent basis. "You're the one that can deliver this. All we have to do is believe in You and You'll give it to us. How do we know that?" Then they say, "Well now," here's a little thought....now look at verse 31, "Our fathers did eat manna in the desert, as it is written he gave them bread from heaven to eat." You get the implication of that? "Listen, Moses gave us bread from heaven. What are You going to do?"
They're emphasizing...they're trying to emphasize to Christ that they want food. You get it? That's why they picked that illustration. And I think they're also reflecting back on the miracle the day before, and I'll show you what I mean. This is their thought. They're saying in effect, this...Well, let's see, You, yes You, Jesus, You provided enough food for 15 thousand people, and You fed them till they were full, not bad...not bad...however, Moses provided manna from heaven for hundreds of thousands of people every day for 40 years...can You top that?"
Now what is this...what is the subtlety of this? Not too subtle, right? Free food. They want Jesus to start in doling it out. And not only that, Jesus, You only multiplied what You had, Moses brought it straight down from heaven. That's real bright. How do we know You're that prophet, the Messiah, the deliverer of this bread from God? How do we know You're here to satisfy? I mean, how do we know You're greater than Moses, look what he did as compared to what You did. Man, if You're going to catch up with him, you better get moving.
Oh this desire to use Jesus. You see it all the time. They just want to use Him. Free food. There they've got the Son of God with all the divine resources in the universe to satisfy their souls and they're worried about their stomachs. So they demand more signs from Jesus to prove that He's the one from God who can supply everlasting food. I mean, Moses did pretty good. If You're better than that, start showing it.
I love Jesus' reply. All His replies in the Bible are just really too much. In verse 32, "Then Jesus said unto them, 'Truly, truly, verily, verily, amen, amen," really tacking it down, "I say unto you," now watch Him explode and annihilate their whole comparison between Himself and Moses, "Moses gave you not that bread from heaven, but My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven, for the bread of God...ah...is He, the person, who cometh down from heaven and giveth life unto the world." And with that answer, He absolutely annihilated their whole contrast.
You know what He says? He says, "Man, you've only made four mistakes...in effect, four that's all you made, four mistakes, not bad for only one sentence, four mistakes." Mistake number one, "Moses gave you not that bread." That bread wasn't from Moses. Why back in Deuteronomy chapter 16 verse 4, the Bible...or Exodus 16 verse 4, the Bible says, "Then said the Lord to Moses, 'I will rain bread from heaven for you.'" You know what Moses did? He organized the collection, that's all. Moses said, "You go over there and pick up that much...and you go over..." That's all he did. Moses had nothing to do with that...that manna that came down, that honey-tasting bread. He had nothing to do with it. Jesus says, "Moses gave you not that bread, reread your Scripture. That bread came from God." That bread was God's gift.
Secondly...secondly He says, "And incidently, manna is not the true bread either," verse 32, "Moses gave you not that bread from heaven, that's not the true bread from heaven. Not at all. My Father gives you the true bread from heaven." And who is the true bread? "He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." And who's that? Jesus Christ.
So He says, number one, you guys are wrong. Moses didn't give you that bread, God did. Number two, you're wrong, that bread didn't come from heaven, that's not the true bread from heaven. My Father gives you the true bread and I'm the true bread. End of correction number two.
Incidently, Moses' bread didn't last too long either. One day, you remember, and it was gone. And if you took more than one day's supply, it would spoil, except on the day before the Sabbath when you could gather a two-days supply. And it's also interesting to note that Moses' bread had another problem. It couldn't do anything about permanence. Moses' bread couldn't give life, could it? You know, that older generation that ate manna in the wilderness also died in the wilderness? Manna didn't keep them alive, it can't be the true bread. True bread comes from heaven and gives life...life. So Jesus explodes the argument thirdly by saying, "Moses gave you only physical nourishment, true bread is spiritual, it gives life." It's a life-giving bread. It keeps you alive. It has power to keep death away. He's talking, of course, about spiritual death.
