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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary
New American Standard Version
Bible Study Resources
Nave's Topical Bible - Jesus, the Christ; Jesus Continued; Penitent; Perseverance; Predestination; Salvation; Seekers; Symbols and Similitudes; Thompson Chain Reference - Certainties; Seven; Uncertainties-Certainties; The Topic Concordance - Belief; Coming; Giving and Gifts; Jesus Christ; Last Days; Resurrection; Sending and Those Sent; Will of God; Torrey's Topical Textbook - Titles and Names of Christ;
Verse 37. All that the Father giveth me — The neuter gender, παν, is probably used here for the masculine, πας.
Shall come to me — All that are drawn by the Father, John 6:44, i.e. all those who are influenced by his Spirit, and yield to those influences: for as many as are LED (not driven or dragged) by the Spirit of God, they are the children of God, Romans 8:14. God sent his prophets to proclaim his salvation to this people; and he accompanied their preaching with the influence of his Spirit. Those who yielded were saved: those who did not yield to these drawings were lost. This Spirit still continued to work and to allure; but the people being uncircumcised both in heart and ears, they always resisted the Holy Ghost; as their fathers did, so did they; Acts 7:51. And though Christ would have gathered them together, as a hen would her chickens under her wings, yet they would not. Matthew 23:37. Those who come at the call of God, he is represented here as giving to Christ, because it is through his blood alone that they can be saved. God, by his Spirit, convinces of sin, righteousness, and judgment; those who acknowledge their iniquity, and their need of salvation, he gives to Christ, i.e. points out unto them the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. Our Lord may here also refer to the calling of the Gentiles; for these, according to the ancient promise, Psalms 2:8, were given to Christ: and they, on the preaching of the Gospel, gladly came unto him. See ample proofs of this in the Acts of the Apostles.
I will in no wise cast out. — The words are exceedingly emphatical - ου μη εκβαλω εξω, I will by no means thrust out of doors; excellently rendered by Matthew of Erberg in his Italian Bible-Io non cacciaro fuori, I will not chase him out of the house. Our blessed Lord alludes to the case of a person in deep distress and poverty, who comes to a nobleman's house, in order to get relief: the person appears; and the owner, far from treating the poor man with asperity, welcomes, receives him kindly, and supplies his wants. So does Jesus. Newer did he reject the suit of a penitent, however grievous his crimes might have been. He is come to the house of mercy; he is lying at the threshold: the servants bid him come in-he obeys, and stands trembling, waiting for the appearing of the Master, doubtful whether he is to be received or rejected: the Master appears, and not only grants his suit, but receives him into the number of his family: he alleges his unfitness, his unworthiness, his guilt, his crimes, his ingratitude: no matter, all shall be blotted out through the blood of the Lamb, and he be put among the children, and on none of these accounts shall he be put out of the house. The Gentiles shall be as welcome as the Jews; and the invitation to them be as free, as full, and as hearty: they shall become his adopted children, and never be cast out, as the Jews have been. O thou God of love! how able and WILLING art thou to save the vilest of the vile, who come unto thee! Thou art not the God of the Jews only, thou art also the God of the Gentiles. Rejoice, therefore, ye Gentiles, with his people.
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 6:37". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-6.html. 1832.
67. The bread of life (John 6:22-59)
Many Jews were determined to find Jesus and make him king. Although he had escaped from them after the feeding of the multitude, they were out the next day looking for him (John 6:22-24).
Jesus knew that these people wanted him to be king not because they felt any spiritual need, but because they thought he had magical powers that could supply all their daily needs. He urged them not to think just of physical and temporal blessings, but to seek the spiritual and eternal life that he offered (John 6:25-27). People cannot earn this life through doing good works; they can only accept it by faith (John 6:28-29). Jesus does not need to make food fall from heaven as in Moses’ day in order to prove his power. He himself is the true bread from heaven (John 6:30-33).
This bread from heaven is not some common everyday thing that people can have simply to satisfy their appetite. It is a spiritual provision available to those who, being drawn by the Father to the Son, give themselves to him in faith (John 6:34-37). As Jesus does the work that his Father sent him to do, he brings believers into the life of God’s kingdom, eternal life. They have this eternal life now, and they will enjoy it in its fulness following the victorious resurrection at the end of the age (John 6:38-40).
Jesus’ hearers objected that he had no right to speak such words, for he was not God. He had not come from heaven but from a Galilean family, as people well knew. Jesus repeated what he had said previously, to impress upon them that the salvation he brought came from heaven and was the work of the invisible God (John 6:41-47). However, the only way this salvation can become possible is through Jesus’ giving himself as a sacrifice for sin. People can have eternal life only through Jesus’ death (John 6:48-51).
The true bread that Jesus came to give was his flesh and blood offered in sacrifice. Unless people eat and drink this ‘food’ they cannot be saved. That is, unless they accept Jesus’ sacrifice for themselves in faith, they cannot have eternal life, either now or in the future (John 5:52-59).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on John 6:37". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/john-6.html. 2005.
All that which the Father giveth me shall come unto me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
All that which the Father giveth me ... refers to all who shall be saved, none being excluded, so long as they truly come to Christ, that being the thrust of the second clause. Significantly, this verse makes no reference to faith like that in the previous verse; but this does not exclude faith, the verses being supplementary each to the other. Thus, one must believe and come to Jesus in order to be saved. Coming to Jesus is equivalent to entering his kingdom; and entering that requires one to be born of water and of the spirit (John 3:5). Coming to Jesus therefore means being born again. No subjective experience whatever can be substituted for the new birth. "Coming" is something that a man does, not something that he thinks, believes, or feels.
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on John 6:37". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/john-6.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.
All - The original word is in the neuter gender, but it is used, doubtless, for the masculine, or perhaps refers to his people considered as a mass or body, and means that every individual that the Father had given him should come to him.
The Father giveth me - We here learn that those who come to Christ, and who will be saved, are given to him by God.
- God promised him that he should see of the travail of his soul - that is, “the fruit of his wearisome toil” (Lowth), and should be satisfied, Isaiah 53:11.
- All men are sinners, and none have any claim to mercy, and he may therefore bestow salvation on whom he pleases.
- All people of themselves are disposed to reject the gospel, John 5:40.
- God enables those who do believe to do it. He draws them to Him by His Word and Spirit; “He opens their hearts to understand the Scriptures Acts 16:14; and He grants to them repentance, Act 11:18; 2 Timothy 2:25.
- All those who become Christians may therefore be said to be given to Jesus as the reward of his sufferings, for his death was the price by which they were redeemed. Paul says Ephesians 1:4-5 that, “he hath chosen us in him (that is, in Christ) before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love; having predestinated us unto the adoption of children to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.”
Shall come to me - This is an expression denoting that they would believe on him. To come to one implies our need of help, our confidence that he can aid us, and our readiness to trust to him. The sinner comes to Jesus feeling that he is poor, and needy, and wretched, and casts himself on his mercy, believing that he alone can save him. This expression also proves that men are not compelled to believe on Christ. Though they who believe are given to him, and though his Spirit works in them faith and repentance, yet they are made willing in the day of his power, Psalms 110:3. No man is compelled to go to heaven against his will, and no man is compelled to go to hell against his will. The Spirit of God inclines the will of one, and he comes freely as a moral agent. The other chooses the way to death; and, though God is constantly using means to save him, yet he prefers the path that leads down to woe.
Him that cometh - Everyone that comes - that is, everyone that comes in a proper mariner, feeling that he is a lost and ruined sinner. This invitation is wide, and full, and free. It shows the unbounded mercy of God; and it shows, also, that the reason, and the only reason, why men are not saved, is that they will not come to Christ. Of any sinner it may be said that if he had been willing to come to Christ he might have come and been saved. As he chooses not to come, he cannot blame God because he saves others who are willing, no matter from what cause, and who thus are made partakers of everlasting life.
In no wise - In no manner, or at no time. The original is simply, “I will not cast out.”
Cast out - Reject, or refuse to save. This expression does not refer to the doctrine of perseverance of the saints, but to the fact that Jesus will not reject or refuse any sinner who comes to him.
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 6:37". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-6.html. 1870.
37. All that the Father giveth me. That their unbelief may not detract anything from his doctrine, he says, that the cause of so great obstinacy is, that they are reprobate, and do not belong to the flock of God. His intention, therefore, in distinguishing here between the elect and the reprobate is, that the authority of his doctrine may remain unimpaired, though there are many who do not believe it. For, on the one hand, ungodly men calumniate and utterly despise the word of God, because they are not moved by reverence for it; and, on the other hand, many weak and ignorant persons entertain doubts whether that which is rejected by a great part of the world be actually the word of God. Christ meets this offense, when he affirms, that all those who do not believe are not his own, and that we need not wonder if such persons have no relish for the word of God, but that it is embraced by all the children of God. In the first place, he says, that all whom the Father giveth him come to him; by which words he means, that faith is not a thing which depends on the will of men, so that this man and that man indiscriminately and at random believe, but that God elects those whom he hands over, as it were, to his Son; for when he says, that whatever is given cometh, we infer from it, that all do not come. Again, we infer, that God works in his elect by such an efficacy of the Holy Spirit, that not one of them falls away; for the word give has the same meaning as if Christ had said, “Those whom the Father hath chosen he regenerates, and gives to me, that they may obey the Gospel.”
And him that cometh to me I will not cast out. This is added for the consolation of the godly, that they may be fully persuaded that they have free access to Christ by faith, and that, as soon as they have placed themselves under his protection and safeguard, they will be graciously received by him. Hence it follows, that the doctrine of the Gospel will be salutary to all believers, because no man becomes a disciple of Christ who does not, on the other hand, feel and experience him to be a good and faithful teacher.
Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 6:37". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-6.html. 1840-57.
