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It is my understanding (sadly, my Greek is *very* limited) that this very Greek word was also used to describe the process of pulling up a bucket of water from a well. Some claim it simply means to "woo." I find the idea of a man standing at the top of a well and calling down to the water and whispering sweet-nothings to get the water to come out of the well of its own accord a very absurd and funny idea. Even if the water were very willing and desirous of doing so, it (and we) still needs a bucket, a rope, and a very active arm *drawing* it up from the well.

Jeremy Pierce

It's a logical fallacy to assume that A implies B:

A. A word includes in its semantic range the wooing of a man by a woman.
B. Any use of the word involves whispering sweet nothings, even if it has to do with pulling a bucket up from a well.

I don't have any problem with looking at a word to see how it's used, but it's a bad argument to assume every instance will have exactly the same sense. In particular, dragging an inanimate object, by its very context, can't allow a compatibilist sense of freedom. Yet there seems to be such a sense in the cases of people. The same people Jesus describes as being dragged also make choices. We see them do it in the gospels.


In John 6:44 it means to compel, grab, drag, etc. Snatched from falling into the fires of Hell by God alone.

If He hadn't, I wouldn't be here, no matter how much "wooing" He may have done, I just wasn't interested.

Now I am *SO* interested, eternally grateful, thankful and I delight in Him continually and will do so forever. Amen and Amen!

In reference to John 6:44, does God compel people to come to him?
by R. C. Sproul


To be fair to jtr, Jeremy, I don't think his/her comment was meant to be a formal argument/proof.

The word "draw" in ENGLISH can have the meaning of woo or entice, but the question is whether or not the GREEK word actually used in the Scriptures can have that meaning. I see no evidence for it in the other verses in which it was used. (And according to my Lexicon/Concordance these are the only NT uses of the word.)Even when the word is used in regards to people, it implies compulsion. Paul is not wooed out of temple, nor is he wooed into the courts. He was dragged. I offer that as evidence, not as "proof."

This is not to say people do not make choices. It is obvious that we do. The question is, how does God act upon our wills, (the foundation of our choices)? Does He make Himself attractive to us so that we are more likely to choose Him, or does He so transform our hearts in spiritual renewal that we would not possibly choose anything else?

Putting John 6:44 back into its context we see that Jesus made this statement in response to some rejecting Him, as if it was an explanation for that rejection. Whatever God's action is that is referred to as "drawing," the results of it are clear. In the absence of this action, people "cannot come" and will reject Christ, as some had just done. In the presence of this action people come and He will "lift them up on the last day."

Logically, if being drawn means just being enticed, then there is a third possibility of a group of people who are "drawn," but do not come. But this third category of people can ONLY be inferred from this verse if wooing or enticing is a possible translation of the verb. It should also be noted that Jesus makes no mention of them. If, in fact, those present who were rejecting Him fell into this theoretical third category, that is, if they had been drawn, but had not responded positively, one must wonder why Jesus would have brought up the distinction in response to their unbelief.


i'm no theology student at all but i take the "draws" bit to mean that salvation is GOD's work. Wether draws means woo's or drags, GOd does it and not me.


We're forgetting the next verse, 45, in the consideration of Jesus' statement. He says, "It is written in the prophets, `AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.

The drawing power of Christ is a life sacrificed in love (John 3:14-17 where this figure is used for the first time). When we hear this (Romans 10:9f) AND learn it, we come. Robertson says "hath learned" is a second aorist participle. This is a voluntary response. Once we have heard, and have learned, then we come (middle voice, deponent verb).

There are those who hear Jesus' voice, but they don't learn. They reject what he has to teach, just as the Jews rejected Christ. They turned away. It is our decision to make. A paper clip is drawn to a magnet by a force. The force that draws us is when we finally learn the lesson of Christ's love.


How is a person accountable for not believing if they were never "drawn" by the Spirit?


Puppetdude's comments are the most reasonable as he has taken verse 6:45 into context. It gives consistency to the character of God who is not willing that anyone should perish. I believe that God has chosen every human being He has created but He also knows as He is omniscient all those who will reject His choice. A poor woman may be chosen by the King of a country to be his bride but she can reject his offer because she has already given her heart to a commoner. The Lord does ask us to give him our hearts but it is up to us to give it. We can refuse to give it. He has sovereignly given us the choice of rejecting him just as He gave Adam and Eve the choice of obeying or disobeying His command.


