14 JULY (VERSE 32 PREACHED 13 JULY 1777)
Drawn through the cross
‘And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.’ John 12:32–33
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: John 6:35–51
If … I will draw all men unto me. On this clause a few remarks—much is implied in it:
(i) that men are by nature at a distance from God (for in drawing to himself he draws to God—there is no other way to the Father). We are far from the knowledge of God, from his love, from communion with him.
(ii) that men are unable to come to God of themselves—they must be drawn, as in Song of Solomon 1:4; unable in every sense, but especially because unwilling—their carnal hearts are enmity.
(iii) the knowledge of Christ crucified is the effectual and only effectual means to draw sinners to God. The heart will stand it out against every other motive and argument, but not against this, which is spiritually revealed.
(iv) multitudes who call themselves Christians, though they know as a fact that Christ was crucified, yet have not the knowledge of it aright, because they are not drawn to him.
(v) the Lord’s people are drawn, that is, made willing; they do not serve him by constraint. Their hearts are won by the display of love, wisdom and grace manifested in his lifting up upon the cross. This gives them right views of God, of sin, of themselves.
(vi) they whom Christ draws, he draws to himself. This precious promise looks not only to the beginning, but the accomplishment of the work. His love will persevere till it has drawn them safe through all dangers and difficulties and brought them home to his kingdom.
FOR MEDITATION: The expression all men denotes not all universally, but some of all sorts—not the Jews only, but Gentiles also—young and old, rich and poor, of many nations, in various circumstances—so that none who feel their need of him and look to him as lifted up, have reason to think themselves excluded. They are invited without exception, with an assurance that he will in no wise cast them out.
SERMON: JOHN 12:32–33 [2/2]