Now we have an indeterminate rate of time. Jesus was in Jerusalem when He was saying these things, they were as a result of this blind man...or the lame man, rather, who was healed there at the pool of Bethesda. And the controversy that was stirred over that. And so John spends a whole chapter in that little picture, but it gives us marvelous insight into Jesus, showing how that He equates His work with the Father and He is working in harmony with the Father. He is actually here doing the Father's work. and the works themselves testify of Him as well as the word of the Old Testament testifies of who He is. He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
Now after these things ( John 6:1 )
An undetermined period of time. We don't know how long it was after, but John takes us back up to the Sea of Galilee now. He's left Jerusalem, what events others there transpired, we don't know, but back in the area of the Galilee.
Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias [also known as Gennesaret]. And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased ( John 6:1-2 ).
And so by His miracles Jesus was attracting a great multitude of people. People are drawn and attracted to Jesus for various reasons. Some of them legitimate and some of them not so legitimate. But Jesus has an appealing force and power. He always has had an appealing force. And it's interesting to me how that Jesus appeals to people in all walks of life. It appears...it is interesting to me how that Jesus appeals to people of all cultures. It's interesting to me how Jesus appeals to people of all ages and how little children are attracted to Jesus. In fact, that to me is one of the most beautiful things in the world, the attraction that even a child has for Jesus. Probably a stronger and greater attraction than we who have become so complex and mixed up in our thinking processes. Oh, the beauty of Jesus that attracts men, but men are attracted by different reasons. These people were attracted because of the spectacular the miracles that Jesus was doing on people who were diseased.
And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. And the passover feast was drawing nigh. And when Jesus lifted up his eyes, he saw a great company that were coming unto him, and he said unto Philip, Where are we going to buy enough bread, that these people may eat? And this he said to prove Philip: for he knew what he was going to do. And Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that everyone might just take a little ( John 6:3-7 ).
So where are we going to buy the bread? Oh boy, I don't know . . . ah two hundred penny worth. Now, a penny was a day's wage for a laboring man. If we had two hundred penny worth of bread, I don't think that would be enough to give everyone a little.
And one of the disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said unto him, There's a lad here, which has five barley loaves, and two small fish: but what are they among so many? ( John 6:8-9 )
I mean, I'm sorry I said it because, you know, what's that with this big crowd?
And so Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was a lot of grass in that place ( John 6:10 ).
Passover time, springtime in the Galilee. Beautiful, absolutely glorious. The Galilee in the springtime has to be one of the most beautiful places you could ever see. Grassy fields, filled with yellow daisies, red and white, and purple anenomies, lupines, prodias, just fabulous the beauty of the wild flowers and all around Passover time. There in the springtime in the Galilee, lot of grass in that area.
So Jesus said, "Have the men sit down."
So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were sat down; and likewise the fish and they ate as much as they desired. And when they were filled ( John 6:10-12 ),
The word in Greek is glutted, when they were stuffed.
he said unto his disciples, Now gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be left or lost. And therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over [which was over and above] that which they had eaten. And then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that Prophet which should come into the world ( John 6:12-14 ).
That is a reference to the prophecy of Moses that declared, "And another prophet, liken to Myself, shall come and to Him shall you give heed." And so they were looking for that other prophet liken to Moses. And when they saw this miracle they said, "This is the One Moses, no doubt, was talking about. That other prophet that should come." And they recognized that Jesus was the promised Messiah.
Now they wanted to then make public acclamation. They wanted to take Him and to force Him to be the King. To establish now the Kingdom. But this was not according to God's plan. Jesus, rather than stepping in with the popular movement at this point, just slipped away from them and went into the mountain alone. He did not allow them to prematurely acclaim Him as their King.
God had a special day to present His King to the nation. That special day we call today Palm Sunday, for it was the Sunday that preceded His crucifixion. And that was the day and the hour that God had prepared and had prophesied when His promised Redeemer would come. And that day Jesus set up carefully. Having the disciples go into the city to get the donkey that He might ride into Jerusalem on the donkey and, thus, fulfill the prophesy of Zechariah. That day He allowed the disciples to cry out that Messianic Psalm 118 , "Hosanna, Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of Lord. Glory to God in the highest." And He allowed them to cry out that Psalm. In fact, when the Pharisees objected, He said if they would at this time hold their peace, these very stones would cry out. That was the day He wept over Jerusalem and said, "If you had only known the things that belong to thy peace in this thy day, but they are hid from your eyes" ( Luke 19:42 ). So here was a premature attempt to establish Him as King by the people. This was a movement of the people; Jesus rejected it because He was working in God's time schedule and not man's.
Oh, God help us to learn to work in God's time schedule rather than our own. It seems that we are always desiring to prematurely do things. God never seems to work quite as fast as we would like Him to work. We would like to speed up the program of God. If I can only have my way the Lord would have come couple of years ago, but some of you would be in bad trouble had He. So you can be thankful He's running things and not me.
So when Jesus perceived that they were going to try and force the issue, and to make him king, he departed into a mountain by himself. And when the evening was now come, his disciples went down to the sea of Galilee, and they entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. And when the sea arose by reason of a great wind. And when they had rowed about twenty-five or thirty furlongs [three or four miles], they saw Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing near to the ship: and they were afraid. But he said unto them, It's me; don't be afraid. And they willingly [eagerly] received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was on the land where they were going ( John 6:15-21 ).
They docked immediately at Capernaum.
Now the following day, when the people would stood on the other side of the sea [that is where He had fed the multitude,] saw that there was no other boat there, except the one wherein the disciples had entered, and that Jesus was not with his disciples when they went in the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone; (However there were other boats that had come from the area of Tiberias near to the place where they did eat bread:) and when the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither with his disciples, they also took shipping, and they came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, how did you get here? And Jesus answered and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you ( John 6:22-26 ),
Now He didn't tell them how He got there, He just said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you,"
You seek me, not because you saw the miracles, but because you did eat of the loaves, and were filled ( John 6:26 ).
"You are seeking Me for the wrong reasons. You are seeking Me for the wrong motives. You are only seeking Me because you had your stomach stuffed with bread and fish, and that's not the reason to seek Me." Jesus would not really accept those who were seeking Him with wrong motivations. There are many people today who seek Jesus with wrong motivations.
There are many ministers who encourage people to seek Jesus, encouraging them with wrong motivations. Encouraging people to do the work of God with wrong motivations. "Now we're going to give a bicycle to the one who brings the most new members into the Sunday school in the next five months." And so we're motivating all these little kids with carnal motivations, teaching them to do the work of God through the carnal rewards. God help us, how far we've come from the straight and narrow.
Don't labor for that meat which perishes, but for that meat which endures to everlasting life ( John 6:27 ),
Don't labor for the material things, don't strive for material things, but strive for spiritual things. The spiritual is superior to the material, that was the constant claim that Jesus made. And that is what men are constantly challenging today. And we in our own minds oftentimes have the challenge. Is indeed the spiritual life superior to the material life? And Satan is constantly holding up to us the glitter and glory of the material realm and saying, "Look, wouldn't you like this?" And the Lord is constantly saying, "Hey, don't strive, don't labor for the meat which perishes, but for that which is life eternal, for the spiritual things, that which endures to everlasting life. For the Son of Man shall,"
which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. Then they said unto him, What shall we do that we might work the works of God? ( John 6:27-28 )
This is a question that people oftentimes asks when they become conscious of the spiritual dimension. But what can I do to do the works of God? We remember the rich young ruler that came and fell before Jesus and said, "What good thing must I do to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven? Good Master, what shall I do?" And I'm always looking for some work that I might do for God.
Jesus answered [in a paradox,] for he said unto them, This is the work of God, that you might believe on him whom he had sent ( John 6:29 ).
Isn't that interesting? What work can you do to be pleasing to God? The only work you can do is just believe in Jesus. That's what pleases the Father. This is the work of God, that you believe on Him whom He hath sent.
They said therefore unto him, What sign will you show us then, that we might see, and believe you? what do you work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven ( John 6:30-32 ).
Moses didn't give you the manna, My Father sent it, by My Father is now giving to you the true bread from heaven. Your fathers ate of that manna and they died.
For the bread of God is he which comes down from heaven, and gives life unto the world ( John 6:33 ).
This is the bread of God. He who came down from heaven and gives His life unto the world.
And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: and he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst ( John 6:35 ).
These people had just eaten the day before and were stuffed, but they were hungry again. They had eaten of the bread of this world. And though you can eat today and you can be so stuffed, and I've eaten that pita bread with those delicious sauces and salads and all until I was so stuffed, I thought I can't eat another bite. I get so upset with the cleaners nowadays that shrink my coats so dreadfully. This polyester has one problem: it just shrinks. But, though I push myself away from the table and groaningly stand on my feet and say I never want to eat again as long as I live. The bus isn't very far down the road until someone says, "Can't we stop for some ice cream?" Yea, sounds like a great idea. Hungry again. It just doesn't satisfy, does it.
But Jesus said, "I'm the bread of God, I come down from heaven. If you eat of Me, you'll never hunger again. And if you believe in Me you'll never thirst again." There is that area of man's life that seems to never be satisfied, that always is crying out for more, more, and more. And though a person pursues after the pleasures, the excitements, the thrills of the world, one thing about them is that they're just not lasting. It isn't long before you're thirsting again. But Jesus said, "I'm the bread of heaven. God has sent Me. And if you eat of Me you'll never hunger again, and if you believe in Me you'll never thirst again." What glorious good news!
But I said unto you, That you have seen me, but you don't believe. All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out ( John 6:36-37 ).
