Tuesday, March 4, 2008
No man can come to me, except the Father who has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that has heard, and has learned of the Father, comes unto me. Not that any man has seen the Father, except he who is of God, he has seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believes on me has everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
One of the things that has struck me is not only what our Lord said here, but also who he said this to. He was talking to people who had followed him for the most part not because they saw a miracles but because they got their felt needs met. (John 6:26) If you ask a "seeker" sensitive pastor these days, they would say that Jesus Christ did a horrible job in this aspect of his ministry. "You had them, Jesus! All you had to do was seal the deal, and you would have had them be regular attendees to your ministry!" Jesus Christ never held back the truth from anyone, though; even when it was certain that the number of those who followed Him would decrease. "'Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.' From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him." (John 6:65-66) Saying that this passage kind of defeats the "Christ follower" mentality that is prevalent in the "seeker" churches and the "emergent" movement is an understatement.
Listen to James White discuss this aspect of our Lord's uncompromising ministry in what he calls "The Church Shrinkage Movement."