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Weekly Devotion – John 6:65

By Mike Caton

John 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.”

Does Jesus mean that only certain people can come to him, that the Father somehow gives some folks some special means to come to him? And if that is the case, what about everyone else, those who do not receive this special enabling? Are some people specially called and some simply left out?

If you remember, this passage started with the people wanting bread and Jesus telling them he was the bread that comes down from heaven. One commentator pointed out that God enabled every human being with the ability to feel hunger. That growling in our stomach pushes us to find something to eat. There are certain times and cases when a person has no hunger, they refuse to eat. And if you don’t eat long enough, the result is death. In the same way, each human has a God given desire for the truth, for satisfaction, for connection with God. People may reject their spiritual hunger, or they try to replace the bread of life, Jesus, with some other kind of thing, but it will leave them always hungry, malnourished and will eventually lead them to death. Over and over in the gospels, we read Jesus inviting everyone to follow him.

Jesus later says in John 12:32, “And I, when I am lifted up, will draw all men to myself.” The being lifted up refers to his death on the cross. Jesus makes it plain here when he dies for humanity, he will be drawing everyone to himself. It is in the death of Christ that all men are enabled, drawn, invited to a saving relationship with God through his Son Jesus. God has already done the work, he has already made the way, we simply need to take him up on the offer, to accept it.

As we look at this crowd, the difference ought to be clear. There is a difference between interest in Jesus and commitment to Jesus. Many people have an interest, they know who he is, they know what he wants and they are willing to go along with him, but only so far. It is clear they are still the king of their lives. They are interested, but only in a convenient way. But there are others who are committed, who have submitted themselves to Jesus. They know him (not just know about him) and they want to know more about him, to get closer to him and they are willing to do whatever it takes to please him. You see the choice is ours, yours and mine. We have to decide what we are going to do with Jesus, how close to him we really want to be.

Father, I want to get ever closer to you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Mike Caton is the preacher at Mount Olive Church of Christ in Belhaven. He volunteers at the Ponzer Fire Department and works part time with Hyde County EMS. If you would like to receive daily devotions in your inbox, email mikecaton@centurylink.net.

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