What a glorious word of Jesus to our trembling, hesitating souls. Because you see, Satan says to me, "Look, there's no sense you going to God. He doesn't want anything to do with you; you're a failure, man. Your life is a mess. God doesn't want anything to do with you, there's no sense you going because there's no way He's gonna open the door for you." And he would plant unbelief in my heart, and if I believe that God won't receive me, then God won't receive me because I won't come. But Jesus said, "Whoever comes to Me I will in no wise cast out. All that the Father has given Me are Mine; they'll come to Me. And him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out." What encouraging, glorious words to your troubled spirit tonight. You who Satan has been hassling for so long, trying to tell you that you're not worthy, that God doesn't want you, God isn't interested, let me tell you something. If you just come to Jesus there's no way, no way He will cast you out.
For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me ( John 6:38 ).
"The works that I do, I do not of myself, but the Father that dwelleth in Me. He doeth the works. I didn't do . . . come down to do My will," Jesus said, "but the will of Him who sent Me."
And this is the Father's will ( John 6:39 )
Ho, ho, that's what I've been wanting to know, what's God's will?
that all which he hath given to me I should lose nothing, but should raise them up in that last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which sees the Son, and believes on him, shall have everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day ( John 6:39-40 ).
Those whom the Father has revealed the truth of Jesus Christ and who believe in Him, it's God's will that He saves you and raise you up in that last day. Praise God for His glorious will for our lives.
And the Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I'm the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus ( John 6:41-42 ),
Isn't this Joshua or Yeshua
the son of Joseph [or Yosef], whose father and mother we know? how is it that he says, I came down from heaven? And Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Don't murmur among yourselves. For no man can come to me, except the Father which have sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day ( John 6:42-44 ).
Here's an interesting statement by Jesus, one that we need to make note of. No man can come to Jesus unless the Father draws him. Now that takes the pressure off of me and my witnessing. Because I sometimes get discouraged when I witness to a person and I can lay out the truth of Christ and I would think that even a child could understand and they just, you know, don't accept it. It doesn't do anything, and I tried to argue and convince and impress, and nothing happens. Well, no man can come except the Father draw him. You say, "Well, I don't know if that's fair." Well, did the Father draw you? "Well, yea." Well then, why you worried about it? It also follows that whosoever will may come and drink the water of life. There are the two sides to the coin. You can't come unless the Father draws you, but anyone who comes can receive eternal life. The door is open for all men.
It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, comes to Me ( John 6:45 ).
God has taught us; He's laid it upon our hearts.
Not that any man hath seen the Father, except he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life ( John 6:46-47 ).
Notice these radical claims that Jesus is making concerning Himself. Testifying now of Himself, making radical claims. "I am that bread of life." They said, "How can He say He came down from heaven? He's Joseph's son." He said,
I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and they are dead. But this is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die ( John 6:48-50 ).
Not hunger, not thirst, not die, for,
I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world ( John 6:51 ).
He took the bread and He broke it, and He said, "Take, eat; this is My body broken for you" ( Matthew 26:26 ). "The bread is My flesh that I will give for the life of the world."
And the Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them ( John 6:52-53 ),
You having trouble fellows? I'm going to make it a little harder.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you ( John 6:53 ).
You're dead; you're dead in your trespasses and sins. You don't have life in you.
Whoso eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed ( John 6:54-55 ).
And Jesus took the cup and He said, "Take, drink; this is the blood of the new covenant which is shed for the remission of sin" ( Matthew 26:27-28 ). "Eat of My flesh, drink of My blood, partake of Me, that you might have life. For My flesh is meat indeed My blood is drink indeed."
And He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him. And as the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eats me, even he shall live by me. And this is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat the manna, and are dead: for he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. And these are the things he said to them as he was teaching them in the synagogue, in Capernaum ( John 6:56-59 ).
And you that have been in that synagogue of Capernaum can now sort of put it together in your mind. He was there in the synagogue at Capernaum teaching them these things.
Now many therefore of his disciples, when they heard this, said, [Man,] These are tough sayings; who can hear it? And when Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Does this offend you? What and if you will see the Son of man ascending up where he was before? ( John 6:60-62 )
What if you don't see the kingdom established right now? What if you see Me ascending up and going back to the Father?
It is the Spirit that makes alive; the flesh profits nothing ( John 6:63 ):
Now we're coming back, "You've eaten of the bread, and that's why come. Your stomachs were filled. But don't seek that bread which perishes, but that bread which is everlasting life." And so again coming back to that thought, "It is the Spirit that makes alive, the flesh profits nothing." Underline that. The flesh profits nothing.
the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life ( John 6:63 ).
The word of God is alive and powerful and sharper than any two edged sword. The word of God is Spirit and the word of God is life.
But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who would betray him. And he said, Therefore I said unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father ( John 6:64-65 ).
Again, declaring, "Look, the only way you can come is that the Father draws you. You can't come unless the Father does draw you."
Now from that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him ( John 6:66 ).
Couldn't handle it, too much. When He starts talking about the denial of the flesh, when He starts talking about the life of the Spirit and the partaking of spiritual things. Too much for some people, they can't handle it. Many of them were following Him because they were desiring that He establish the kingdom now, that He overthrow the Roman yoke of government. And that He bring to pass a kingdom of plenty, where everybody would eat and drink to their full. Every man eat his own vine and fig tree, would eat and not be afraid. And they were wanting that kingdom of material prosperity. And He is denouncing it as secondary. The primary thing is the spiritual kingdom, partaking of Me. Finding that life that comes from Me. The life of God imparted to man through Jesus Christ. "The flesh will profit you nothing, but the words that I speak, they're Spirit; they're life." And so they couldn't handle it. They went back and they walked no more with Him.
One time John sent a messenger and said, "Are you the one that we should look for or shall we look for someone else?" These people despaired because Jesus was talking of the importance of the spiritual man rather than the physical. Can handle it.
Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will you also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou has the words of eternal life ( John 6:67-68 ).
Oh, blessed Peter. You know he had the pro . . . he had a problem. He could get in trouble so much with his mouth. And yet, he could also say some of the most appropriate things. The heart, the Christ, the Son of the living God, "Oh blessed art thou Simon Bar-Jonah. Flesh and blood did not reveal this unto you, but My Father which is in heaven. And I say unto you, that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" ( Matthew 16:17-18 ).
Then you're going to see the Son of Man betrayed and turned to the hands of sinners. And they're are going to crucify Him and slay Him, but on the third day He will rise again. "Oh, Lord, be that far from thee." And Jesus said, "Oh, get thee behind Me, Satan: you're an offense unto me: you don't understand the things that are God, the things that are men" ( Matthew 16:22-23 ). No, Peter. He could go so fast from the top to the bottom.
But here, one of those grand moments in Peter. When Jesus turns to the twelve and says, "Well, are you going to leave, too?" And, "Lord, where can we go? You have the words of life." Jesus said, "My word is Spirit; My word is life." Peter is testifying, "Yes, Lord, that's true; You have the word of life."
We believe and we are sure that you are the Messiah, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered them, Have I not chosen you twelve, and yet one of you is a devil? And he was speaking of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, and he was one of the twelve ( John 6:69-71 ).
Interesting that Jesus says of Judas he was the devil. Paul no . . . Peter refers to him as "the son of perdition." We will read in a few weeks where Satan entered him and he went out and did his dastardly deed. And we'll get into Judah Iscariot as we move on in the gospel of John. But from the beginning Jesus knew who it was that would betray Him. Jesus said, "I may not chosen twelve of you, yet one of you is the devil."
So next week we move on into chapters 7 and 8 and some very interesting. Oh, don't you love John? I just love the gospel according to John. And these insights that he gives us into Jesus. The insights which show and prove that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. In order that you might believe and have eternal life.
Father, we thank You for Your Word. It is Spirit, it is Truth; it is life to those that believe. Now may the entrance of Thy word bring life and light to us, and may we walk in that light. In Jesus' name. Amen. "
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on John 6:37". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/csc/john-6.html. 2014.
3. The bread of life discourse 6:22-59
Jesus proceeded to clarify His identity by teaching the crowds and His disciples. He did so by developing the figure of the Bread of Life, which He claimed to be. Jesus used the feeding of the 5,000 as a basis for explaining His identity to the multitudes. He compared Himself to bread.
"Again, it was a ministry of ’grace and truth’ (John 1:17). In grace, our Lord fed the hungry people; but in truth, He gave them the Word of God." [Note: Wiersbe, 1:310.]
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 6:37". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-6.html. 2012.
Jesus’ identification of the bread 6:35-40
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 6:37". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-6.html. 2012.
These people’s lack of faith did not indicate that Jesus or God’s plan had failed, however. The ability to believe on Jesus requires divine enablement. It is only those whom the Father enables to believe that come to Jesus in faith. These are the people whom the Father has given to the Son as gifts. Jesus viewed the ultimate cause of faith as God’s electing grace, not man’s choice.
Jesus promised not to turn away anyone who came to Him in faith. He used a figure of speech (litotes) to stress strongly the positive fact that all who believe in Him find acceptance and security. In litotes the speaker or writer affirms a positive truth by negating its opposite. For example, "This is no small matter," is a litotes meaning, "This is a very significant matter." In the first part of this verse Jesus spoke of the elect as a group, and in the second part He referred to every individual in the group. Jesus had confidence in the Father drawing the elect to Him, and the believer may have confidence too in the Son receiving and retaining him or her. How can a person know if he or she is one of the elect? Let him or her come to Jesus in faith.
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 6:37". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-6.html. 2012.
