Fr. Mesrop Parsamyan
Taught by God
In the Gospel story of this coming Sunday (John 6:39-47), instead of receiving the words of Jesus and believing in Him, people murmur in disagreement. They think they know Jesus as the son of Joseph and Mary, but then how can he claim to have descended from heaven? How can he give us his body to be eaten?
It’s in our human and sinful nature to have doubts about the Word of God. We always speculate, discuss and very often grumble. Yet the Faith just receives the words of God, because it is He who speaks. Faith hears, faith receives, faith believes!
God wants all men to be saved, none to perish, but He wants everyone to repent. (1 Timothy 2: 4, 2 Peter 3: 9). However, at the same time, we have a responsibility to receive what God says, to accept what God is doing. Grace is God’s part in our salvation; Faith is the part of our responsibility: "By grace, you are saved through faith," says St. Paul in Ephesians 2:8.
Indeed, it is of vital importance to us to be taught by God, by His Word, and by His Spirit! In verse 45 Jesus quotes prophet Isaiah: “All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the prosperity of your children.” (Is 54:13) This exhortation is for "All," because it is impossible for anyone to believe and prosper in spiritual life if he or she doesn’t listen to God! Listening and believing to the Word of God allows us to come to Jesus, who unites us with Father (v.45-46) and grant us the eternal life (v.47).
Certainly, it is our God's given faculty to reason, to think through and to ask questions, but what matters most is to embrace the answer of God. The problem is that we desire something other than what God wants to give us, and in the result, we murmur in dissatisfaction. But if we accept what God gives us, if we let ourselves be taught by Him, we will find the satisfaction and the peace! To murmur is, in reality, to complain against God! Let us rather learn to accept His will, for it is always good, and always perfect! (Romans 12:2).
"39 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. 40 This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.”
41 Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered them, “Do not complain among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life."