All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. – John 6:37
Jesus’ words in John 6 are incredible words of hope. What do they tell us? They tell us that salvation is not, and never has been, an arbitrary concept in the mind of God. Those whom God has chosen from eternity past will without fail come to Jesus, and those who come to Jesus will never lose what they have found in him…without fail.
A doubter once challenged the British preacher C.H. Spurgeon to reconcile these two seemingly contradictory statements made by Jesus. Spurgeon’s pithy response was: “Why should I? I never reconcile friends.” Jesus’ words were spoken during his “Bread of life” discourse to a group of mainly unbelieving Jews, most of whom he had just miraculously fed the previous day by multiplying a young boy’s lunch basket consisting of five small loaves of barley bread and two fish into a feast for thousands. Jesus concluded his discourse by saying to the doubters in the group confronting him (mostly because they wanted him to produce more food for them), For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?
Jesus makes an interesting point here. If we do not believe the books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), he implies that we cannot truly put our faith in him. Why? Because the Scriptures are a harmonious whole, not a collection of parts. The Old points to the New — the New reveals much of what was hidden in the Old. Once we begin to piecemeal the Scriptures into “believable” and “unbelievable” parts, we run into a world of trouble.
After a two-week break from our Genesis study to focus on Holy Week and Resurrection Sunday, we return this Sunday to our task at hand, a homiletical (preaching/teaching) breakdown of Moses’ first book. As Pastor Nate Gast starts us out again, we’ll begin to see the descent that takes place after Adam and Eve’s break from obedience to God. The curse begins to take its toll, death and disobedience begin to multiply (notwithstanding some intermittent blessings) and amazing, seemingly unbelievable things are reported to us. Things like human beings living hundreds of years, men accumulating for themselves many wives, family lineages that span generations, the building of a massive ark to save a chosen family and the animal kingdom that existed at that time, and the story of a great flood that swallows up everything that breathes fresh air. Amazing stuff! Stuff that the Scriptures declare to be true, which comport quite easily with science. Jesus said in effect, believe what Moses wrote, and you can find yourselves believing in me. Discount what he wrote, and you will naturally also discount me.
The Scriptures are not written to children — they are written to adults (who in turn are called to know them and teach them to children). They are not always readily understood at first pass, and even after much study some of them remain enigmatic. This is partly why God has called some to be trained and then to teach. We are called not only to put our hope and faith in Christ, but in the word of God that points to him, and then reveals him to us. There is great hope in Jesus and in his words. God is saving a people, and when he saves them, they are his — forever. We can believe that because Jesus told us it is true. We can believe Jesus because God’s word tells us he is true. It started with God’s word through Moses. You can bank on these truths my friends. Jesus called on men and women to do so, yesterday and today. I do, without reservation. I pray you do as well.
Grace and peace,