We see from the verse in question that the 'drawing' is effective and I would say that it is a drawing beyond our own innate ability, but I don’t believe it is a dragging against our will, meaning that it is not coercive. Yahweh spoke through the prophet Jeremiah saying, “…with loving-kindness have I drawn [eilkusa] thee” (Jeremiah 38:3, LXX [31:3, Eng.]). The same verb is used here that is used in John 6:44, and the context of its use here bears more similarity than the rest of the New Testament uses (with perhaps the exception of John 12:44). The point is that God lovingly draws us therefore we cannot conclude that 'dragging' is in view.

Jack Erickson

I am going on 79 years old and have been taught that god draws us but we must make the decision to except or reject his gift of salvation. The church we have just started going to says we have nothing to do with salvation.
If God chose you your going to br save if he didn't your not going to be. Thats very hard to agree with them. Can you tell me who is right Thank you Jack


I think the approach of presenting all the uses of the Greek verb for drawing is a very good one. The other uses, albeit in other contexts, convey the same sense, deliberate drawing on the part of the drawer, in this case God the Father.

One more thing that I think must be considered to help settle the matter, really, is that the nature of the drawing, in this passage, may be discerned from the results, correct? If you read carefully it is plain that those who are drawn come to Jesus and are raised on the last day without fail v.39.

See the parallels of the Lord's statement here in v.44 at v.37, where draw is complimented with the giving of the Father and in v.45 is complimented with being taught, which is made up of hearing and learning from the Father and at v.65 where coming to Christ is spoken of as being granted by the Father.

From the context the Father's drawing is synonymous with giving, learning and granting or enablement where the result is, in every instance, all, being so drawn, coming to Christ and being raised on the last day. Drawing of the Father results in being raised to everlasting life on the last day!

Melvin Herring

I believe That when ,Jesus say No,man cometh ,except the Fater Draws Him. He is infact speaking of a man's life experinces that has caused him to come to himself.Rm 8 -28 say ' All things work together ,for the Good of those who are called.Man has no control over this drawing.He can run the oppsite direction,however life situations which by the way is controlled by a sorverign GOD.Therefore we are humbled to the point that we must Go.


I think the Father's Spirit (Holy Spirit) "DRAWS" and a person has the FREE WILL to accept or reject the Father's Spirit (Holy Spirit). This by including into consideration Luke 12:10 {Luke 12:10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.}

Keith Lesher

Romans 3:11, "There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God".

Without God's drawning us (calling) and the His gift of the Holy Spirit we would be going the other way and would not be having this dialog.

Read about the potter starting in Romans 9:21. Thanks God we are drawn by Him.


It's interesting to read all the thoughts concerning God's drawing. I believe Jesus' comments to the twelve in verse 70 reflect on what He means by His comment concerning God's drawing and work in the preceding portion of this chapter. Jesus says that He has chosen the twelve, yet one of them is a devil. He chose them all, called them out to follow him, taught them all equally, and empowered all equally upon sending them out to witness. However, there is one among them which will reject and turn away, just as "many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him."(v.66) Jesus says that he does what He sees the Father doing, so can't we conclude that God is drawing all me - desiring for none to perish but all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9)? The Father's will is to teach all men, bringing to light who Jesus is and what He has done for mankind. The Father testifies of Christ (Jn 5:37-47) both by the works which are done through Jesus and through the Scriptures. But if a person doesn't believe the testimony given by God, Jn 5:47, they will not turn to Christ in belief resulting in eternal life (Jn 5:24, 6:29, 40, 47). Thus, God is in fact wooing man to belief through all that comes to light about Jesus, about man's destitute situation, and about the Father's mercy and grace.

