A Hard Teaching

Why would you not follow Jesus? Why would you not be his disciple? He had healed the son of a nobleman from Capernaum, in the synagogue of which he was teaching. He had fed the 5,000 on a mountain across the lake. He delivered a powerful message in the synagogue. Yet, because of what he said, many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. This, like the comment the crowd made, is a hard teaching, John 6:60-71. We have a fuller knowledge of who Jesus is, and yet many seem to follow, then no longer do so. That is something that is being worked out in the life of the church, including this congregation.

A large crowd had begun following Jesus. He had performed miracles of healing, then had fed the 5,000. The crowd recognized an echo of Moses, who had provided manna. The crowd had been ready to make him king, willing or not. They continued to follow him to the other side of the lake, Continue reading “A Hard Teaching”

All That the Father Gives Will Come

“Not now. I’ll come to Christ at some later point in my life.” That kind of postponing is dangerous, not only because we don’t know how much time we will have, but also because it underestimates how hard our hearts can become. Even in Christian circles the idea is common that coming to Christ is my decision, the result of my will. Jesus tells you differently in John 6:36-40.

In a compact passage, Jesus tells you that all that the Father has given him will come to him. The Father’s giving in verse 37 is parallel to verse 44, the Father’s giving involves drawing people to Christ. And Jesus is explicit: no one comes to him unless the Father draws him. Jesus undercuts any grounds for pride your decision to come to him! I have heard an evangelist say, “God has done all he can, now it’s up to you.” But a god who is limited by my choice is a very small god.

While it is true that the Father has chosen his people from eternity, John’s focus here is on something the Father does in time: he Continue reading “All That the Father Gives Will Come”