Audio Only (with the Old Testament Scripture Reading)
You Don’t “Make Him Lord”
This morning, as we continue working through Jesus’s bread of life sermon (or his bread of life
discourse), we are yet again reminded of what we saw last week concerning food in the Bible.
I mentioned last week that food in the Bible is one big story about control. Who is in charge,
offering security and blessing? That’s what food is about, in many ways, and as such you can tell the
whole story of the Bible simply with reference to food. In the beginning, God puts Adam into a
garden full of food, and he prohibits Adam from eating food from one tree in the entire garden. So
right there, God gave Adam the opportunity to relinquish his control and trust God for food and
blessing, or to seize control and trust himself for blessing. “Adam and Eve, will you allow God to
feed you, or will you try to feed yourself by going to that forbidden fruit?” Food is all about
control—we see it all over the Bible. It’s about authority, sovereignty, control. Another image we
considered last week is that of children at the dinner table. You might say that a family dinner table
is either a battleground for control, or it’s a school of trust. Children either fight their parents for
what’s put on the table (“I don’t want this, give me something else!”), or they learn to trust their
parents, and submit to them with a humble and genuine “thank you”. In a word—it’s never just
about food. It’s never just about nutrition. It’s about who is in charge—who is offering the security,
So, it shouldn’t be surprising for us to see the subject matter of Jesus’s Lordship and control is
shining through this passage about food. Jesus says “I am the bread of life”—and, I alone am the
bread of life. Jesus is saying, “You can’t turn to anyone or anything else for the sort of nourishment
and strength I offer—whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall
never thirst”. That’s what he says, there in verse 35, which we considered last week. It’s a statement
about his sovereign control. Last week, we called it the exclusivity of Jesus’s bread. He exclusively is
what’s on the menu of God’s table. God offers a one-item menu at his table, and it’s Jesus. Feed
upon him—and him alone—if you want blessings from God. If you don’t like it—if you reject him
and would rather feed yourself, then you can leave Gods’ table. God has nothing else on his table.
He exclusively offers Jesus—and, we might even say that Jesus is the exclusive chef, as he alone
offers himself as the bread of life. Jesus is sovereignly in control, sovereignly offering himself—and
So, here’s the question—is that sufficient for you, Christian? When life gets hard—the kids get sick,
the bills need to be paid, work gets stressful—do you look to Jesus for your help and comfort and
strength? Do you look to him for your daily bread? “I am the bread of life”, he says. Is that
enough—or, does that sound like a scanty dinner plate to you? Maybe you need to add your own
side dish, your own comforts, just to be sure.
What would compel you to believe that Jesus is sufficient for these things? Why is his exclusivity a
good thing? What’s keeping you from being the fussy child at his table, demanding for different
Last week, we spent most of our time on this matter of Jesus’s exclusivity. Although, we closed with
a fairly quick reference to the security and eternality of his bread. He alone offers a plate of security and
eternality to his people. That’s why his exclusivity is a good thing. That’s most clear in verse 39—
“this is the will of him who sent me [i.e., as bread from heaven], that I should lose nothing of all that
he has given me, but raise it up on the last day”. He will lose nothing of all that he’s been given by the
Father. If you’ve been given to him by the Father, he won’t lose you. He’ll raise you up on the last
day, unto eternity. You’re secure for eternity. It’s the security and eternality of his bread—and, it’s all
wrapped up in his exclusivity. Only in Jesus will you find security and eternity to feast your soul
upon. He’ll keep you. He’s sufficient for every days’ trouble, unto eternity. That was last week’s
feast, if I may.
The Bread of Security: It’s Source and It’s Comfort
Now, on to new material. What’s underneath that security? What’s supporting it? If Jesus is going to
claim that he alone is the bread of life—if he’s going to lay claim to both (1) exclusivity and (2)
eternity (he’s the only way to eternal life), then we might hope he’d give us some added measure of
security that he can deliver on his promises. Yes, he says in verse 39, “I should lose nothing of all
that he has given me.” Although, do you think he might be able to give us a little more than that?