All that the Father giveth me,.... The "all" design not the apostles only, who were given to Christ as such; for these did not all, in a spiritual manner, come to him, and believe in him; one of them was a devil, and the son of perdition; much less every individual of mankind: these are, in some sense, given to Christ to subserve some ends of his mediatorial kingdom, and are subject to his power and control, but do not come to him, and believe in him: but the whole body of the elect are here meant, who, when they were chosen by God the Father, were given and put into the hands of Christ, as his seed, his spouse, his sheep, his portion, and inheritance, and to be saved by him with an everlasting salvation; which is an instance of love and care on the Father's part, to give them to Christ; and of grace and condescension in him to receive them, and take the care of them; and of distinguishing goodness to them: and though Christ here expresses this act of his Father's in the present tense, "giveth", perhaps to signify the continuance and unchangeableness of it; yet he delivers it in the past tense, in John 6:39, "hath given"; and so all the Oriental versions render it here. And it certainly respects an act of God, antecedent to coming to Christ, and believing in him, which is a fruit and effect of electing love, as is clear from what follows:
shall come unto me; such who are given to Christ in eternal election, and in the everlasting covenant of grace, shall, and do, in time, come to Christ, and believe in him to the saving of their souls; which is not to be ascribed to, any power and will in them, but to the power and grace of God. It is not here said, that such who are given to Christ have a "power" to come to him, or "may" come if they will, but they shall come; efficacious grace will bring them to Christ, as poor perishing sinners, to venture on him for life and salvation:
and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out; such who come to Christ in a spiritual manner, and are brought to believe in him truly and really, he not only receives kindly, but keeps and preserves them by his power, and will not cast them out, or thrust them from him into perdition: the words are very strongly and emphatically expressed in the original, "I will not, not, or never, never, cast out without"; or cast out of doors. Christ will never cast them out of his affections; nor out of his arms; nor out of that family that is named of him; nor out of, and from his church, which is his body, and of which they are members; nor out of a state of justification and salvation; and therefore they shall never perish, but have everlasting life. The three glorious doctrines of grace, of eternal election, efficacious grace in conversion, and the final perseverance of the saints, are clearly contained in these words.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Gill, John. "Commentary on John 6:37". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-6.html. 1999.
|Christ the True Bread from Heaven; Christ Welcomes All that Come to Him; Necessity of Feeding upon Christ.|
28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. 30 They said therefore unto him, What sign showest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? 31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. 32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. 35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. 37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. 41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. 42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? 43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. 44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. 46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. 47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. 48 I am that bread of life. 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. 52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. 59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.
Whether this conference was with the Capernaites, in whose synagogue Christ now was, or with those who came from the other side of the sea, is not certain nor material; however, it is an instance of Christ's condescension that he gave them leave to ask him questions, and did not resent the interruption as an affront, no, not from his common hearers, though not his immediate followers. Those that would be apt to teach must be swift to hear, and study to answer. It is the wisdom of teachers, when they are asked even impertinent unprofitable questions, thence to take occasion to answer in that which is profitable, that the question may be rejected, but not the request. Now,
I. Christ having told them that they must work for the meat he spoke of, must labour for it, they enquire what work they must do, and he answers them, John 6:28-29. 1. Their enquiry was pertinent enough (; John 6:28): What shall we do, that we may work the works of God? Some understand it as a pert question: "What works of God can we do more and better than those we do in obedience to the law of Moses?" But I rather take it as a humble serious question, showing them to be, at least for the present, in a good mind, and willing to know and do their duty; and I imagine that those who asked this question, How and What (John 6:30), and made the request (John 6:34), were not the same persons with those that murmured (John 6:41-42), and strove (John 6:52), for those are expressly called the Jews, who came out of Judea (for those were strictly called Jews) to cavil, whereas these were of Galilee, and came to be taught. This question here intimates that they were convinced that those who would obtain this everlasting meat, (1.) Must aim to do something great. Those who look high in their expectations, and hope to enjoy the glory of God,must aim high in those endeavours, and study to do the works of God, works which he requires and will accept,works of God, distinguished from the works of worldly men in their worldly pursuits. It is not enough to speak the words of God, but we must do the works of God. (2.) Must be willing to do any thing: What shall we do? Lord, I am ready to do whatever thou shalt appoint, though ever so displeasing to flesh and blood, ; Acts 9:6. 2. Christ's answer was plain enough (John 6:29): This is the work of God that ye believe. Note, (1.) The work of faith is the work of God. They enquire after the works of God (in the plural number), being careful about many things; but Christ directs them to one work, which includes all, the one thing needful: that you believe, which supersedes all the works of the ceremonial law; the work which is necessary to the acceptance of all the other works, and which produces them, for without faith you cannot please God. It is God's work, for it is of his working in us, it subjects the soul to his working on us, and quickens the soul in working for him, (2.) That faith is the work of God which closes with Christ, and relies upon him. It is to believe on him as one whom God hath sent, as God's commissioner in the great affair of peace between God and man, and as such to rest upon him, and resign ourselves to him. See ; John 14:1.
1. Their enquiry is after a sign (John 6:30): What sign showest thou? Thus far they were right, that, since he required them to give him credit, he should produce his credentials, and make it out by miracle that he was sent of God. Moses having confirmed his mission by signs, it was requisite that Christ, who came to set aside the ceremonial law, should in like manner confirm his: "What dost thou work? What doest thou drive at? What lasting characters of a divine power does thou design to leave upon thy doctrine?" But herein they missed it,
(1.) That they overlooked the many miracles which they had seen wrought by him, and which amounted to an abundant proof of his divine mission. Is this a time of day to ask, "What sign showest thou?" especially at Capernaum, the staple of miracles, where he had done so many mighty works, signs so significant of his office and undertaking? Were not these very persons but the other day miraculously fed by him? None so blind as they that will not see; for they may be so blind as to question whether it be day or no, when the sun shines in their faces.
(2.) That they preferred the miraculous feeding of Israel in the wilderness before all the miracles Christ wrought (; John 6:31): Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; and, to strengthen the objection, they quote a scripture for it: He gave them bread from heaven (taken from Psalms 78:24), he gave them of the corn of heaven. What a good use might be made of this story to which they here refer! It was a memorable instance of God's power and goodness, often mentioned to the glory of God (; Nehemiah 9:20-21), yet see how these people perverted it, and made an ill use of it. [1.] Christ reproved them for their fondness of the miraculous bread, and bade them not set their hearts uponmeat which perisheth; "Why," say they, "meat for the belly was the great good thing that God gave to our fathers in the desert; and why should not we then labour for that meat? If God made much of them, why should not we be for those that will make much of us?" [2.] Christ had fed five thousand men with five loaves, and had given them that as one sign to prove him sent of God; but, under colour of magnifying the miracles of Moses, they tacitly undervaluethis miracle of Christ, and evade the evidence of it. "Christ fed his thousands; but Moses his hundreds of thousands; Christ fed them but once, and then reproved those who followed him in hope to be still fed, and put them off with a discourse of spiritual food; but Moses fed his followers forty years, and miracles were not their rarities, but their daily bread: Christ fed them with bread out of the earth, barley-bread, and fishes out of the sea; but Moses fed Israel with bread from heaven, angel's food." Thus big did these Jews talk of the manna which their fathers did eat; but their fathers had slighted it as much as they did now the barley-loaves, and called light bread, Numbers 21:5. Thus apt are we to slight and overlook the appearances of God's power and grace in our own times, while we pretend to admire the wonders of which our fathers told us. Suppose this miracle of Christ was outdone by that of Moses, yet there were other instances in which Christ's miracles outshone his; and, besides, all true miracles prove a divine doctrine, though not equally illustrious in the circumstances, which were ever diversified according as the occasion did require. As much as the manna excelled the barley-loaves, so much, and much more, did the doctrine of Christ excel the law of Moses, and his heavenly institutions the carnal ordinances of that dispensation.
(1.) He rectifies their mistake concerning the typical manna. It was true that their fathers did eat manna in the desert. But, [1.] It was not Moses that gave it to them, nor were they obliged to him for it; he was but the instrument, and therefore they must look beyond him to God. We do not find that Moses did so much as pray to God for themanna; and he spoke unadvisedly when he said, Must we fetch water out of the rock? Moses gave them not eitherthat bread or that water. [2.] It was not given them, as they imagined, from heaven, from the highest heavens, but only from the clouds, and therefore not so much superior to that which had its rise from the earth as they thought. Because the scripture saith, He gave them bread from heaven, it does not follow that it was heavenly bread, or was intended to be the nourishment of souls. Misunderstanding scripture language occasions many mistakes in the things of God.
(2.) He informs them concerning the true manna, of which that was a type: But my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven; that which is truly and properly the bread from heaven, of which the manna was but a shadow and figure, is now given, not to your fathers, who are dead and gone, but to you of this present age, for whom thebetter things were reserved: he is now giving you that bread from heaven, which is truly so called. As much as the throne of God's glory is above the clouds of the air, so much does the spiritual bread of the everlasting gospel excel the manna. In calling God his Father, he proclaims himself greater than Moses; for Moses was faithful but as a servant, Christ as a Son, ; Hebrews 3:5-6.
III. Christ, having replied to their enquiries, takes further occasion from their objection concerning the manna to discourse of himself under the similitude of bread, and of believing under the similitude of eating and drinking; to which, together with his putting both together in the eating of his flesh and drinking of his blood, and with the remarks made upon it by the hearers, the rest of this conference may be reduced.
