"Meant for You and Me"
John 6:37 - [Jesus said] "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me I will never cast out."
Jesus spoke this wondrous promise in despised Galilee. The greater part of His public ministry was spent in that forlorn, forsaken country, which the proud citizens of Jerusalem avoided like the plague. It was in Galilee, the spurned homeland of unclean half-breeds, our Lord performed some of his mightiest miracles, preached some of His most powerful sermons.
He might have appeared before Caesars in Rome, scholars in Athens, or celebrated churchmen in Jerusalem, but to emphasize for you and me that He came "to seek and to save the lost" (Luke 19:10b) and that He is truly the Friend of sinners (see Romans 3:23), the Son of the Most High-made Man for us deliberately sought to teach, comfort, and save those whom others gladly shunned.
Our Lord refused to overthrow the Roman rule and to reign in Galilee. He wanted to be accepted as the Sovereign of souls, the King in His realm of grace. What were a hundred empires, the rule of the whole world, to Him in comparison with the saving of a single soul? Taking up His cross, He thought more of you and me than of any scepter swaying over the entire earth.
"Whoever comes to Me I will never cast out," Jesus tells us. Now some will ask, "Can this really be true?" thinking of the broken promises by which men have led others astray. Or it might be one's sin that is the roadblock to faith: "My sins are too many, too hurtful to those whom I should have loved and treated differently. Does Jesus really mean He will not cast me out?"
Look to Scripture and see. Peter, a close disciple of Christ turned his back on the Savior in Jesus' darkest hour. Yet when he came to the captive Christ with tears of agonized repentance, the Lord welcomed him and made him a shepherd of His sheep. Likewise, Paul. As Saul he despised and persecuted the early church; yet when he saw his Redeemer and came to Him contritely, trusting in God's mercy, he was transformed by the Holy Spirit into the renowned apostle we all know today.
And who can forget David? It was he who in sensual madness for Bathsheba had her husband Uriah, David's own general, killed in cold blood! Yet David knew the depth of his sin and threw himself on God's mercy. Read again David's wonderful words of confession: "Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit" (Psalm 50:9-12).
Can you not see, then, that you must take Christ and His cross earnestly? Throw away all human errors and delusions that seek to keep you from your Savior's side. Seek the Holy Spirit who alone can break our stubborn resistance and who moves us to believe in God's Son as our Lord and Savior.
Like Peter, Paul, and David, may you resolve to live as in the words of the triumphant hymn: "Just as I am, without one plea, But that Thy blood was shed for me. And that Thou bidd'st me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come."
WE PRAY: Heavenly Father, teach me that no matter how great my sin, Your love is greater still. Amen.
From "Wondrous Love That Welcomes All," a sermon excerpt from Rev. Dr. Walter A. Maier, the first Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. Who might be considered outcasts in our society today?
2. Does Jesus really mean that He will not cast out or send away anyone who turns to Him?
3. How can Jesus' long-suffering and patience with us be a model for us and how we live?
Today's Bible Readings: Psalms 61-62, 65 John 13:21-38
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