65. Understand

Short Meditations in John 6:  65. Understand

Jn 6:65  He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”

It is a strange thing that Jesus says that no one comes to him except with the Father’s help. Some feel all they have to do is make an effort to keep the rules and go to church and that’s what makes them a follower of Jesus. Wrong. There are others who are never quite sure that they can call themselves believers because they have some doubts and although they have called on God again and again, they are still unsure of their position. Many in the crowd before Jesus would have said they were good Jews and that was enough for them and God.

But remember what Jesus has just been saying that we have been considering in the previous two studies – that being spiritual, having a relationship with the Father has everything to do with the presence and work of the Holy Spirit. Now Jesus focuses back on the Father, so how exactly does it work? How do we become ‘spiritual’ so that we can understand Jesus’ words, and why isn’t it enough to simply be a ‘good Jew’? What is the truth.

Well if we go back to what we were saying in the previous study, and start with belief, think about how we come to belief. Actually what happens is that the Holy Spirit convicts us of our need while at the same time ensuring that we are presented with the truth about Jesus. We made a distinction previously between those who were apparent followers but were now drawing back, and those who were utterly committed. What was the distinction? The former group simply never came to the point where they could utterly surrender to Jesus.

That is the critical point where the Father accepts as real our surrender, declares us justified and adopted and then imparts His Holy Spirit to indwell us from then on, so we are born again. Prior to that critical point, our belief was tentative and although we were aimed in the right direction, helped by the Holy Spirit working in the background of our lives, we hadn’t yet come to that critical point of surrender. That was what the Father was looking for and had been working towards by the work of His Holy Spirit.

Surrendering our will to His is the one thing we could do in all this. Note the two areas of His activity: a) He had been helping us previously to start to come to belief about our own plight and about Jesus and b) afterwards when He imparts His Holy Spirit to indwell us, the Spirit is there to teach us and go in-depth to help us believe. Now in between those two phases of the Father’s work by His Spirit, is our surrender. Having come to a point of partial but real belief, we can go no further until we fully surrender our lives to Him and then He imparts His Spirit to do the bigger work in us.

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