The World’s Wisdom & Salvation

36But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. (John 6:36-37)

Commenting on John 6:36-37 in a sermon, Martin Luther said:

We do not hear Christ say: “All that reason and the smart, wise men of this world give Me will come to Me.” O no! All such will stay away. Reason cannot accomplish this. Luther’s Works, v. 23, 51

This coming to Christ is not to be taken in the literal sense, as though one were to climb above the clouds and ascend into heaven. Nor is this an action performed with hands and feet; it is the heart that comes to God through faith. When you hear God’s Word and it pleases you, so that you cling to it, then your heart comes to Him; God, not a human power or work. Therefore St. Paul says (2 Thess. 3:2): “Not all have faith,” and (Eph. 2:8-9) “It is the gift of God – not because of works, lest any man should boast.” Christ also wants to imply here that anyone whom the Father does not draw will not come to Christ. Luther’s Works, v. 23, 52

But if you refuse to believe and understand that [Christ is one with the Father and that when you come to Christ in faith you come also to the Father, that without Christ you will never find the Father] you are like the Jews in this text. This calls for a humble and helpless, a hungry and thirsty soul, which relies on the words and seeks God nowhere but in the Christ who lies in the manger, or wherever He may be – on the cross, in Baptism, in the Lord’s Supper, or in the ministry of the divine Word, or with my neighbor or brother. That is where I will find Him. Luther’s Works, v. 23, 58