Jesus draws His bride, the church, and she runs to Him. He says, “Come,” and she comes, bringing others with her.
In this study, I will cite some portions from Matthew Henry’s Commentary. In the next little section of his commentary, Matthew Henry deals with the delicate subject of the sovereignty of God and the duty of man. Though Matthew Henry is a covenant theologian (and I disagree with that belief), he handles the above mentioned subject well in this part of his commentary. Here he mentions the bride’s plea for divine grace (Draw me) and her responsibility to “improve” that grace (we will run after thee).
Now, I had to look up the word “improve” in Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, 1913 edition because the word “improve” typically brings to mind the idea of making something better. However, no one can make God’s grace better. So what is another meaning of “improve”? According to Webster’s 1913 dictionary, “improve” also means “To use or employ to good purpose; to make productive; to turn to profitable account; to utilize.” This definition seemed to fit the context.
What would the bride do with the grace she desired from her lover? She could not go to her lover unless she was drawn. But when she is drawn, what does she do? “We will run after thee.” She runs to him.
Matthew Henry talks about the bride’s promise to “improve” that grace, to utilize it to good and right purpose. “Draw me, and then we will run after thee. See how [this]… grace consists with our duty… and yet reserves all the glory of all the good that is in us to God only. Observe (1) The flowing forth of the soul after Christ, and its ready compliance with him, and the effect of his grace; we could not run after him if he did not draw us.”
Here Matthew Henry cross references II Corinthians 3:5, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.” “Sufficiency” here means “ability.” The verse specifically speaks of their ability to be ministers of the new testament (See verse 6). But, really, we have no ability to do anything apart from God. Jesus said, “Without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5) We cannot do anything by our own ability. “The grace which God gives us, we must diligently improve.” (MHC)
“When Christ by his spirit draws us, we must with our spirits run after him. As God says, ‘I will, and you shall,’ so we must say, ‘Thou shalt and we will…’” (MHC)
“And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” (Ezekiel 36:27)
“…thou shalt work in us both to will and to do.” (MHC)
“It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)
“We will run after thee, which denotes eagerness of desire, readiness of affection, vigour of pursuit and swiftness of motion.” (MHC)
“I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.” (Psalm 119:132)
“My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.” (Psalm 63:8)
“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
The church, the bride, says “Draw me.” Jesus says, “Come” (Matthew 11:28). The bride’s response, “I will not only follow thee myself as fast as I can, but will bring all mine along with me… I and the virgins that love thee.” (See verse 3) (MHC)
“As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15)
“Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.” (Psalm 51:13)
So, I can plead for Jesus to draw me, and Jesus will say, “Come.” With joy I can run into His waiting, open arms, and I can bring all the eager, longing ones with me.
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17)
I can run to Jesus. He will always satisfy.