And 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? Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It 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. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.John 6:42-47
The more these people respond to Jesus the more we can see that they are thinking with natural minds rather than spiritual faith. Since they do not recognize the miracles that Jesus did and the declarations He makes about Himself, they cannot make the connection that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.
This is not much different than many forms of Christianity in practice today. There is an inordinate focus on man’s will and what he must do in order to come to Christ so that he can be saved. Jesus boldly confronts this notion with a clear description of God’s sovereign work in salvation.
Jesus begins with a picture of a person drawing water out of a well to describe how regeneration works. You do not drop in the bucket and then expect the water to pull itself out of the hole. Neither do we “woo” water into getting in the bucket. To draw water from a well the person doing the drawing does all the work and the water can do nothing to help or stop the action happening to it. So it is when we are born again. God performs an irresistible act of grace on us that saves us from our sins.
Further, Jesus quotes from Jeremiah to show that the process is not an intellectual decision but a beautiful act of grace.
But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.Jeremiah 31:33-34
Those that God chose in Christ before the world began are called by God directly in the heart. He changes them from the inside.
The call that some make even today telling people to “know the Lord” or “come to Christ” just don’t fit this scripture. Moreover, the idea that a person must believe in order to be born again doesn’t fit either. We cannot come to Jesus in belief or any other way unless God the Father sovereignly draws us to Christ. Jesus clearly says that our belief is an evidence that we already have eternal life!
Some may object to this line of thought but I think we should pause and think about it for minute. The only objections to sovereign grace makes man’s will more important than God’s. Jesus just said He came not to do His own will. Maybe we should think the same way!
Rather than being upset that we have no control, perhaps we should be thankful that God is fully in control, and we are safe in His love.