Then the fourth way He explodes the argument, He says this, "Manna was only for Israel, in effect, this is for the whole world." Notice it in verse 33, "Giveth life unto...what?...the world." He's saying to those Jews, "Oh, that was just a little bit of blessing for one little group of Israelites in one little spot in the world at one little time. The true bread is for every man and every age and every place, the world." Manna fell in Israel's camp. True bread if for all.
You know, that must have been a hard thing for those Jews to understand because they assumed that everything revolved around Israel, that all of God's purposes were involving Israel. And here He was saying you just got a little bit of the type, brother, the fulfillment and the antitype, the real stuff, is for the whole world. So Jesus explodes their poor contrast. He destroys their reasoning because He shows that their premises are all wrong. He says manna was temporary and physical and the true bread is eternal and spiritual. Manna was for a few and the true bread is for the world. Manna was at certainly truly given by God, but only for a specific time to accomplish a physical purpose. True bread given by God has an eternal purpose.
So you know what He's really saying in his answer? He's saying, "I'm greater than Moses because My bread is the real stuff. My bread is the true bread, spiritual bread, conquers death, gives life not only to Israel but to the world. And it comes right from God." And the question isn't some stupid question about how much bread He gave, as opposed to how much bread Moses gave, the question is what kind of bread He gives as opposed to what kind of bread Moses gave. Moses really didn't give it, but allowed the distribution and the collection of it. That was just manna for physical needs. Christ says I have a bread that is eternal. It's true bread from heaven, satisfies the soul. And so in a devastating way He destroys their arguments.
There's one phrase I want to remind you that's so very important. And I know John would want us to emphasize it if he were here, he'd tell us to be sure and do this. Verse 33, "For the bread of God is He who cometh down from heaven." Catch that? "Cometh down from heaven." That, folks, is the incarnation of Jesus Christ. That statement is a tremendous statement on the fact that Christ is God. That bread came down from heaven.
Now look at verse 38, Christ says, "For I came down from heaven." You go over to chapter 8 and verse 42 and you have the same thing. "Jesus said unto them, 'If God were your Father you would love Me for I proceeded forth and came from God." Over in chapter 13 Christ adds to it this thought, "Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands and that He was come from God and went to God." And over in chapter 16 and verse 28, the same thought again, "I came forth from the Father." And then in chapter 17 verse 8, "For I have given unto them the words Thou gavest Me and they have received them and have surely known that I came out from Thee."
Christ again and again and again claims to proceed directly from God, deity. So Christ in His reply, in effect, is saying "I am the One come from God bringing a bread of life that gives eternal soul-satisfaction."
Now they still don't read this. They're still hung up on the physical needs. So after the second reply, we've seen the first demand and the first reply, here comes another demand. And they're thinking to themselves, "Well, maybe He does have this bread." So verse 34, "Then said they unto Him, 'Lord, evermore give us this bread.'" Now that is a linear command. It is this, "For all time, keep on giving us this bread," see. They were still thinking about a daily dole, you know. And they were saying, in effect, "Keep on...oh, it's terrific bread, keep on giving to us." Never did understand what He was talking about. That's the measure of the...that's the measure of the natural mind, folks, it does not understand the things of God. They're spiritually discerned and spiritual discernment is absent in the natural mind. "Oh, sounds like terrific bread, keep on handing it out to us." And they give the idea of a continuous thing. And so they demand something else. First they demand "prove it," and now they demand "give it." You've got it, give it to us. Instead of saying, "Lord, what do we have to do to receive it?" They say, "Lord, how about it," see. Always demanding, always demanding, always demanding.
Now we'll watch His reply and His reply is tremendous, just tremendous. I really think...before we look at His reply...I really think that if He had given it to them, brother, He would have really had them. Can you imagine how Christ?...He could have captured the whole nation if He had just started doling out food. This was kind of, you know, feed my face and I'll follow You anywhere. I mean, they were ready to make Jesus Christ whatever He wanted to be if He could just put them in a state of just having free food. And I know it was the best tasting food ever cause Christ wouldn't make anything that didn't taste good. With His creative power, that was the best stuff that ever happened.
