The "Art" of God's Drawing
Twice it is recorded of Jesus that he wrote with his finger on the ground (John 8.6,8). Scripture does not reveal what he physically wrote, but it is more likely that he wrote words rather than drew pictures. However, Jesus did draw, but not with his finger, and not of pictures. He drew people and he drew people with his words. The Father sent Jesus for this reason: To draw men to himself. Jesus explains this in John 17.1-8.
In John 6.44-45, Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall be taught of God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me.”
This “drawing” has reference to our salvation, and the scriptures reveal that it was preplanned and designed from the foundation fo the world. This drawing process thought words of course has reference to God’s commands to humanity. The words, when “rightly divided” (2 Timothy 2.15), tell of this great purpose of God to save man by his Son. They explain how man is to respond to those words and thereby be reconciled to God.
We find that the death of Jesus was preplanned and foreknown before man was created. 1 Peter 1.18-20 says, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold…but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish is without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world…” Then in v. 22 we also see another foreknown fact for which Jesus came: It was to reveal “truth.” This is equally important in our salvation because truth is something that must be learned and obeyed by man in order for God to save him from his sins. God foreordained for man to know his will and how to obey him. We see this from 1 Timothy 2.4, which says of God, “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth”, and here in 1 Peter 1.22 where Peter said that the soul is purified by obeying truth.
Salvation is not a result of blind trust, nor is it an unexplainable experience. It cam be understood for it involves being taught. Man is “drawn” to God by being taught of God. This was why Jesus taught while he was on earth. Notice the order in John 6.44-45: “Hearing and learning” precedes “coming” unto him. This points out the need for teaching, for Jesus didn’t just come to die, he also came to teach: To teach words which his Father gave him. “For I did not speak on my own initiative, but the Father himself who sent me has given me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. I know that his commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told me” (John 12.49-50).
John wrote in John 1.17 that “truth” came by Jesus, and it came through his teachings. In man’s reaction to Jesus’ teachings, the nature of man’s heart is revealed. A good heart believes and obeys. And evil heart does not. Jesus said repeatedly that if any man loves him, that man would “keep” his “commandments” (John 14.15,21,23). This is why doctrine is so important in religion. Doctrine can be wrong, for there is such a thing as “false” teaching (Paul spoke of “another gospel” in Galatians 1.6-9). Satan deceives by “twisting” God’s teaching, as seen in how he deceived Eve.
Those who hated, rejected, and denied Jesus as being sent from God did so because they disagreed with what he taught. Although he performed many miracles in their very presence, it was by the acceptance of his teachings that his followers were determined. Likewise, those who rejected his teaching, refusing to obey what he taught, could not be his disciples.
All the division that exists about Jesus within the religious realm is in regard to Jesus’ teachings and his claims to have received his teachings from God. Jesus went on to state that even within a family there would be division over him. This division would be over his teachings (Matthew 10.34-37). We learn from this that even within a family there will be found good and evil hearts. The nature of the hearts will be revealed in how the individuals react when exposed to what Jesus taught. He taught that all must submit to his teachings and acknowledge his right to command them how to live their lives. He taught that discipleship involved obedience in v. 38 of this same chapter: “And he that taketh not his cross, and followers after me, is not worthy of me.” The apostle John recorded Jesus’ words on the necessity of obedience to Jesus’ teachings in John 12.48: “He that rejecteth me and receiveth no toy words hat one that judgeth him: the word the tI have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”
God’s eternal purpose for all humanity is their salvation, and their salvation is dependent upon their acceptance of the things Jesus taught.
Does God’s teaching draw you to him? Only if you recognize the value of his teaching. This was why Jesus taught. It is why doctrine matters! It is why the Lord warned “Take heed what ye hear” (Mark 4.24) and “Take heed how ye hear” (Luke 6.38).