42 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?
43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.
44 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.
45 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.
46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.
The Father draws us (election) and the Son raises us up on the last day.
I first notice that the Jews murmur because Jesus claims equality with God. They do the “right” thing when they hear something that does not sound right, and they begin to go over what they know, asking themselves if Jesus came from heaven, why do they know his father is Joseph and his mother is Mary. I notice that they are only half right, and there is their tragic error. Born of a virgin was something they just did not know, and on the basis of what they knew, they were acting credibly. The trouble was that they had gotten half their facts wrong. I recall elsewhere they ask the question: “Can any good thing come out of Nazereth?” Again, they assumed they knew the birthplace of Jesus; in fact, they did not. The irony is that the Christ they had been waiting for was right in front of them, and they did not recognize Him. They did not know Him to be born of a virgin, and they did not know He was born in Bethlehem.
Josh McDowell does a very fine job with presenting all the prophecies that came true in Christ, in his book: Evidence that Demands a Verdict. Had the Jews but known their facts, they would have seen much more credible evidence. Especially fine is McDowell’s chapter on “The Messianic Prophecies” (Chapter 9). In this chapter, McDowell covers over 60 prophecies concerning the life of our Lord. I commend it to your study!
I go off half cocked over issues, and find that I have to eat a large portion of humble pie because of my behavior. Part of growing old has been to gain a few seeds of wisdom where at least I know I am very prone to being wrong. That way I can plan a little bit for my stupidity. But this failure on the part of the Jews is wrapped up with election, and becomes much harder to understand. I am told that we have to be drawn to God, and that this is the work the Father does. I am told that we have to be convicted of our sin, and that this is the work the Holy Spirit does. Just looking at Jesus, even if we could see Him for who He is, is not enough. John 6:37 mixes the elements of election and responsibility beautifully together: “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.”
Someone pointed out to me the other night that the same Scripture which tells me so profoundly of God’s sovereign election also says “whosoever will may come” and “come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” God must elect; we must come. Perhaps the reason the Jews here is this passage could not see the Messiah before them, was that they had eyes which would not see, and ears which would not hear, lest they see and hear and be saved.
He that hath seen me hath seen the Father. Would I have been any more alert than they? Would I have seen God in the flesh when I saw Jesus? I am not sure I can say that, but I can say when God sought me I came. Today, if you hear the voice of God, don’t shut it out. Come and be saved.
Come to the Savior
1. Come to the Savior, make no delay;
Here in His Word He's shown us the way;
Here in our midst He's standing today,
Tenderly saying, "Come!"
2. "Suffer the children!" oh, hear His voice!
Let ev'ry heart leap forth and rejoice;
And let us freely make Him our choice;
Do not delay, but come.
3. Think once again, He's with us today;
Heed now His blest command, and obey;
Hear now His accents tenderly say,
"Will you, My children, come?"
Joyful, joyful will the meeting be,
When from sin our hearts are pure and free;
And we shall gather, Savior, with Thee,
In our eternal home.
Lyrics: George Frederick Root