What does he mean by that? He’s, after all, literally calling us to entrust our lives to him—to lay
down our worldly comforts and securities, and turn ultimately to him for strength and comfort and
security unto eternity. Any sane person might say, “elaborate a little, if you will, Jesus”.
Well, in his kindness, he elaborates on this for us. In verses 41–51, our passage for this morning,
we’re going to see the source of Jesus’s security, and the comfort of Jesus’s security. That’s our new
material for this morning: the source and comfort of Jesus’s security. Where does his security come
from? We’ll consider that question most this morning. The more you can understand the source, or
the foundation, that’s supporting our security—then the more comforted we’ll be. That’s just how
comfort works. If you buy a home, you want to make sure the foundation is secure—then, you’ll be
comforted to know the house won’t fall over in the next 10 years. So, we’ll dive deeply into the source
or foundation of Jesus’s security, and then a few quick points on the comforts of Jesus’s security will be
a natural appendage to this morning’s message.
The Source of Security
Look at verse 41, where we’ll begin to consider the source of Jesus’s security. Remember, we’re
jumping into the middle of the dialogue, here. Jesus just said “I am the bread of life”, among a few
other radical claims. So, verse 41—
John 6:41 So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came
down from heaven.”
They grumbled. That’s incredibly telling, folks. Jesus said “I am the bread of life that came down
from heaven”, and they grumbled just as the Jews did in the wilderness. This is the Exodus 2.0—the
same bread from heaven, the same grumbling Israelites. The bread has returned—only this time in
its fullness, personally—and the people grumble. What happened to the Israelites who grumbled
before God in the wilderness? Let’s just say they weren’t received by God graciously. They were cast
out of the promised land.
Will Jesus Secure “All Who Come”?
Now, what does this have to do with the security, and Jesus not losing anyone of his people?
Remember, folkls—these Jews who had originally came to Jesus for Jesus’s blessings. They came to him,
and now they’re grumbling. Jesus disappointed them. His words, you might say, is turning them
away. Does that raise some concern, based on what Jesus had just said? Do you remember what he
said earlier in verse 37? “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I
will never cast out.” Do you hear that? “Whoever comes to me, I will never cast out”. That’s the
security we’re after, isn’t it? We want to see Jesus explain that. “Whoever comes to Jesus will never
be cast out!” It preaches well, doesn’t it? Just leave it at that, tickle the people’s ears, and the
preacher has done his job. He’s given the people security in Jesus. “Just come to him! You’ll be ok”.
There’s more to it than that, isn’t there? Folks, these people came to Jesus! They came to him for his bread, for
his kingdom. They came to him to make him their king! Yet, what do we see here? He’s certainly not
welcoming them. He’s not saying, “oh, you came! welcome! I’m happy to receive you for who you
are. welcome to my kingdom! Everyone is welcome!” That’s not the Jesus we see in the Bible. When
they first came to him in verse 26 of this chapter, he rebukes them! “You are seeking me not because
you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves”. So, Jesus is promising security to
“whoever” comes to him. “I’ll never cast him out”—and yet here, he’s rebuking them and saying
things that they don’t like. Things that will turn them away.
In fact, if you turn back in your bibles to Matthew 7:22, we see Jesus literally casting people out who
came to him.
22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast
out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I
declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
How’s that for security, for you? “Come to Jesus, he’ll never cast you out”, they say. That’s what
Jesus says, here in John 6. Only, when we look to the Bible, he’s casting out people who come to
him. “Depart from me, I never knew you”, is what Jesus will have to say to some. How’s that for
security? How does that sit with you?
Folks, there’s a lot of teaching out there that give people false security simply because they aren’t
reading Jesus’s words carefully. There are some preachers who intentionally twist Jesus’s words in
order to appeal to the masses. Other times, we just don’t read him carefully enough. Whatever the
case, our job is to read what he says, and take him at his words. Just take that Matthew 7:23 verse for
example. We often might say in passing during a bible study—“depart from me, I never knew you”.
