Three Pearls Strung Together
“They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:30-40)
One of the glories of the gospel is its simplicity. It is so simple, and presented in such simple language, and is illustrated by such simple pictures that proud men who think they are wise stumble over the obvious and go to hell, while studying that which they think is profound. That was the problem the Jews in John 6 were having with the doctrine of Christ. Those standing before our Lord Jesus were Pharisees and the disciples of the Pharisees. They asked the Lord Jesus what they had to do to do the works of God (v. 28), and he told them. — “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (v. 29). Then, in verse 30 they asked him for a sign. — “They said therefore unto him, What sign showest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?” Before he even answered them, those proud Jews started to brag about their ancestors and Moses’ feeding them in the wilderness (v. 31).
Our Master seized the opportunity to declare that he is the Bread of Life, represented in the manna God sent down from heaven, to declare the purpose for which he came into the world, and to declare the certainty of his success in accomplishing his Father’s will, which is the everlasting salvation of all his elect (vv. 32-40.
Here are three of our Lord’s great sayings, strung together like pearls on a necklace. Each statement is as sweet as it is simple and as precious as it is profound. All three taken together form a deep mine of revealed truth, in which we find ore more precious than gold.
Here’s the first pearl. — The Lord Jesus makes a statement about himself. He says in verse 35, — “I am the bread of life, he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”
The Bread of God is the Lord Jesus Christ, whom the Father sent to redeem us from the curse of the law and death by sin. That typical bread had no power against even physical death. All who ate that bread in the wilderness died; but Christ is the true bread. He bestows eternal life. He says, “I am the Bread of Life.” He is the great God, Jehovah, the “I AM!” He is the Bread that came down from God. He is the Bread that gives spiritual and eternal life. And he is the Bread that nourishes and sustains that life.
Our Lord would have us know that he himself is the appointed and necessary food for man’s soul. The soul of every man is naturally starving and famishing because of sin. Christ is given by God the Father to be the Satisfier, the Reliever, and the Physician of man’s spiritual need. In him and his mediatorial offices, in him and his atoning death, in him and his priesthood, in him and his grace, love, and power, in him alone empty souls find their needs supplied. In him alone there is life. He is “the Bread of life.”
· Bread is used in Scripture to represent that food that is necessary, the food that sustains life, and the food that satisfies hunger. That is Christ our Savior. We must have him, or we will die in our sins.
· Bread is food that suits all. Some cannot eat meat, and some cannot eat vegetables. But all like bread. It is food both for the rich and the poor. So is it with Christ. He is just the Savior that meets the needs of every class.
· Bread is food we need daily. Other foods we may eat only occasionally. But we want bread every morning and evening in our lives. So is it with Christ. There is never a day in our lives that we do not need his blood, his righteousness, his intercession, and his grace. Well may he be called, “The Bread of Life!”
Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Messiah, whom God sent into the world, to quicken those that are dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1), and to give eternal life “to as many as the Father hath given him.” If we would have this life, we must come unto him. We must eat this Bread.
Do you know anything of spiritual hunger? Do I? Do we feel anything of craving and emptiness in conscience, heart, and affections? Let us distinctly understand that Christ alone can relieve and supply us, and that it is his office and work to do so. We must come to him by faith. We must believe on him. We must commit our souls into his hands. So coming, he pledges his royal word that we shall find lasting satisfaction both for time and eternity in him. It is written, — “He that cometh unto me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”
About His People
Here’s the second pearl. — Our blessed Savior makes a statement about his people. In verse 37 the Son of God makes a broad, unconditional, unqualified, completely unguarded promise. — “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” What a great promise that is!
What do those words “cometh to me” mean? They refer to that movement of the soul that takes place when a sinner, feeling his sins, and finding out that he cannot save himself, hears of Christ, applies to Christ, trusts in Christ, lays hold on Christ, and leans all the weight of his immortal soul on Christ, trusting Christ alone for his complete salvation. When that happens, a man is said, in Scripture language, to “come” to Christ. — Coming to Christ is believing on Christ.