(1.) He here shows that he is the true bread; this he repeats again and again, ; John 6:33, John 6:35, John 6:48-51. Observe, [1.] That Christ is bread is that to the soul which bread is to the body, nourishes and supports the spiritual life (is the staff of it) as bread does the bodily life; it is the staff of life. The doctrines of the gospel concerning Christ—that he is the mediator between God and man, that he is our peace, our righteousness, our Redeemer; by these things do men live. Our bodies could better live without food than our souls without Christ. Bread-corn is bruised (; Isaiah 28:28), so was Christ; he was born at Bethlehem, the house of bread, and typified by the show-bread. [2.] That he is the bread of God (John 6:33), divine bread; it is he that is of God (; John 6:46), bread which my Father gives (John 6:32), which he has made to be the food of our souls; the bread of God's family, his children's bread. The Levitical sacrifices are called the bread of God (; Leviticus 21:21-22), and Christ is the great sacrifice; Christ, in his word and ordinances, thefeast upon the sacrifice. [3.] That he is the bread of life (John 6:35, and again, John 6:48), that bread of life, alluding to the tree of life in the midst of the garden of Eden, which was to Adam the seal of that part of the covenant, Do this and live, of which he might eat and live. Christ is the bread of life, for he is the fruit of the tree of life. First, He is theliving bread (so he explains himself, ; John 6:51): I am the living bread. Bread is itself a dead thing, and nourishes not but by the help of the faculties of a living body; but Christ is himself living bread, and nourishes by his own power. Manna was a dead thing; if kept but one night, it putrefied and bred worms; but Christ is ever living, everlasting bread, that never moulds, nor waxes old. The doctrine of Christ crucified is now as strengthening and comforting to a believer as ever it was, and his mediation still of as much value and efficacy as ever. Secondly, He gives life unto the world (John 6:33), spiritual and eternal life; the life of the soul in union and communion with God here, and in the vision and fruition of him hereafter; a life that includes in it all happiness. The manna did only reserve and support life, did not preserve and perpetuate life, much less restore it; but Christ gives life to those that were dead in sin. The manna was ordained only for the life of the Israelites, but Christ is given for the life of the world; none are excluded from the benefit of this bread, but such as exclude themselves. Christ came to put life into the minds of men, principles productive of acceptable performances. [4.] That he is the bread which came down from heaven;this is often repeated here, ; John 6:33, John 6:50-51, John 6:58. This denotes, First, The divinity of Christ's person. As God, he had a being in heaven, whence he came to take our nature upon him: I came down from heaven, whence we may infer hisantiquity, he was in the beginning with God; his ability, for heaven is the firmament of power; and his authority, he came with a divine commission. Secondly, The divine original of all that good which flows to us through him. Hecomes, not only katabas—that came down (; John 6:51), but katabainoi—that comes down; he is descending, denoting a constant communication of light, life, and love, from God to believers through Christ, as the manna descended daily; see Ephesians 1:3. Omnia desuper—All things from above. [5.] That he is that bread of which the manna was a type and figure (; John 6:58), that bread, the true bread, John 6:32. As the rock that they drank of was Christ, so was the manna they ate of spiritual bread, ; 1 Corinthians 10:3-4. Manna was given to Israel; so Christ to the spiritual Israel. There was mannaenough for them all; so in Christ a fulness of grace for all believers; he that gathers much of this manna will have none to spare when he comes to use it; and he that gathers little, when his grace comes to be perfected in glory, shall find that he has no lack. Manna was to be gathered in the morning; and those that would find Christ must seek him early. Manna was sweet, and, as the author of the Wisdom of Solomon tells us (Wisd. xvi. 20), was agreeable to every palate; and to those that believe Christ is precious. Israel lived upon manna till they came to Canaan; and Christ is our life. There was a memorial of the manna preserved in the ark; so of Christ in the Lord's supper, as the food of souls.
(2.) He here shows what his undertaking was, and what his errand into the world. Laying aside the metaphor, he speaks plainly, and speaks no proverb, giving us an account of his business among men, John 6:38-40.
[1.] He assures us, in general, that he came from heaven upon his Father's business (; John 6:38), not do his own will, but the will of him that sent him. He came from heaven, which bespeaks him an intelligent active being, who voluntarily descended to this lower world, a long journey, and a great step downward, considering the glories of the world he came from and the calamities of the world he came to; we may well ask with wonder, "What moved him to such an expedition?" Here he tells that he came to do, not his own will, but the will of his Father; not that he had any will that stood in competition with the will of his Father, but those to whom he spoke suspected he might. "No," saith he, "my own will is not the spring I act from, nor the rule I go by, but I am come to do the will of him that sent me." That is, First, Christ did not come into the world as a private person, that acts for himself only, but under a public character, to act for others as an ambassador, or plenipotentiary, authorized by a public commission; he came into the world as God's great agent and the world's great physician. It was not any private business that brought him hither, but he came to settle affairs between parties no less considerable than the great Creator and the whole creation. Secondly, Christ, when he was in the world, did not carry on any private design, nor had any separate interest at all, distinct from theirs for whom he acted. The scope of his whole life was to glorify God and do good to men. He therefore never consulted his own ease, safety, or quiet; but, when he was to lay down his life, though he had a human nature which startled at it, he set aside the consideration of that, and resolved his will as man into the will of God: Not as I will, but as thou wilt.
First, The private instructions given to Christ, that he should be sure to save all the chosen remnant; and this is the covenant of redemption between the Father and the Son (John 6:38): "This is the Father's will, who hath sent me;this is the charge I am entrusted with, that of all whom he hath given me I should lose none." Note, 1. There is a certain number of the children of men given by the Father to Jesus Christ, to be his care, and so to be to him for a name and a praise; given him for an inheritance, for a possession. Let him do all that for them which their case requires; teach them, and heal them, pay their debt, and plead their cause, prepare them for, and preserve them to, eternal life, and then let him make his best of them. The Father might dispose of them as he pleased: as creatures, their lives and beings were derived from him; as sinners, their lives and beings were forfeited to him. He might have sold them for the satisfaction of his justice, and delivered them to the tormentors; but he pitched upon them to be the monuments of his mercy, and delivered them to the Saviour. Those whom God chose to be the objects of his special love he lodged as a trust in the hands of Christ. 2. Jesus Christ has undertaken that he will lose none of those that were thus given him of the Father. The many sons whom he was to bring to glory shall all be forth-coming, and none of them missing, ; Matthew 18:14. None of them shall be lost, for want of a sufficient grace to sanctify them. If I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever, Genesis 43:9. 3. Christ's undertaking for those that are given him extends to the resurrection of their bodies. I will raise it up again at the last day, which supposes all that goes before, but this is to crown and complete the undertaking. The body is a part of the man, and therefore a part of Christ's purchase and charge; it pertains to the promises, and therefore it shall not be lost. The undertaking is not only that he shall lose none, no person, but that he shall lose nothing, no part of the person, and therefore not the body. Christ's undertaking will never be accomplished till the resurrection, when the souls and bodies of the saints shall be re-united and gathered to Christ, that he may present them to the Father:Behold I, and the children that thou has given me, ; Hebrews 2:13; 2 Timothy 1:12. 4. The spring and original of all this is thesovereign will of God, the counsels of his will, according to which he works all this. This was the commandment he gave to his Son, when he sent him into the world, and to which the Son always had an eye.
Secondly, The public instructions which were to be given to the children of men, in what way, and upon what terms, they might obtain salvation by Christ; and this is the covenant of grace between God and man. Who the particular persons were that were given to Christ is a secret: The Lord knows them that are his, we do not, nor is it fit we should; but, though their names are concealed, their characters are published. An offer is made of life and happiness upon gospel terms, that by it those that were given to Christ might be brought to him, and others left inexcusable (; John 6:40): "This is the will, the revealed will, of him that sent me, the method agreed upon, upon which to proceed with the children of men, that every one, Jew or Gentile, that sees the Son, and believes on him, may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up." This is gospel indeed, good news. Is it now reviving to hear this? 1. That eternal life may be had, if it be not our own fault; that whereas, upon the sin of the first Adam, the way of the tree of life was blocked up, by the grace of the second Adam it is laid upon again. The crown of glory is set before us as the prize of our high calling, which we may run for and obtain. 2. Every one may have it. This gospel is to be preached, this offer made, to all, and none can say, "It belongs not to me," Revelation 22:17. 3. This everlasting life is sure to all those who believe in Christ, and to them only. He that sees the Son, and believes on him, shall be saved. Some understand this seeing as a limitation of this condition of salvation to those only that have the revelation of Christ and his grace made to them. Every one that has the opportunity of being acquainted with Christ, and improves this so well as to believe in him, shall have everlasting life, so that none shall be condemned for unbelief (however they maybe for other sins) but those who have had the gospel preached to them, who, like these Jews here (; John 6:36), have seen, and yet have not believed; have known Christ, and yet not trusted in him. But I rather understand seeing here to mean the same thing with believing, for it is theoron, which signifies not so much the sight of the eye (as John 6:36, heorakate me—ye have seen me) as the contemplation of the mind. Every one thatsees the Son, that is, believes on him, sees him with an eye of faith, by which we come to be duly acquainted and affected with the doctrine of the gospel concerning him. It is to look upon him, as the stung Israelites upon the brazen serpent. It is not a blind faith that Christ requires, that we should be willing to have our eyes put out, and then follow him, but that we should see him, and see what ground we go upon in our faith. It is then right when it is not taken up upon hearsay (believing as the church believes), but is the result of a due consideration of, and insight into, the motives of credibility: Now mine eye sees thee. We have heard him ourselves. 4. Those who believe in Jesus Christ, in order to their having everlasting life, shall be raised up by his power at the last day. He had it in charge as his Father's will (; John 6:39), and here he solemnly makes it his own undertaking: I will raise him up, which signifies not only the return of the body to life, but the putting of the whole man into a full possession of the eternal life promised.
