Jesus said in John 12:32, “I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”
Did Jesus mean all people or something else? Again, from one perspective in Protestantism, Jesus simply meant that all people would be drawn to Him, but not all would accept Him, therefore they would not be saved. From another perspective of Protestantism, we get this explanation from Leon Morris, a noted theologian and writer:
“All men” is something of a problem. In fact not every man is drawn to Christ and this Gospel envisions the possibility that some men will not be. We must take the expression accordingly to mean that all those who are to be drawn will be drawn. That is to say Christ is not affirming that the whole world will be saved. He is affirming that all who are to be saved will be saved in this way.”
Now I ask you, is what Leon Morris said in fact what Jesus said? If Jesus meant all those who will be saved will be drawn, why did He not just say so? Why seem to deceive people or be so vague as to be misunderstood by people? If Jesus was this great communicator to the masses (all people across time!), why would He not be more careful about what He said?
What about Morris’ statement? Why is there a problem? Is God powerful enough to save all men? Is God merciful enough to save all men? Is God a liar? Will He or will He not reconcile (change, fit,harmonize, accommodate) all things to Himself? Is there anything in John 12 or the immediate context that causes this problem that Morris talks about? You see, Morris is just like most of us. He has a theology, a tradition, a context that all verses must fit into and when they don’t, there is a problem. Unfortunately, Augustine had this same problem.
So I now ask, where in the Gospel message, (you know, that Jesus would bring great joy to all people, that He would die as a ransom for all, etc.) does it say that Jesus will not draw all men but only some? Where in the Gospel does it say He is only powerful to save some men? Or that He only desires to save some?
A wonderful, hope-filled and awesome triumph of our Savior Jesus is reduced to a miserable message. Jesus’ triumph of drawing all people to Himself is miserably reduced to “I will draw to myself all of those whom I draw to myself.” What do you believe Jesus is saying here in John 12:32? Is your Savior great enough to draw all people to Himself? I encourage you to open your mind to the reality that Jesus is far greater than we can imagine, and that greatness is shown in this text, one of many such texts, where His power, mercy, and grace is given to all men everywhere!
Soli Deo Gloria! To God alone, glory!