Harvey Ventrello

Many of these comments have some good content regarding God does the calling and I believe God calls everyone according to Rom 1:18-25; Ecc 3:11. Briefly God reveals Himself to every person in some way (Rom 1:18-25) and He has put in the heart of mankind a desire for eternal things (Ecc 3:11. In John 16:8-11 Jesus Christ said when the Holy Spirit comes He will convict (to show to be wrong)and what He convicts of sin of not believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, or righteousness because He is no longer here on earth in His human body demonstrating righteousness, and judgment because the ruler of this world has been judged. As some have said, God is one drawing and specifically God the Holy Spirit is this dispensation. What I think is interesting is in the Koine Greek of John 6:44 we have a negative with a 3rd class condition. The negative is no and the 3rd class condition is unless. This implies that if a person is negative to the drawing, calling, convicting, and revealing ministry of the Holy Spirit then God cannot save them because of their negative volition. Every person needs the Holy Spirits ministry of illuminating to us something about God because we are blind, indifferent, lost, self-seekers, and dead to spiritual things. 1 Cor 2:14 where the natural or soulish person does not receive the things of God because they are spiritually appraised. According to 1 Cor 2 God the Holy Spirit does this. In effect God the Holy Spirit acts on our behalf to reveal the truth about God and the gospel. If you will listen to His calling and believe as the rest of the verse say, the Lord Jesus Christ “will raise him up on the last day.” Salvation is the work of God however; we have to make the leap of faith to believe. Act 16:31. Then as one pointed out verse 45 “AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.” (NASB). This is the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. We are commanded to grow in grace and knowledge of our savior the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18.


Hey everyone. I just read John 6:44-45 and thought this:

no one comes unless God draws,
and God will raise them.
the Prophets wrote: 'They will all be taught by God"

so God will teach 'all'. maybe meaning EVERYONE EVER? (i think maybe... what about this next part):

"Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me"

so the Prophets said they will all be taught by God.
Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to Jesus.

when it says that those who 'listen', it made me think that God is speaking, and anyone can hear? what are your thoughts?


Interesting comments on the topic of John 6:44. I was just googling to dig more into this, and find it a fascinating defense of God's sovereign working in the lives of the elect.

Julnes U Jumalon

I believe that the God the Father draws to Jesus only those who are sincerely seeking after Him. those who chase after God... God does not just draw anybody to Jesus, but proportionate to your seeking heart, the Father will not fail to bring you to the feet of Jesus! Jer 29:13 says:You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Ronn Johnson

So many people seemingly forget about Joh 5:24 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." The meaning is very clear in that the 'hearers and believers' have life [already] at the point of belief. No free will in this verse! Pure grace! They are not believing 'to get' life. They believe b/c they already have life at the point of believing. The key phrase to understanding all of this is 'is passed.' See, the believers are 'already passed' from death unto life at the point of their belief in Christ. 'Is passed' seems not to be discussed to readily in Christendom b/c it takes away man's free will. It has been mentioned that the new birth comes before faith, and that is absolutely correct. "How can dead men believe accept they have the ability to do so?" - They cannot!! Please do a word study on 'can' and you will see that it means 'ability.' NO ABILITY, NO POWER TO BELIEVE!@!


Anyone who says that John 6:44 represents irresistible grace must also say that John 12:32 which uses the exact same word also represents irresistible grace. To a Calvinist, Jesus will irresistibly draw all people when he is lifted up. Ultimately, if Calvinism be true and God cannot be a favoritist then God would have to use irresistible grace on ALL men, thus Calvinism -> universalism.


All of us are sinful, separated from God. We also know that God is not willing that anyone should perish and makes salvation available to all. The door of salvation is not shut ahead of time against anyone. Jesus said in John 12:32 that He will draw all men to Himself. Does this mean all men will be saved? No, I believe it does not. The key is John 6:47, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life." (See also Romans 10:9-10) It is the hardness of our heart and the rejection of Christ that condemns us.

Justin Klein

Look at the whole context: "“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them.. It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me."

Jesus explains what He means by "drawing" -- if, as a result of being taught by God (which He says ALL will be taught), you hear and learn (receive His truth that He is speaking to you), then you will come to Jesus.

I look at it this way: God is always speaking to all of us. As we receive His words, we are "learning" and coming closer to faith in Christ. The journey to faith starts long before the moment of salvation.

But, we can resist Him, as Stephen said, "You always resist the Holy Spirit." Basically, unless you resist Him, He will draw you to Christ.

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