So Jesus replies to their second demand to give them this bread. And they were still talking physical. And this must have shocked them. I...it doesn't say what their expressions were but they must have really been scratching their heads when He answered them in verse 35. His second reply was this, "Jesus said unto them, 'I am the bread of life.'" Can't you just see them? Huh? He's the bread of life? What is He talking about? He says, "I am the bread of life. I'm not talking about some kind of physical loaves, I'm not talking about anything physical, I'm the bread of life. And I'm not talking about physical life, I'm talking about spiritual life."
I love this verse, "I am the bread of life." Now watch this, "He that cometh to Me shall never hunger and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst." Now you know He's not talking about physical things, I get thirsty, I even get hungry, so do you. That's normal. He's not talking about physical hunger. He's talking about the soul. He is saying, "I satisfy the soul." The soul stops thirsting and the soul stops hungering. Oh, when you meet Jesus Christ, isn't there satisfaction there? There's no more hunger in the soul when you've met Jesus Christ. He becomes food and nourishment. He is the soul food that gives satisfaction.
I always remember that song I heard on the radio several times, I don't know, a couple of years ago, and it was entitled, "I can't get satisfaction," or, "I can't get no satisfaction," or something like that. What a commentary on our world and what a joy to just realize that I have absolute perfect satisfaction in Jesus Christ. He's fed my soul, He keeps on feeding my soul, He quenches the thirst of my soul, there's never a moment that I don't have His supply.
There's two key words in verse 35, see them? Come and believe...come and believe. Those are the two things, you believe in Jesus Christ...what's the next thing you have to do? You've got to come to Him, right? It's not enough to believe, the devils believe and...what?..tremble. To believe in Him and come to Christ. What do you mean come? That means to fall on your face before Him and say, "I'm unworthy, but I want Your love and I want You to redeem me," to come to Jesus Christ. He is the only One, He is the only One who imparts and sustains life. He says, in effect, here, "I am the bread and whoever believes that and comes to Me, take that bread and eats that bread and his soul is satisfied.
You know, the great union that a believer has with Christ becomes satisfaction as Christ is the food that satisfies the soul. I say to you this morning, my dear friend, it is Jesus Christ who came from God. It is Jesus Christ infinitely greater than Moses. It is Jesus Christ to whom you must come because it is in Him alone that you may believe and eat and drink of a food that gives satisfaction for eternity. And that food indeed is Christ Himself. Isn't that a beautiful thought that Christ not only gives the bread, He is the bread? He said the same thing about life. He said, "I came to give life," and then He turned around and said, "I am life." He said, "I came to give you water," and then He turned around and said, "I am that water."
You want to know something? Everything that Christ gives...watch this...He is. You know that? He said, "I came to bring peace," and He is peace. He said, "I came to bring love," and He is love. Everything He brings He is, so when you have Him, you have everything. Soul satisfaction.
You know something, there's a lot of people searching and there's a lot of people longing for something in their soul, but there's no searching of the human mind and there's no longing of the human heart that can know satisfaction apart from Jesus Christ. The hungry heart only needs one food, Jesus Christ. What a joy.
But sadly, Jesus says in verse 36, and it's sad, "But," He says, and I can almost sense a despair in His voice, "I said unto you that ye also have seen Me and believed not." Remember He said that back in chapter 5 and verse 40, "You will not come to Me that you might have life." He says, "You saw the miracles, you just won't believe." That's sad. That's sad. They didn't want Him. They only wanted His physical food, they were phonies. Oh yeah, they followed Him all over the place not because they believed, they didn't believe. They wanted what He had to give. That's sad.
But something must have happened because like a blast of light, some radiant, joyous sun came bursting through the gloom and Jesus fought, changed gears and in verse 37, it's a whole different view. And verse 37 to me is like a soliloquy. It's like some pensive conversation that Christ has with Himself in His own heart although He said it out loud. Look what He says. "All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me." Stop right there.
