The Drawing Power of God

When Jesus told those listening to Him that He had come down from heaven (John 6:38) to do God’s will, they started reasoning and whispering to one another about His childhood in Nazareth around forty miles from Capernaum. Some of them, perhaps, knew His father and mother. How can He say that He came down from heaven? Jesus’ response was to talk about the drawing power of the Spirit of God.

41At this the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven." 42They said, "Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, 'I came down from heaven'?" 43"Stop grumbling among yourselves," Jesus answered. 44"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. 45It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. 46No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father (John 6:41-46).

What did Jesus mean by saying, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him?” (v. 44). In my late teens and early twenties, I had many questions about life's mysteries brought on by the many near-death situations in my job as a commercial fisherman. The questions were often about life after death, and if there were a heaven and a hell. My spiritual hunger progressed to the point where I sought out the answers to life in philosophic works, but it never satisfied my spiritual craving. Working with my father as a commercial fisherman enabled me to take extended time off work, as long as I had someone experienced to do my job for me. Over the period of a couple of years, I began to travel and search out Buddhism and Hinduism, thinking those religions would satisfy my craving for the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle of my life. Something was missing, and no matter where I traveled to, it eluded me.

I traveled across Europe, Asia, and North Africa, too, eventually coming to the USA, and South America, also. I was on a search for truth and a filling of the void in my heart. Whenever thoughts about searching out Christianity came to me, I would immediately dismiss them due to my mistaken belief that it was all about someone who died two thousand years ago as a martyr. The enemy of my soul suggested to me anything but biblical Christianity. I heard it said that "all one had to do was believe," but that was too simple for me! I thought the answer to my longing for truth was that I had to work hard to get it, i.e., that the truth could only be attained if I searched with all my powers of focus.

I thought, wrongly again, that it would have to be costly or far away! My concept of being a spiritual person began to feel like an unobtainable goal, yet when I started to read the Bible, Jesus presented truths that a child could understand. Could it be that simple? "Just to simply believe" was opposite to all I had learned about life up to that point. My problem was that I didn't know what God was like, i.e., that He is a Lover and a Giver, and that He is the only One Who could satisfy the hunger of my soul, and yours, too, for He is the Bread of Heaven.

It was after I came to Christ that I realized that the Spirit of God had been drawing me, and that was why I had such a deep inner longing. Here's the way Jesus described this drawing power:

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away (John 6:37).

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day (John 6:44).

When you came to Christ (if you are a Christian), it was because you were drawn in some way. It might have been a friend whose life seemed "different." It could have been a message that somehow struck home profoundly. Maybe, it was the deep dissatisfaction about which we have already talked. It may also have been a book that you read where a particular sentence stuck out and gripped you like a hook; it held fast in your soul, and it was just a matter of "reeling you in" to Christ. These are all shreds of evidence of the Spirit of God at work, wooing you to Christ, so that you may receive the gift of God, eternal life in Christ. In verse 45, Jesus again described how God works in this way: "Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me" (v. 45). If you don't yet know Him, maybe today is the day to ask Him to come into your life. You never know if there will be another opportunity. Keith Thomas

Shortened from the more extended study at the following link: Jesus the Living Bread