John 6:37 All those the Father gives me will come to me.
People who come to Christ for salvation are a gift from the Father to the Son. [I] give eternal life to all those you have given [me] (John 17:2). I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me (John 17:9). Father, I want those you have given me to be with me (John 17:24), he said.
Marriages were often arranged by parents, and those who believe in Jesus Christ are the Father’s gift to his one and only Son. The reason we believe in Jesus Christ is not primarily because we chose him, but because the Father chose us for him. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . . For he chose us in him before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:3-4), wrote Paul. Since we were chosen by the Father for his Son, we should be thankful to the Father, and faithful to his Son.
John 6:38 I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.
Whenever Jesus felt like over-eating, over-drinking, over-sleeping (or any other overindulgence) he put aside his own will, and did the will of his Father. He did this over the course of his childhood, adolescence and adulthood—every second until he died.
This is highly important because the death of Jesus Christ would have no saving value if Jesus ever sinned. But He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth (1 Peter 2:22), wrote Peter. [He was] obedient to death—even death on a cross (Philippians 2:8), wrote Paul. And [He was] tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin (Hebrews 4:15), says Hebrews.
This is also important because we are not only right with God through the death of Jesus Christ, but through his perfect righteousness. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe (Romans 3:22), wrote Paul. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness (Isaiah 61:10), wrote Isaiah.
This idea is summed up nicely in the Heidelberg Catechism, Question 60: How are you right with God? Answer: Only by true faith in Jesus Christ.
Although my conscience accuses me that I have grievously sinned against all God’s commandments, have never kept any of them, and am still inclined to all evil, yet God, without any merit of my own, out of mere grace, imputes to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ. He grants these to me as if I had never had nor committed any sin, and as if I myself had accomplished all the obedience which Christ has rendered for me, if only I accept this gift with a believing heart.
This is a wonderful comfort whenever we think of Judgment Day. Knowing that we are completely forgiven, and fully clothed with the righteousness of Christ, we have a double assurance of eternal salvation.
John 6:54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.
This is one of the least popular things Jesus ever said, and the results were predictable. From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him (John 6:66). No wonder! Eating bloody meat and drinking blood itself were both forbidden by God (Leviticus 19:26, Deuteronomy 12:23). And the idea of cannibalism is simply appalling.
But the concept was so important to Jesus that he used similar language regarding the Lord’s Supper. The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me. In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me (1 Corinthians 11:23-25). We are so accustomed to these words that they have lost their impact—but the imagery is edgy.
Years ago a plane went down in the mountains of Uruguay, and most of the passengers died. Leftover food on the plane was soon depleted, and the survivors discovered they only had two options. They could die of starvation, or they could eat their friends. By choosing to eat their friends, the survivors stayed alive, until they were finally rescued.
According to Jesus, the human situation is not much different. We survived the wreckage of sin, but it’s only a matter of time before we die anyway. So he laid down his life for us, so we might feast on him and live forever.
This is how we should think about the Lord’s Supper. His body was shredded on the cross, so we could tear off a piece, and put it in our mouth. And his blood was poured out, so we could fill our cup and drink. Receiving the Lord’s Supper does not save us, but it graphically portrays what Jesus did to save us. Receiving the Lord’s Supper does not save anyone, but whoever receives Jesus Christ will be saved. [T]o all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12), wrote John.
Reflection and Review
Why is it important to know that we are the Father’s gift to his Son?
Why was the obedience of Christ important for our salvation?
What do the bread and cup of the Lord’s Supper represent?