(1.) When they heard of such a thing as the bread of God, which gives life, they heartily prayed for it (John 6:34):Lord, evermore give us this bread. I cannot think that this is spoken scoffingly, and in a way of derision, as most interpreters understand it: "Give us such bread as this, if thou canst; let us be fed with it, not for one meal, as with the five loaves, but evermore;" as if this were no better a prayer than that of the impenitent thief: If thou be the Christ, save thyself and us. But I take this request to be made, though ignorantly, yet honestly, and to be well meant; for they call him Lord, and desire a share in what he gives, whatever he means by it. General and confused notions of divine things produce in carnal hearts some kind of desires towards them, and wishes of them; like Balaam's wish, to die the death of the righteous. Those who have an indistinct knowledge of the things of God, who see men as trees walking, make, as I may call them, inarticulate prayers for spiritual blessings. They think the favour of God a good thing, and heaven a fine place, and cannot but wish them their own, while they have no value nor desire at all for that holiness which is necessary both to the one and to the other. Let this be the desire of our souls; have we tasted that the Lord is gracious, been feasted with the word of God, and Christ in the word? Let us say, "Lord, evermore give us this bread; let the bread of life be our daily bread, the heavenly manna our continual feast, and let us never know the want of it."
(2.) But, when they understood that by this bread of life Jesus meant himself, then they despised it. Whether they were the same persons that had prayed for it (; John 6:34), or some others of the company, does not appear; it seems to be some others, for they are called Jews. Now it is said (John 6:41), They murmured at him. This comes in immediately after that solemn declaration which Christ had made of God's will and his own undertaking concerning man's salvation (; John 6:39-40), which certainly were some of the most weighty and gracious words that ever proceeded out of the mouth of our Lord Jesus, the most faithful, and best worthy of all acceptation. One would think that, like Israel in Egypt, when they heard that God had thus visited them, they should have bowed their heads and worshipped; but on the contrary, instead of closing with the offer made them, they murmured, quarrelled with what Christ said, and, though they did not openly oppose and contradict it, yet they privately whispered among themselves in contempt of it, and instilled into one another's minds prejudices against it. Many that will not professedly contradict the doctrine of Christ (their cavils are so weak and groundless that they are either ashamed to own them or afraid to have them silenced), yet say in their hearts that they do not like it. Now, [1.] That which offended them was Christ's asserting his origin to be from heaven, John 6:41-42. How is it that he saith, I came down from heaven? They had heard of angels coming down from heaven, but never of a man, overlooking the proofs he had given them of his being more than a man. [2.] That which they thought justified them herein was that they knew his extraction on earth: Is not this Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? They took it amiss that he should say that he came down from heaven, when he was one of them. They speak slightly of his blessed name, Jesus: Is not this Jesus. They take it for granted that Joseph was really his father, though he was onlyreputed to be so. Note, Mistakes concerning the person of Christ, as if he were a mere man, conceived and born by ordinary generation, occasion the offence that is taken at his doctrine and offices. Those who set him on a level with the other sons of men, whose father and mother we know, no wonder if they derogate from the honour of his satisfaction and the mysteries of his undertaking, and, like the Jews here, murmur at his promise to raise us up at the last day.
(1.) He shows what it is to believe in Christ. [1.] To believe in Christ is to come to Christ. He that comes to me is the same with him that believes in me (John 6:35), and again (John 6:37): He that comes unto me; so ; John 6:44-45. Repentance towards God is coming to him (Jeremiah 3:22) as our chief good and highest end; and so faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ is coming to him as our prince and Saviour, and our way to the Father. It denotes the out-goings of our affection towards him, for these are the motions of the soul, and actions agreeable; it is to come off from all those things that stand in opposition to him or competition with him, and to come up to those terms upon which life and salvation are offered to us through him. When he was here on earth it was more that barely coming where he was; so it is now more than coming to his word and ordinances. [2.] It is to feed upon Christ (; John 6:51): If any man eat of this bread. The former denotes applying ourselves to Christ; this denotes applying Christ to ourselves, with appetite and delight, that we may receive life, and strength, and comfort from him. To feed on him as the Israelites on the manna, having quitted the fleshpots of Egypt, and not depending on the labour of their hands (to eat of that), but living purely on the bread given them from heaven.
(2.) He shows what is to be got by believing in Christ. What will he give us if we come to him? What shall we be the better of we feed upon him? Want and death are the chief things we dread; may we but be assured of the comforts of our being, and the continuance of it in the midst of these comforts, we have enough; now these two are here secured to true believers.
[1.] They shall never want, never hunger, never thirst, John 6:35. Desires they have, earnest desires, but these so suitably, so seasonably, so abundantly satisfied, that they cannot be called hunger and thirst, which are uneasy and painful. Those that did eat manna, and drink of the rock, hungered and thirsted afterwards. Manna surfeited them; water out of the rock failed them. But there is such an over-flowing fulness in Christ as can never be exhausted,and there are such ever-flowing communications from him as can never be interrupted.
[2.] They shall never die, not die eternally; for, First, He that believes on Christ has everlasting life (; John 6:47); he has the assurance of it, the grant of it, the earnest of it; he has it in the promise and first-fruits. Union with Christ and communion with God in Christ are everlasting life begun. Secondly, Whereas they that did eat manna died, Christ is such bread as a man may eat of and never die, John 6:49-50. Observe here, 1. The insufficiency of the typical manna:Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. There may be much good use made of the death of our fathers; their graves speak to us, and their monuments are our memorials, particularly of this, that the greatestplenty of the most dainty food will neither prolong the thread of life nor avert the stroke of death. Those that did eat manna, angel's food, died like other men. There could be nothing amiss in their diet, to shorten their days, nor could their deaths be hastened by the toils and fatigues of life (for they neither sowed nor reaped), and yet they died. (1.) Many of them died by the immediate strokes of God's vengeance for their unbelief and murmurings; for, though they did eat that spiritual meat, yet with many of them God was not well-pleased, but they were overthrown in the wilderness, ; 1 Corinthians 10:3-5. Their eating manna was no security to them from the wrath of God, as believing in Christ is to us. (2.) The rest of them died in a course of nature, and their carcases fell, under a divine sentence, in that wilderness where they did eat manna. In that very age when miracles were daily bread was the life of man reduced to the stint it now stands at, as appears, Psalms 90:10. Let them not then boast so much of manna. 2. The all-sufficiency of the true manna, of which the other was a type: This is the bread that cometh down from heaven, that truly divine and heavenly food, that a man may eat thereof and not die; that is, not fall under the wrath of God, which is killing to the soul; not die the second death; no, nor the first death finally and irrecoverably. Not die, that is, not perish, not come short of the heavenly Canaan, as the Israelites did of the earthly, for want of faith, though they hadmanna. This is further explained by that promise in the next words: If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever, ; John 6:51. This is the meaning of this never dying: though he go down to death, he shall pass through it to that world where there shall be no more death. To live for ever is not to be for ever (the damned in hell shall be for ever, the soul of man was made for an endless state), but to be happy for ever. And because the body must needs die, and be as water spilt upon the ground, Christ here undertakes for the gathering of that up too (as before, John 6:44, I will raise him up at the last day); and even that shall live for ever.
(3.) He shows what encouragements we have to believe in Christ. Christ here speaks of some who had seen him and yet believed not, ; John 6:36. They saw his person and miracles, and heard him preach, and yet were not wrought upon to believe in him. Faith is not always the effect of sight; the soldiers were eye-witnesses of his resurrection, and yet, instead of believing in him, they belied him; so that it is a difficult thing to bring people to believe in Christ: and, by the operation of the Spirit of grace, those that have not seen have yet believed. Two things we are here assured of, to encourage our faith:—
[1.] That the Son will bid all those welcome that come to him (John 6:37): Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. How welcome should this word be to our souls which bids us welcome to Christ! Him that cometh; it is in the singular number, denoting favour, not only to the body of believers in general, but to every particular soul that applies itself to Christ. Here, First, The duty required is a pure gospel duty: to come to Christ, that we may come to God by him. His beauty and love, those great attractives, must draw us to him; sense of need and fear of danger must drive us to him; any thing to bring us to Christ. Secondly, The promise is a pure gospel promise: I will in no wise cast out—ou me ekbago exo. There are two negatives: I will not, no, I will not. 1. Much favour is expressed here. We have reason to fear that he should cast us out. Considering our meanness, our vileness, our unworthiness to come, our weakness in coming, we may justly expect that he should frown upon us, and shut his doors against us; but he obviates these fears with this assurance, he will not do it; will not disdain us though we are mean, will not reject us though we are sinful. Do poor scholars come to him to be taught? Though they be dull and slow, he will notcast them out. Do poor patients come to him to be cured, poor clients come to him to be advised? Though their case be bad, and though they come empty-handed, he will in no wise cast them out. But, 2. More favour is implied than is expressed; when it is said that he will no cast them out the meaning is, He will receive them, and entertain them, and give them all that which they come to him for. As he will not refuse them at their first coming, so he will not afterwards, upon every displeasure, cast them out. His gifts and callings are without repentance.