What does actually he say? He says “I never knew you, depart from me you workers of lawlessness”.
Jesus is talking to people who came to him as workers of lawlessness—meaning, they were people who
put their trust and eternal securities in their own works. They prophesied in Jesus’s name, they
exorcised demons in Jesus’s name, and they were putting their hope in their prophesies and
exorcisms rather than in Jesus’s name. They had it all flipped. They were feasting on the bread of
their works rather than on Jesus himself. It’s a totally different table, folks—the table of works
versus the table of grace. You might even say that they were never “cast out” from the table because
they were never at the table in the first place. They were knocking to come in with their own
pretentions, and they were sent away because they didn’t belong.
It’s the same thing in our passage, where we find these Jews coming to Jesus after he fed them. Why
were they coming to him? They wanted him to multiply his bread again—maybe even to return
mana to Israel. We talked about that last week as a sign which the Jews had associated with the
coming Messiah. He’d return physical bread to Israel, and then return the kingdom to Israel. They
had their idea, their pretentions. Needless to say, they weren’t coming to Jesus for Jesus, to receive him
as their hope and security, as their bread of life and security. They came to force their pretentions
upon him, to use him for their own purposes. Again, who is in control? What bread are they feasting
on—theirs, or Jesus’s?
Keep reading, and we’ll only see more of this. They grumbled at what he said, and then they say—
42 “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he
now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
So, they challenge Jesus’s statement by appealing to Jesus’s heritage. They had seen Jesus grow up.
They knew where he came from, humanly speaking. Only Jesus, of course, is referring to his
incarnation. He—God, the second person of the Trinity—came down from heaven in order to give
divine blessings to his people. They were confused about Jesus’s origins. They were confused about
Jesus’s words—and really, as Jesus continues to open his mouth in the next few paragraphs here,
they’re only going to get more confused and more frustrated. To the point I said earlier—Jesus is
not going to have to “cast out” these people who came to him. They’re going to walk away on their
own accord. They’re going to say, “nah, no thanks. upon further reflection, I don’t want this Jesus”.
So again, how’s that for your security? I thought the whole point of this was that whoever comes to
Jesus, he won’t cast them out. He’ll keep them secure unto eternity. How could they have known
what Jesus meant? Was this really their fault? They get confused, and Jesus starts to speak even more
confusing things! How many people have come to Jesus—but, upon further reflection and potential
confusion, they decided he’s not for them? Then again, how many people come to Jesus for the
wrong reasons as this crowd did? The list goes on and on, folks—reasons why people leave Jesus
after seeking him for awhile. Where’s the security, the hope, that Jesus really will not lose anyone
who comes to him?
Look at verses 43–44. These are famous, jarring, hard words that will only comfort you if you receive
them at face value, with humility, by faith. Verse 43—
43 Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves.
Just so we’re clear—that’s a rebuke. Jesus is saying “Yes, I’ve said strange things that are making it
difficult for you not to grumble over. Stop grumbling, as though your debates and your discussions
and your reasoning will bring clarity to this.” Natural, human understanding and debating and especially
grumbling—it’s never going to go anywhere when we’re trying to understand God. Isn’t this all why
the Israelites grumbled in the wilderness? God told them something that would only make sense if
they received it by faith. “You, small, insignificant Israelites—go destroy those massive Canaanite
nations”. That’s only going to make sense if you understand it by faith—if you relinquish control
and eat from the bread of God’s strength rather than the bread of your anxious toil. The Israelites
go out to the promised land, they see the mighty Canaanite nations, and they start rationalizing and
discussing and reasoning with human reason—“there’s now way we can defeat these nations!”. They
didn’t receive and understand Gods’ words by faith, folks. So, they grumbled. It’s the same here.