You know what He's saying? He's saying to this multitude, "You have seen and you won't believe." And then like sunlight He turns and says, "But I know one thing, all that the Father gives to Me, they'll come." "You may not hear and you may not believe, but, O joy, all that the Father gives, they'll come." You know, that was the great encouragement of the heart of Christ. You know, that's my encouragement as a minister. That's the encouragement of everybody who ever serves Jesus Christ. You know, as you look out over the multitudes and you preach and you pour your heart out, I remember when I started preaching, the first place I ever preached in my life was at a bus stop in South Carolina. And guys dumped me off on the corner and said, "MacArthur, this is how you start in the ministry." And they stood me on a corner of a bus station and said, "Preach!" I was scared to death. All these people were milling around and I didn't even know what to do. So I remember I started out by saying, "Hell!" real loud and I got everybody's attention. And then I proceeded to talk about it. And it was a strange experience. You know, it was the most fruitless thing I could have...people were milling around and scratching their heads saying, "He looks like such a normal boy." And I continued to do it. And in fact I did it for three weeks on Saturday nights and usually got the same queried looks each time. You know, it was a fruitless thing. Nothing ever happened. And kept looking at that multitude and saying to myself, "I know Jesus preached on the streets and I know Paul preached on the streets, but how their hearts must have been broken because no one even cares. No one could care less."
One week ago on Van Nuys Boulevard I saw some guy standing on a corner with a Bible in his hand preaching to beat the band, preaching with all his might. And people driving by and looking at him like some kind of a kook. And I said in my heart, "God, bless that guy, just bless him somehow, Lord, bring something into his life that will bless him for doing that." And he looked like a sharp guy, probably some Bible college student like me that got dumped off on a corner. But, you know, if you looked at the world and you judged God's power by the response of men, you'd give up. I've gone places and poured out my heart and nothing ever happens. But you know what I say? I say, "That's all right, that's all right." You know why? Because all that the Father gives to Christ are going to come. Maybe not everybody but all that the Father gives are going to come. That's what Jesus said. I love that, "All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me."
Listen, I'm not responsible for who gets saved. No way! I refuse that responsibility. You know who's responsible? "No man cometh unto Me," Jesus said, "unless the Father do...what?...draw him." I'm not responsible. I won't take that responsibility. My Father's got that responsibility so I can look over the multitude and say, "You won't believe," like Jesus but then I can say, "Oh, but all that the Father gives to Christ, they'll come...they'll come."
You see, if you'll notice carefully verse 37 you'll notice the word "all." And the word "all" is in the neuter, in the Greek. When the word "all" is in the neuter, it is referring to a total group, a unit. He is talking about all as if it's the title of a whole group of people. It's one unit. He's not talking about all in terms of scattered things, He's saying "all," composite, total, one unit. That all, that one single body of believers chosen in Him before the foundation of the world, that all, that group will come to Christ. Why? Because they have been chosen of the Father to be presented to Jesus Christ as the gift of His love. All that the Father giveth...what?...Me shall come to Me.
In John 17, and we'll see this when we get to John 17 later in our study, in John 17, now watch this, seven different times Jesus speaks of this all, this total group of believers that have been given by the Father to Jesus Christ. Did you ever think of yourself that way? I mean, that's exciting. Did you know that if you're a Christian you're a gift from God to His Son Jesus? Did you ever look at yourself as a present all wrapped up, tied by the blood of Jesus Christ and offered as a gift? Oh what a glorious thought that is. As a believer, I am a gift from God the heavenly Father granted to Jesus Christ His Son. I don't know, that excites me. I'm not worth it by a long shot and I don't know why God ever chose me for a gift, but He did in His sovereignty.
Listen, this "all" little group, this definite group of believers given by the Father to Jesus Christ, they are God's elect. They are God's who were singled out. They are those of whom Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 2:13, "God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation." And in Jesus Christ's ministry, every time one of those came to Him who had been given by the Father, He opened His arms in love and received that one as a gift from the Father. In John 10 He says of His sheep, "All of My sheep have been given to Me by the Father." All of them. And here in John chapter 6 and verse 65 He says, "Therefore said I unto you that no man can come unto Me except it were...what?...given unto him of My Father."