[2.] That the Father will, without fail, bring all those to him in due time that were given him. In the federal transactions between the Father and the Son, relating to man's redemption, as the Son undertook for the justification, sanctification, and salvation, of all that should come to him ("Let me have them put into my hands, and then leave the management of them to me"), so the Father, the fountain and original of being, life, and grace, undertook to put into his hand all that were given him, and bring them to him. Now,
First, He here assures us that this shall be done: All that the Father giveth me shall come to me, ; John 6:37. Christ had complained (John 6:36) of those who, though they had seen him, yet would not believe on him; and then he adds this,
a. For their conviction and awakening, plainly intimating that their not coming to him, and believing on him, if they persisted in it, would be a certain sign that they did not belong to the election of grace; for how can we think that God gave us to Christ if we give ourselves to the world and the flesh? ; 2 Peter 1:10.
b. For his own comfort and encouragement: Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious. The election has obtained, and shall though multitudes be blinded, Romans 11:7. Though he lose many of his creatures, yet none of his charge: All that the Father gives him shall come to him notwithstanding. Here we have, (a.) The election described: All that the father giveth me, pan ho didosi—every thing which the Father giveth to me; the persons of the elect, and all that belongs to them; all their services, all their interests. As all that he has is theirs, so all that they have is his, and he speaks of them as his all: they were given him in full recompense of his undertaking. Not only all persons, but all things, are gathered together in Christ (; Ephesians 1:10) and reconciled, Colossians 1:20. The giving of the chosen remnant to Christ is spoken of (John 6:39) as a thing done; he hath given them. Here it is spoken of as a thing in the doing; he giveth them; because, when the first begotten was brought into the world, it should seem, there was a renewal of the grant; see ; Hebrews 10:5, &c. God was now about to give him the heathen for his inheritance (Psalms 2:8), to put him in possession of the desolate heritages (; Isaiah 49:8), to divide him a portion with the great, Isaiah 53:12. And though the Jews, who saw him, believed not on him, yet these (saith he) shall come to me; the other sheep, which are not of this fold, shall be brought, ; John 10:15-16. See Acts 13:45-48. (b.) The effect of it secured: They shall come to me. This is not in the nature of a promise, but a prediction, that as many as were in the counsel of God ordained to life shall be brought to life by being brought to Christ. They are scattered, are mingled among the nations, yet none of them shall be forgotten; not a grain of God's corn shall be lost, as is promised, ; Amos 9:9. They are by nature alienated from Christ, and averse to him, and yet they shall come. As God's omniscience is engaged for the finding of them all out, so is his omnipotence for the bringing of them all in. Not, They shall be driven, to me, but, They shall come freely, shall be made willing.
a. Their understandings shall be enlightened; this is promised, John 6:45-46. It is written in the prophets, who spoke of these things before, And they shall be all taught of God; this we find, ; Isaiah 54:13, and Jeremiah 31:34. They shall all know me. Note,
(a.) In order to our believing in Jesus Christ, it is necessary that we be taught of God; that is, [a.] That there be a divine revelation made to us, discovering to us both what we are to believe concerning Christ and why we are to believe it. There are some things which even nature teaches, but to bring us to Christ there is need of a higher light. [b.] That there be a divine work wrought in us, enabling us to understand and receive these revealed truths and the evidence of them. God, in giving us reason, teaches us more than the beasts of the earth; but in giving us faith he teaches more than the natural man. Thus all the church's children, all that are genuine, are taught of God; he hath undertaken their education.
(b.) It follows then, by way of inference from this, that every man that has heard and learned of the Father comes to Christ, ; John 6:45. [a.] It is here implied that none will come to Christ but those that have heard and learned of the Father. We shall never be brought to Christ but under a divine conduct; except God by his grace enlighten our minds, inform our judgments, and rectify our mistakes, and not only tell us that we may hear, but teach us, that we may learn the truth as it is in Jesus, we shall never be brought to believe in Christ. [b.] That this divine teachingdoes so necessarily produce the faith of God's elect that we may conclude that those who do not come to Christhave never heard nor learned of the Father; for, if they had, doubtless they would have come to Christ. In vain do men pretend to be taught of God if they believe not in Christ, for he teaches no other lesson, Galatians 1:8-9. See how God deals with men as reasonable creatures, draws them with the cords of a man, opens the understanding first, and then by that, in a regular way, influences the inferior faculties; thus he comes in by the door, but Satan, as a robber, climbs up another way. But lest any should dream of a visible appearance of God the Father to the children of men (to teach them these things), and entertain any gross conceptions about hearing and learning of the Father, he adds (; John 6:46): Not that any man hath seen the Father; it is implied, nor can see him, with bodily eyes, or may expect to learn of him as Moses did, to whom he spoke face to face; but God, in enlightening men's eyes and teaching them, works in a spiritual way. The Father of spirits hath access to, and influence upon, men's spirits, undiscerned. The Father of spirits hath access to, and influence upon, men's spirits, undiscerned. Those that have not seen his face have felt his power. And yet there is one intimately acquainted with the Father, he who is of God,Christ himself, he hath seen the Father, John 1:18. Note, First, Jesus Christ is of God in a peculiar manner, God of God, light of light; not only sent of God, but begotten of God before all worlds. Secondly, It is the prerogative of Christ to have seen the Father, perfectly to know him and his counsels. Thirdly, Even that illumination which is preparative to faith is conveyed to us through Christ. Those that learn of the Father, forasmuch as they cannot see him themselves, must learn of Christ, who alone hath seen him. As all divine discoveries are made through Christ, so through him all divine powers are exerted.
b. Their wills shall be bowed. If the soul of man had now its original rectitude there needed no more to influence the will than the illumination of the understanding; but in the depraved soul of fallen man there is a rebellion of the will against the right dictates of the understanding; a carnal mind, which is enmity itself to the divine light and law. It is therefore requisite that there be a work of grace wrought upon the will, which is here called drawing, (; John 6:44): No man can come to me except the Father, who hath sent me, draw him. The Jews murmured at the doctrine of Christ; not only would not receive it themselves, but were angry that others did. Christ overheard their secret whisperings, and said (John 6:43), "Murmur not among yourselves; lay not the fault of your dislike of my doctrine one upon another, as if it were because you find it generally distasted; no, it is owing to yourselves, and your own corrupt dispositions, which are such as amount to a moral impotency; your antipathies to the truths of God, and prejudices against them, are so strong that nothing less than a divine power can conquer them." And this is the case of all mankind: "No man can come to me, can persuade himself to come up to the terms of the gospel, except the Father, who hath sent me, draw him," ; John 6:44. Observe, (a.) The nature of the work: It is drawing, which denotes not a force put upon the will, whereby of unwilling we are made willing, and a new bias is given to the soul, by which it inclines to God. This seems to be more than a moral suasion, for by that it is in the power to draw; yet it is not to be called a physical impulse, for it lies out of the road of nature; but he that formed the spirit of man within him by his creating power, and fashions the hearts of men by his providential influence, knows how to new-mould the soul, and to alter its bent and temper, and make it conformable to himself and his own will, without doing any wrong to its natural liberty. It is such a drawing as works not only a compliance, but a cheerful compliance, a complacency: Draw us, and we will run after thee. (b.) The necessity of it: No man, in this weak and helpless state, can come to Christ without it. As wecannot do any natural action without the concurrence of common providence, so we cannot do any action morally good without the influence of special grace, in which the new man lives, and moves, and has its being, as much as the mere man has in the divine providence. (c.) The author of it: The Father who hath sent me. The Father, having sent Christ, will succeed him, for he would not send him on a fruitless errand. Christ having undertaken to bring souls to glory, God promised him, in order thereunto, to bring them to him, and so to give him possession of those to whom he had given him a right. God, having by promise given the kingdom of Israel to David, did at length draw the hearts of the people to him; so, having sent Christ to save souls, he sends souls to him to be saved by him. (d.) The crown and perfection of this work: And I will raise him up at the last day. This is four times mentioned in this discourse, and doubtless it includes all the intermediate and preparatory workings of divine grace. When he raises them up at the last day, he will put the last hand to his undertaking, will bring forth the topstone. If he undertakes this, surely he can do any thing, and will do every thing that is necessary in order to do it. Let our expectations be carried out towards a happiness reserved for the last day, when all the years of time shall be fully complete and ended.
4. Christ, having thus spoken of himself as the bread of life, and of faith as the work of God, comes more particularly to show what of himself is this bread, namely, his flesh, and that to believe is to eat of that, John 6:51-58, where he still prosecutes the metaphor of food. Observe, here, the preparation of this food: The bread that I will give is my flesh (; John 6:51), the flesh of the Son of man and his blood, John 6:53. His flesh is meat indeed, and his blood is drink indeed, ; John 6:55. Observe, also, the participation of this food: We must eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood (John 6:53); and again (John 6:54), Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood; and the same words (; John 6:56-57), he that eateth me. This is certainly a parable or figurative discourse, wherein the actings of the soul upon things spiritual and divine are represented by bodily actions about things sensible, which made the truths of Christ more intelligible to some, and less so to others, Mark 4:11-12. Now,
(1.) Let us see how this discourse of Christ was liable to mistake and misconstruction, that men might see, and not perceive. [1.] It was misconstrued by the carnal Jews, to whom it was first delivered (; John 6:52): They strove among themselves; they whispered in each other's ears their dissatisfaction: How can this man give us his flesh to eat?Christ spoke (John 6:51) of giving his flesh for us, to suffer and die; but they, without due consideration, understood it of his giving it to us, to be eaten, which gave occasion to Christ to tell them that, however what he said was otherwise intended, yet even that also of eating of his flesh was no such absurd thing (if rightly understood) as prima facie—in the first instance, they took it to be. [2.] It has been wretchedly misconstrued by the church of Rome for the support of their monstrous doctrine of transubstantiation, which gives the lie to our senses, contradicts the nature of a sacrament, and overthrows all convincing evidence. They, like these Jews here, understand it of a corporal and carnal eating of Christ's body, like Nicodemus, ; John 3:4. The Lord's supper was not yet instituted, and therefore it could have no reference to that; it is a spiritual eating and drinking that is here spoken of, not a sacramental. [3.] It is misunderstood by many ignorant carnal people, who hence infer that, if they take the sacrament when they die, they shall certainly go to heaven, which, as it makes many that are weak causelessly uneasy if they want it, so it makes many that are wicked causelessly easy if they have it. Therefore,
[1.] What is meant by the flesh and blood of Christ. It is called (John 6:53), The flesh of the Son of man, and his blood, his as Messiah and Mediator: the flesh and blood which he assumed in his incarnation (; Hebrews 2:14), and which he gave up in his death and suffering: my flesh which I will give to be crucified and slain. It is said to begiven for the life of the world, that is, First, Instead of the life of the world, which was forfeited by sin, Christ gives his own flesh as a ransom or counterprice. Christ was our bail, bound body for body (as we say), and therefore hislife must go for ours, that ours may be spared. Here am I, let these go their way. Secondly, In order to the life of the world, to purchase a general offer of eternal life to all the world, and the special assurances of it to all believers. So that the flesh and blood of the Son of man denote the Redeemer incarnate and dying; Christ and him crucified, and the redemption wrought out by him, with all the precious benefits of redemption: pardon of sin, acceptance with God, the adoption of sons, access to the throne of grace, the promises of the covenant, and eternal life; these are calledthe flesh and blood of Christ, 1. Because they are purchased by his flesh and blood, by the breaking of his body, and shedding of his blood. Well may the purchased privileges be denominated from the price that was paid for them, for it puts a value upon them; write upon them pretium sanguinis—the price of blood. 2. Because they are meat and drink to our souls. Flesh with the blood was prohibited (Genesis 9:4), but the privileges of the gospel are as flesh and blood to us, prepared for the nourishment of our souls. He had before compared himself to bread, which is necessary food; here to flesh, which is delicious. It is a feast of fat things, ; Isaiah 25:6. The soul is satisfied with Christ as with marrow and fatness, Psalms 63:5. It is meat indeed, and drink indeed; truly so, that is spiritually; so Dr. Whitby; as Christ is called the true vine; or truly meat, in opposition to the shows and shadows with which the world shams off those that feed upon it. In Christ and his gospel there is real supply, solid satisfaction; that is meat indeed, and drink indeed, which satiates and replenishes, ; Jeremiah 31:25-26.