Jesus says “do not grumble. listen and pray that you might understand this by faith, not by your
human reasoning and grumbling”. Then, he drops a bomb on them—and really, it’s a bomb for us,
Clearing the Air with an Awesome, Humbling Verse
44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him
up on the last day.
Do you hear that? This is a hotly debated verse, folks, and the only reason is because it smacks hard
at the pride of man. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” Jesus is
saying that unless the Father personally draws you to Jesus, you cannot come to Jesus. This is more
elaboration on verse 37, the verse I mentioned earlier. To say this positively (verse 37), Jesus says—
“37 All that the Father gives me will come to me.” So, anyone who the father positively gives—or
draws—to Jesus will come to Jesus, to never be cast out by Jesus. That’s our security. Now, in verse
44, Jesus says the same thing, only in the negative. It’s like saying “I eat pancakes for breakfast every
morning”—positive statement. Now, the same statement only in the negative—“I don’t eat anything
for breakfast except pancakes”. Do you hear the difference? It’s the same statement, only saying it in
the positive and then in the negative. Verses 37 and 44 are doing that for us. So, verse 44, flipping
the positive statement around to be a negative statement—"No one can come to me unless the
Father who sent me draws him”. Do you see how those verses complement each other? “All that
the father gives me will come to me”, verse 37. Then verse 44, “No one can come to me unless the
father draws him [to me]”. Now, what exactly do they mean?
Verse 44, there, is more specific. It’s more jarring, really. Think about these two questions—what
does Jesus mean “no one can come”, and what does Jesus mean by “unless the father draws him”?
Those are two big questions, here, for us, if we are to understand and enjoy the bread of Jesus’s
security this morning. Again, this is all helping us understand the source—or, the nature—of his
Where Our Security Begins: Understanding “No One Can Come to Me”
So first, note in verse 44 that Jesus is not making a statement about who God has invited into Jesus’s
kingdom. It doesn’t say “no one is welcome to come to me unless the Father has welcomed him”. That’s
how we often read this, and I don’t think for a second that this is what Jesus is saying. Everyone is
welcome to the table, but not everyone will have the faith to come. Jesus said in John 3:16, “for God
so loved the world, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life”. Whoever
believes—and, folks, Jesus came into the world proclaiming to the world the message of his
kingdom—“repent and believe”. He offered a universal call to himself. In fact not just him, but he
even had a forerunner. God sent John the Baptist before him with the same message. “Repent,
believe, the king and his kingdom is at hand! Get ready to receive him!” He’s invited everyone—so
long as they’d be willing to repent and believe.
So, this is not a verse about who has been invited to Jesus’s table of blessing. What does the verse
actually say? “No one can come to me”—and by that, Jesus means “no one is able to come to me
unless the Father draws him”. Jesus is making a statement about human ability, folks. The greek
word is lilteraly dunamis—referring to our natural power, or ability. Naturally, according to our own
natural, rebellious, sinful nature which we inherited from Adam, Jesus is saying that no one can come
to him. We’re unable to muster up the faith to come.
Folks, that’s where we start understanding the security which Jesus offers. That’s where it all begins.
If we recognize that we bring absolutely nothing to Jesus’s table of grace—that outside of Gods’
grace we were utterly and altogether unable to come to Jesus, then the only security we can turn to is
God’s grace. We were dead in our trespasses and sins, Paul says. Dead men don’t “come to Jesus”.
That’s the most debilitating metaphor the Bible uses to describe our condition before God—and,
the Bible uses it a lot. “On the day you eat of the tree, you shall surely die”—and on that day, Adam
and Eve died a spiritual death to God. Outside of his grace, they would have nothing to do with
God. They would have hated him. They wanted no life, no blessing from him—and, that becomes
very clear in their children. Sin and hatred toward God became the natural condition of humanity
after the fall. When God would speak to them—say, to Israel—God says “it’s like they have ears but
don’t hear, they have eyes but can’t see”—they’re like dead men. That is the story of Israel. God
revealed his glory to them in ways that might make anyone tremble and say, “I’ll trust you God,
anything, I give it all to you!”. Did they? Israel is one long story of rebellion after rebellion after
rebellion. They could not come to God by faith, to understand and trust and obey him. Jesus is saying
that the same is true for all humanity, here. Indeed, “No one can come to me”—they just can’t do it
in their sin, unless the father draws them. Later, we’ll see Jesus say in verse 53 that “you have no life
in you” if you don’t receive Jesus by faith. You’re dead, unable to believe upon him.