Oh, every believer in this world is a gift of God the Father to Christ the Son. You say, that's election. You're right. That's God's sovereignty in action. And so Jesus does not despair over unbelief, for He knows that all who come to the Father...all who come to Him, I should say, are gifts of the Father. The eternal purpose of God is not frustrated, it cannot fail.
Verse 37 also says, "And him that cometh to Me I'll in no wise cast out." You say, "What does that mean?" Listen to this, do you think that if the Father gives a gift to Jesus Christ, He cast that gift out? You think He'd do that? No way...no chance! If you have been given as a gift by God the Father to Jesus Christ, you are as secure as the love bond between Jesus and the Father. And, brother, that's secure. Jesus is not about to throw away the gifts of the Father, in no wise under no circumstances in no way will He ever cast out one who has been granted to Him as a gift of His blessed Father. No, it can't happen.
You want to know something? Nobody in this world would even come to Jesus Christ if it weren't given by the Father...no man comes unto Me except the Father draw him. Paul says in Romans 3, "No man seeks after God." And anyone that the Father gives to Jesus Christ comes. You know something? Anyone who comes, Jesus receives and does not cast out. Can you imagine Jesus Christ casting aside a gift from the Father. He loves the Father too much and, listen to this, you're just as secure in Jesus Christ as the love bond between Christ the Son and God the Father. Would you say that's pretty secure? And so, the divine side, oh what a glorious truth.
Verse 38 tells why Christ would never refuse the gifts of the Father. Look at it. "For I came down from heaven not to do Mine own will, but...what?...the will of Him who sent Me." I wouldn't refuse a gift from the Father...why? Because I came to do the Father's will. I didn't come to do Mine own will. I'm not here to do what I want. If the Father gives Me a gift, and that's His will, I say, "Okay, Father, I'm here to do Your will." See? When God gives a gift, Christ accepts the gift because Christ always does the will of the Father. How many times has He already said that in John's gospel? "I came not to do My will but the will of the Father." "Mine is to do the will of Him that sent Me," over and over and over He says it. You want to know why Christ never refuses that gift? You want to know why Christ never casts a believer out? Why? Because He came to do whose will? The Father's will. And if the Father's will is to give a gift, it's Christ's will to receive that gift. He never goes against the Father's will...never. So He says I came down from heaven not to do Mine own will but the will of Him that sent Me.
In verse 39, "And this is the will...the Father's will who hath sent Me...that of all that He hath given Me, I should lose...what?...nothing." How many is He going to cast away? None. Every single one that's given to Him is kept by Him. Notice this, the end of that verse, "And raise it up at the last day." Do you want to know that the same little "all," the same body of believers chosen before the foundation of the world is going to be the exact same body that's going to stand in the presence of Jesus Christ at the end of the world because He's not going to lose one of them along the way...not one of them. "I shall lose nothing but raise it..." notice that "it," not them, it. What does the "it" refer to? The all, the totality of the all, see. That whole composite body is intact at the end as it was in the decree of God before the foundation of the world. That's a tremendous thought. Christ loses none, none at all.
In view of that, John 17:12 says that Christ was praying and He said, "I have.." He says, "I have not lost any that Thou hast given to Me except Judas." People say, "Well there's one that He lost." No, no because the next phrase says, "That the Scriptures might be...what?...fulfilled." Judas was never given by the Father to Christ in the sense of salvation. There He is referring to those disciples that were granted to Him for His earthly ministry. That's different. And the "all" there is different. It's a different word.
All right, then here's the Father's will, that all that are given to Me I should keep and lose none, and that He will do...that He will do, none is lost. Oh what a tremendous thought. Tremendous thought.
So how does Jesus reply to them? By this, He says this, "I am soul bread, I am the bread of life." "But you don't believe it and you don't see it, but I understand that. And I know that even though you don't believe and that breaks My heart, I know that all that the Father give to Me will come to Me and I know that when they come I'll not turn them away because I've come to do the Father's will and I'll keep everyone of them to the last day and raise them at the resurrection."
