“But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself,” Jesus says in John 12:32.
The Greek word for “draw” used above is helko. It is not a nice, sweet way of drawing people. Nope, not like a gentle arm on the wandering shoulder at the nursing home. Nope, not like picking up a baby chick. This word is a little more… vigorous. Think plastic straw. A vacuum cleaner. Your dog on a leash, going after the neighbor’s cat. There is a bit of yanking and pulling with a word like helko.
We are getting to the point in the Lenten season where all of the rhetoric is getting more vigorous. Images this Sunday speak of foreboding and betrayal, suffering and death. And in the midst of that, the promise embedded in John 12:32 is all the more vigorous as well. I don’t know about you, but to me…some good, old-fashioned, helko-type of yanking is still a word of grace.
Lord, draw us near to you this day. Amen.