This is appealing to the order of our salvation, folks. A resurrection—or, a drawing from God—
must happen before we believe. When I was wrestling with this issue, a minister asked me the simple
question—“do dead men believe? Or, do they need to be awakened first, to believe?” God must
awaken you from your spiritual death—he must choose you in your grave, and he must draw you out of it
with his breath of redeeming life, in order for you to believe and receive Jesus. That’s how this works.
That’s how Jesus is talking, here.
Where Our Security Rests: We Must Be “Drawn”
Of course, this has us thinking about what Jesus means by the Father drawing us to Jesus, there in
verse 44. It’s a compelling word, folks. Elsewhere, it’s translated as “dragged against one’s will”.
When a fishnet is spread in order to catch fish, the fishnet is drawn into the boat. Do the fish come
willingly? The word is also used a few times in Acts, when people took Paul by force and dragged him
out of the temple.
Does the Father drag us out of our misery, against our will? Do we “come to Jesus” fighting,
kicking, and screaming, when the Father drags us before the Savior? Folks, I don’t think that’s the
image Jesus is going for. I think it’s more like the image of God dragging us out of our graves. No,
he’s not going to ask for permission. Or, perhaps its’ the image of a Father dragging his suspicious
five year old off the video games and into the car for a father-son adventure which the son will
never forget. But—really, it’s probably more like the graveyard scene. That’s what we’re talking
about—and folks, that’s the security of Jesus’s bread that we’re talking about. “I was dead, but now
despite all odds and despite my unable and unwilling soul—I’m alive”. We’re awakened, we see
Jesus, we receive him by faith, and he will never let us return to the grave again.
That’s the source of our security, folks. It’s entirely rooted in God’s initiative, God’s power—even
as it brings us to God’s table of grace. It must be so, for without it, we’re dead men and women
The Comfort in Jesus’s Bread of Security
Now, what comfort does this bring? What’s the comfort of our security in Jesus? I think in many
ways it’s obvious—it’s entirely in Jesus’s hands, not my own. We need not eat the bread of anxious
toil. We feast at Jesus’s table of grace, in the comfort of his bread of security and nourishment and
But again, Jesus elaborates. Let me offer you two quick ways.
First—and, this is more of a point in passing—we must point out that throughout this whole bread
of life sermon, Jesus reminds us that our salvation and security is a work of the Triune God. The
table of grace, folks, is prepared by the Triune God. The Father selects us and gives us to the Son.
The Father draws us to the Son. The Son secures us and raises us to eternal life. The Spirit isn’t
expressly mentioned here, but he’s certainly implied. It wouldn’t take long for me to make that
connection in these verses, if we had time this morning. The point is—you have all three persons of
the Trinity securing your place at the table of his grace. They all agree you should be there, to be
strengthened and saved and satisfied forever. Let that be a comfort in security.
Now, the second comfort in Jesus’s security. It secures us from death. Look at verses 47–51.
47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your
fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down
from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down
from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give
for the life of the world is my flesh.”
Isn’t that awesome? The security Jesus offers secures you from ever having to die. You have eternal
life, right now, and therefore you will not die. Jesus died for you—he satisfied God’s wrath for you,
even as he adorns his table with his body and blood. So, our physical death is nothing more than an
entry to home for the Christian. I’d hardly call that death in the Genesis 3 sense of the term. We will
live forever, folks. Its certain, it’s secure. Feast your soul upon that food, at that table of grace.