But He doesn't stop there. He closes with an invitation in verse 40 and we're going to close there this morning. Lest you think it's all in the decree of God, lest you think that election is all a part of God and we have nothing to do, you're very wrong. I want you to see the human side of God's sovereignty, verse 40, "And this is the will of Him who sent Me that everyone...does that exclude anybody?...that everybody who sees the Son and believes on Him may have...what?...everlasting life." Do you see it from the human side now? You see, the divine side is all wrapped up in the decree of God, isn't it? The human side is anyone who wants to come.
You say, "Well those two don't go together very well, do they?" You're right, they don't go together at all. That's the great paradox, mystery of the Bible, the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of a man. Jesus says all that the Father gives to Me will come to Me and nobody will come to Me except the Father gives him. Then He turns the thing right around and says but anybody who wants to come can. You say, "Well that doesn't make sense?" Well maybe it's just because our brains are a little too finite to comprehend divine love and divine grace.
And so you say, "Well how do you reconcile it?" You don't. The Bible teaches both. Does that bother me? Not a bit. You know what it tells me? It tells me God's smarter than I am and I love to know that. And God's deeper and more mysterious than my comprehension and I'm glad to know that.
It is true that the "everyone" who sees the Son and believes on Him are going to be ones drawn by the Father. But from my viewpoint, I have to respond because I want to cause it's my own choice. For example, I didn't get saved because one day I discovered a list of who was elected and read my name under the Mc's, or the Mac's, or M's. No..no, I didn't come to Christ one day cause I looked on my back and saw stamped there "Elected." No. You know why I came to Christ? Cause I saw the Son and I believed on Him and I wanted Him. That's the human side. But I know now that I saw Him and I believed and I wanted Him because God was drawing me.
I say to you this morning as we close, listen to this. If you can sense this morning the reality of Jesus Christ, if you can sense the reality of Jesus Christ and you have a desire to believe on Him and come to Him, you know what that is? That's the Father drawing you. And if He's drawing you, you better come cause you're to be a gift to the Son. Put your life in the hands of the soul satisfier.
I always think of the story of the prodigal son and with this thought I'll wrap it up. The prodigal son, you know what he wanted? He wanted life, right? Really rip-snorting life. He looked around the house and said, "This house is a drag," or some such words. "I'm getting out. I'm going to blow this thing and go where the action is." Now you know what he wanted, he wanted life...that's what he wanted, real life and he interpreted life this way, life was clothes, shoes, jewelry, money, eat, drink and party time. That was life. He said, "I'm getting out of this place, I'm going where that is." So he took off, man. O man, clothes, shoes, money, jewelry, eat, drink, party time. You know what he got? Pig slop. That's exactly what he got. Then you know what happened, he crawled up out of the slop and he went home. And you know what he got when he got home? Remember this? Clothes, his father put a robe on him, shoes-new shoes, jewelry-gave him a ring, money, all his wants, had a feast, eat, and drank and a party, party time. You want to know something strange? Everything the prodigal son wanted he had...where?...in the father's house. See?
This world is looking for a lot of things and looking in all the wrong places. You know where it all is? It's in the Father's house, isn't it? I don't know what you're looking for but I know who's got it and Jesus Christ is the soul satisfier. You eat of that bread, you never hunger again.
Father, we thank You this morning for Your Word. Your truth, so living, so vital, so thrilling to our hearts. God, continue to teach us the joys of feasting on Jesus Christ and if there are some people here this morning who do not know Christ as Savior, may this be the day when they put their trust in Him. If they feel the drawing power of the Father, may they respond in love and faith and may they come to Him this day. There are people who don't understand the fellowship of the body of Christ, there are people who don't know Jesus Christ. God, we pray that You'll help us to reach them. And for Christians, Lord, who have drifted away from the warmth of that first love, God, we pray that You'll restore them. For every part of this service and for all of those things today that exalt you, we pray in the name of Christ. Amen.
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