everyone eats | John 6.35-40
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:35-40 | ESV
Then Jesus said plainly, “It’s me! I am this Bread of Life! You take this bread – you come to me, you put your trust in me – and you’ll never know hunger or thirst again. Ah, but you’ve already taken in the aroma and had a taste, and you’re not buying it – you’re still checking on the ingredients! Not that this is any surprise – the only people showing up in the bakery looking for this bread are the ones the Father has invited in – and no one Abba has included will ever be left out in the cold. I haven’t come into this world with my agenda, to carry out my personal preferences but to carry out his – the Great Sender. And this is my Sender’s agenda: no one he has invited in gets lost or shut out – no, when the dust finally settles no matter how beaten down they may be I’ll have them standing up with me. This is what my Abba wants: everyone who really sees the Son and really buys into him has life which cannot be taken away, and when the dust finally settles, they’ll be the ones I’ll have standing up with me.” MAV (Mike’s Amplified Version)
“God wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
Yes, but “many are called, few are chosen.”
It’s one of the harder truths of the Gospel to digest.
God wants everyone to eat, and it’s his intention that everyone eat, but most of us aren’t interested. Instead of screaming enthusiastically, “Me!?” we yawn and mutter “meh.” And so the last are first and the first last. But his house is still full, and everyone eats – while those balking at the menu are still squabbling outside.
That’s how I see this crowd as they begin to argue with Jesus.
They are disgruntled diners refusing to dine. And as they continue to talk and balk underneath an “everyone eats” banner, their refusal to step up to the plate makes clear who really is on the final guest list – and who isn’t. And while Jesus’ words here can launch us into a thousand theological debates involving election, fate, and predestination, I don’t think that’s Jesus’ intent, any more than it was his intent that this group of balking diners should debate the menu with him.
Every time Jesus or any biblical author/speaker strikes this chord of predestination and election, it is meant to be a chord of comfort for those who actually take their seat at the table and embrace the Meal before them.
You are no accident; you are meant to be here; I’ve been saving this place for you; and I will never let you lose your spot at this table.
The question is, will we continue debating the menu and the seating arrangement or will we take our seat at the table under that divine “everyone eats” banner – or, perhaps worse, will we remain so distracted by everything else going on around us that we don’t even realize that there’s a party going on?
What comes to your mind when you hear the words “predestination” or “election”? Does this cause you comfort or confusion? Why?
Abba, let me be drawn anew today by the aroma of your table; remind me that you have reserved a spot for me that cannot be taken away through my stumblings or fumblings. Through Christ.