What Does John 6:44 Mean?

"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(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

It is our Christian duty to proclaim the gospel of grace to a world that is dead in sin and without hope of salvation. However, it is not our responsibility, to save people - to get a person 'saved'. That role is reserved for the Holy Spirit, Who is in the world to convict the unsaved sinner of sin, of righteousness, and of judgement. Every man has the choice to come into the light of the gospel or remain in spiritual darkness.

We may plant seeds of truth in the heart of a sinner, and point others to Jesus, but God alone breathes life into a spiritually dead soul. He alone can cause a sinner to become a saint, through spiritual birth, and to raise him up on the last day. But the Lord will never force a man to believe against his own will.

It is the Spirit of God Who causes sinners to recognise their sin, understand their need of salvation, and convict them of their unrighteousness and guilt. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to make men aware that the judgement of God awaits all who have not believed in the only begotten Son of God - but not all choose to believe the truth and be saved.

While the gospel is open and available to all, not everyone who hears the truth will believe, for man is free to choose or reject the glorious gospel of grace. And in this verse, Jesus makes a very succinct and clear declaration. "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him - and I will raise him up on the last day." God calls sinners to repent and gives eternal life to all who come, but man must respond to His call and some are openly hostile to the truth and object to Christ's heavenly origin.

The religious Jews of Christ's day reflected the same attitude as their fathers in the wilderness, who murmured against the Lord and hardened their hearts to the truth. Despite the testimony of the prophet John, who condemned them as a 'brood of religious vipers', who refused to heed God's call and repent of their sin, the generation who heard Christ's teaching, were spiritually ignorant. They were blind leaders of the blind. They were proud men who refused to acknowledge the truth. 

Because the Lord God had chosen Israel to be His people and had a covenant with them, the nation had become arrogant, and Christ's teaching offended them. They considered that their earthly ancestry through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, guaranteed them a position in God's kingdom. They wrongly assumed that their physical genealogy was an automatic ticket into the kingdom.

But righteousness is credited to those who have faith in the Anointed of God, not those who boast in their physical genetics. These lost sheep of the house of Israel would not believe that Jesus was sent by God. They would not receive the truth. They refused to believe Christ's statement, "I came down from heaven," for to do so would acknowledge His deity.

Jesus did not fulfil their incorrect perception of what the Messiah would be, and so they rejected the One Who came to seek and save them. Five thousand men had just been fed with some loaves and fishes, but they considered one meal of bread and fish was paltry compared with forty years of manna in the wilderness that their ancestors ate, and so they refused to come to Jesus.

While He rebuked their grumbling attitude, Jesus did not argue His point or try to correct their erroneous thinking. He simply pointed to His own ministry which fulfilled the prophetic Scriptures and authenticated His claim. He  warned that, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day." In our fallen state, we need God to attract us to Himself, so that we can choose wisely, place our faith in Christ, and receive eternal life.

Sinners of every generation come to God by believing in His WORD - JESUS, the living Word, and Scripture, His written Word. Earlier our Lord had said,  "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life."  Sadly, many were willingly ignorant of this truth because they refused to believe God's Word.

There are also those who twist the Scriptures, by teaching that the 'drawing' of the Father refers to 'irresistible grace', which negates the doctrine of free-will and conflicts with the rest of Scripture. The reformed teaching of 'irresistible grace' removes man's volition to choose or to reject God's pull on their life. Jesus was explaining that the importance of hearing the Word of God, and responding positively to His Holy Spirit's ministry in their life, lines up with the rest of Scripture. The Spirit of Christ draws all who will hear and believe - and He will raise us all up on the last day.

May our ears be open to the Spirit of God, Who draws us to Himself with cords of love. May we remember that the same Son of God, who warmed the hearts of His disciples and drew them into His loving arms for the forgiveness of sin and life everlasting, is the same Son of God Whose purifying presence hardens rebellious hearts in an oven of pride, jealousy, and unbelief. 

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, it is very sobering to realise that no one comes to trust in Jesus, unless we are drawn by You into His arms of love and grace. Thank You that it is not Your will that any should perish, and for melting my heart with the sunshine of Your goodness and grace. Thank You for drawing me into Your heavenly family, through time and into the eternal ages to come. Soften the hearts of those that are walking down the broad road to destruction, by refusing to listen to Your Spirit's convicting ministry. Look down in pity and mercy on those who refuse to be drawn to Christ, and bring them to the point of desperation, so that they call on the name of the Lord for salvation. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.

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