What did our Lord mean by saying, “I will in no wise cast him out”? He meant that he will not refuse to save anyone who comes to him, no matter what he may have been. Your past sins may have been very many and very great. Your present sins may be very many and very great. Your weakness and infirmity may be very great. But if you come to Christ by faith, Christ promises to embrace you and promises to keep embracing you forever! He will receive you graciously, pardon you freely, place you in the number of his dear children, and give you everlasting life. He will receive all who come to him; and he will never cast out any who come for any reason or upon any condition.
“I will in no wise cast him out!” — These are golden words indeed! They have softened many a dying pillow, and calmed many a troubled conscience. Let them sink down deeply into our hearts, and abide there continually. A day will come when flesh and heart shall fail, and the world can help us no more. Happy shall we be in that day, if the Spirit witnesses with our spirit that we have come to Christ.
About God’s Will
Here’s the third pearl. — Our Lord Jesus, in verse 40, gives us a very clear statement about the will of God, a statement by which he clearly reveals the will of God. Three times in verses 38-40 our Savior speaks of the will of God, our Heavenly Father.
“For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
1. He tells us that he was sent to do the will of God (v. 38). Matthew 1:21; Hebrews 10:1-14); and he identifies the will of God as the salvation of his people.
The Son of God came into this world in our flesh to do the Father’s will. The will of the Father and the will of the Son are one. — “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30). But the Son is speaking here as Jehovah’s Servant (Isaiah 42:1-4). The design of God in redemption is to have a new heaven and a new earth wherein righteousness dwells perfectly and forever, to have a holy people (all like Christ) to populate that new creation, and to judge and destroy all things contrary to himself. This Christ came to do; and this he shall do (Isaiah 53:10-11.).
2. Our Savior tells us that it is his Father’s will that he lose none of those who were given and trusted to him, and for whom he was trusted in the everlasting covenant (v. 39).
The Lord Jesus speaks of a definite company of people who have been given to him by the Father in an everlasting covenant of grace. He refers to this blessed company six times in John 17 (see verses 2, 6, 9, 11, 12, 24). Each one that the Father gave to the Son in eternity past comes to him in time as a lost sinner to be saved. He will never forget them, forsake them, nor cast them out (John 10:24-30).
Eternal election and eternal predestination guarantee eternal preservation. Our Savior declares that it is the sovereign will of God that all elected by the Father, redeemed by the Son, and called by the Spirit shall be raised from the grave to eternal glory, and that not one shall be lost. Our salvation, security, and resurrection rest not upon anything in us or anything done by us, but entirely upon the Father’s choice, the Son’s obedience and sacrifice, and the Spirit’s operations of grace (Philippians 3:10-11, 20-21).
3. The Lord Jesus declares that “every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day” (v. 40).
This verse speaks of the same people referred to in the previous verses: — God’s elect. But election alone is not salvation. Election is unto salvation. Christ was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Yet, he must come to earth and die, if we are to be saved. Even so, the elect were chosen to life in eternity; but they must be saved in the experience of grace in time. All the chosen must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17; 1 Peter 1:23-25). Each one must have Christ revealed to him. Each must see Christ for himself by faith as his righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. Each must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ with a sincere heart (John 3:18, 36: Romans 10:13-17; 1 Thessalonians 1:4-6). And all this great host of sinners, chosen, redeemed, and called, shall be preserved through all the events of providence, trials of faith, temptations of Satan, and their countless falls, and shall be raised up in glory at the last day (Jude 24-25; Philippians 3:20-21). — Because this is the will of God!
Our blessed Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, will never allow any soul that comes to him to be lost and cast away. He will keep us safe in grace and unto glory, in spite of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Not one bone of his mystical body shall ever be broken. Not one lamb of his flock shall ever be left behind in the wilderness. He will raise to glory, in the last day, the whole flock entrusted to his charge; and not one shall be found missing.
“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21)
“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen.” (Jude 24-25)
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