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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 about His childhood in Nazareth, around forty miles from where He was teaching beside the Sea of Galilee. 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, Emphasis mine).

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 the answers to life in philosophical works, but it never satisfied my spiritual craving. Working with my father as a commercial fisherman enabled me to take extended time off work if I had someone experienced to do my job. For 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 it eluded me no matter where I traveled.

I traveled across Europe and Asia, eventually coming to the USA and South America. 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 because I mistakenly believed it was 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 truth would 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 the opposite of all I had learned about life up to that point. My problem was that I didn't know what God was like, that He is a Lover and a Giver, and the only One Who could satisfy the hunger of my soul, and yours, too, for He is the Bread of Heaven.

After coming to Christ, I realized that the Spirit of God had been drawing me, which was why I had such a deep inner longing. Here's how Jesus described God's 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), the Lord reached out to you and drew you to Himself. It might have been a friend whose life seemed "different." Perhaps it was a message that somehow struck you profoundly. Maybe it was the deep dissatisfaction about which we have already talked. It may also have been a book where a particular sentence gripped you like a hook that held fast in your soul, and it was just a matter of "reeling you in" to Christ. These are all evidence of the Spirit of God at work, wooing you to Christ so that you may receive the gift of 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.

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Shortened from the extended study at the following link: Jesus, the Bread of Heaven.


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