[2.] What is meant by eating this flesh and drinking this blood, which is so necessary and beneficial; it is certain that is means neither more nor less than believing in Christ. As we partake of meat and drink by eating and drinking, so we partake of Christ and his benefits by faith: and believing in Christ includes these four things, whicheating and drinking do:—First, It implies an appetite to Christ. This spiritual eating and drinking begins withhungering and thirsting (Matthew 5:6), earnest and importunate desires after Christ, not willing to take up with any thing short of an interest in him: "Give me Christ or else I die." Secondly, An application of Christ to ourselves. Meatlooked upon will not nourish us, but meat fed upon, and so made our own, and as it were one with us. We must so accept of Christ as to appropriate him to ourselves: my Lord, and my God, ; John 20:28. Thirdly, A delight in Christ and his salvation. The doctrine of Christ crucified must be meat and drink to us, most pleasant and delightful. We must feast upon the dainties of the New Testament in the blood of Christ, taking as great a complacency in the methods which Infinite Wisdom has taken to redeem and save us as ever we did in the most needful supplies or grateful delights of nature. Fourthly, A derivation of nourishment from him and a dependence upon him for the support and comfort of our spiritual life, and the strength, growth, and vigour of the new man. To feed upon Christ is to do all in his name, in union with him, and by virtue drawn from him; it is to live upon him as we do upon our meat. How our bodies are nourished by our food we cannot describe, but that they are so we know and find; so it is with this spiritual nourishment. Our Saviour was so well pleased with this metaphor (as very significant and expressive) that, when afterwards he would institute some outward sensible signs, by which to represent our communicating of the benefits of his death, he chose those of eating and drinking, and made them sacramental actions.
[1.] The necessity of our feeding upon Christ (John 6:53): Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you. That is, First, "It is a certain sign that you have no spiritual life in you if you have nodesire towards Christ, nor delight in him." If the soul does not hunger and thirst, certainly it does not live: it is a sign that we are dead indeed if we are dead to such meat and drink as this. When artificial bees, that by curious springs were made to move to and fro, were to be distinguished from natural ones (they say), it was done by putting honey among them, which the natural bees only flocked to, but the artificial ones minded not, for they had no life in them. Secondly, "It is certain that you can have no spiritual life, unless you derive it from Christ by faith; separated from him you can do nothing." Faith in Christ is the primum vivens—the first living principle of grace; without it we have not the truth of spiritual life, nor any title to eternal life: our bodies may as well live without meat as our souls without Christ.
First, We shall be one with Christ, as our bodies are with our food when it is digested (; John 6:56): He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, that lives by faith in Christ crucified (it is spoken of as a continued act), he dwelleth in me, and I in him. By faith we have a close and intimate union with Christ; he is in us, and we in him, John 17:21-23; 1 John 3:24. Believers dwell in Christ as their stronghold or city of refuge; Christ dwells in them as the master of the house, to rule it and provide for it. Such is the union between Christ and believers that he shares in their griefs, and they share in his graces and joys; he sups with them upon their bitter herbs, and they with him upon his rich dainties. It is an inseparable union, like that between the body and digested food, ; Romans 8:35; 1 John 4:13.
a. We shall live by him (; John 6:57): As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. We have here the series and order of the divine life. (a.) God is the living Father,hath life in and of himself. I am that I am is his name for ever. (b.) Jesus Christ, as Mediator, lives by the Father; he has life in himself (John 5:26), but he has it of the Father. He that sent him, not only qualified him with that life which was necessary to so great an undertaking, but constituted him the treasury of divine life to us; he breathed into the second Adam the breath of spiritual lives, as into the first Adam the breath of natural lives. (c.) True believers receive this divine life by virtue of their union with Christ, which is inferred from the union between the Father and the Son, as it is compared to it, ; John 17:21. For therefore he that eateth me, or feeds on me, even he shall live by me: those that live upon Christ shall live by him. The life of believers is had from Christ (John 1:16); it is hid with Christ (; Colossians 3:4), we live by him as the members by the head, the branches by the root; because he lives, we shall live also.
b. We shall live eternally by him (John 6:54): Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, as prepared in the gospel to be the food of souls, he hath eternal life, he hath it now, as ; John 6:40. He has that in him which is eternal life begun; he has the earnest and foretaste of it, and the hope of it; he shall live for ever, John 6:58. His happiness shall run parallel with the longest line of eternity itself.
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on John 6:37". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/john-6.html. 1706.
The Sum and Substance of all Theology
June 25th, 1861
C. H. SPURGEON
Note: On Tuesday, June 25th, 1861, the beloved C. H. Spurgeon visited
Swansea. The day was wet, so the services could not be held in the
open-air; and, as no building in the town was large enough to hold the
vast concourses of people who had come from all parts to hear the
renowned preacher, he consented to deliver two discourses in the
morning; first at Bethesda, and then at Trinity Chapel. At each place
he preached for an hour and a quarter. The weather cleared up during
the day; so, in the evening, Mr. Spurgeon addressed an immense
gathering of people in the open-air.
"All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that
cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out."-- John 6:37 .
What a difference there is between the words of Christ, and those
of all mere man! Most men speak many words, yet say but little;
Christ speaks few words, yet says very much. In modern books,
you may read scores of pages, and scarcely come across a new
thought; but when Christ speaks, every syllable seems to tell. He
hits the nail on the head each time He lifts the hammer of His
Word. The Words of Christ are like ingots of solid gold; we
preachers too often beat out the gold so thin, that whole acres of
it would scarcely be worth a farthing. The Words of Christ are
always to be distinguished from those of His creatures, not only
for their absolute truthfulness, but also for their profound fulness
of matter. In all His language He is "full of grace and truth." Look
at the text before us. Here we have, in two small sentences, the
sum and substance of all theology. The great questions which
have divided the Church in all ages, the apparently contradictory
doctrines which have set one minister of Christ against his fellow,
are here revealed so simply and plainly, "that he may run that
readeth" (Habakkuk ii.2). Even a child may understand the
Words of Christ, though perhaps the loftiest human intellect
cannot fathom the mystery hidden therein.
Take the first sentence of my text: "All that the Father giveth Me
shall come to Me." What a weighty sentence! Here we have
taught us what is called, in the present day, "High Calvinistic
doctrine"--the purpose of God; the certainty that God's purpose
will stand; the invincibility of God's will; and the absolute
assurance that Christ "shall see of the travail of His soul, and
shall be satisfied."
Look at the second sentence of my text: "And him that cometh to
me I will in no wise cast out." Here we have the richness, the
fulness, the unlimited extent of the power of Christ to save those
who put their trust in Him. Here is a text upon which one might
preach a thousand sermons. We might take these two sentences
as a life-long text, and never exhaust the theme.
Mark, too, how our Lord Jesus Christ gives us the whole truth.
We have many ministers who can preach well upon the first
sentence: "All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me." Just
set them going upon Election, or everlasting covenant
engagements, and they will be earnest and eloquent, for they are
fond of dwelling upon these points, and a well-instructed child of
God can hear them with delight and profit. Such preachers are
often the fathers of the Church, and the very pillars thereof; but,
unfortunately, many of these excellent brethren cannot preach so
well upon the second sentence of my text: "And him that cometh
to Me I will in no wise cast out." When they get to that truth, they
are half afraid of it; they hesitate to preach what they consider to
be a too open salvation. They cannot give the gospel invitation as
freely as they find it in the Word of God. They do not deny it, yet
they stutter and stammer sadly, when they get upon this theme.
Then, on the other hand, we have a large number of good
ministers who can preach on this second clause of the text, but
they cannot preach on the first clause. How fluent is their
language as they tell out the freeness of salvation! Here they are
much at home in their preaching; but, we are sorry to be
compelled to say that, very often, they are not much at home
when they come to doctrinal matters, and they would find it
rather a difficult matter to preach fluently on the first sentence of
my text. They would, if they attempted to preach from it,
endeavour to cut out of it all that savours of Divine Sovereignty.
They do not preach the whole "truth" which "is in Jesus."
Why is it that some of us do not see both sides of God's revealed
truth? We persist in closing one eye; we will not see all that may
be seen if we open both our eyes; and, sometimes, we get angry
with a brother because he can see a little more than we do. I think
our text is very much like a stereoscopic picture, for it presents
two views of the truth. Both views are correct, for they are both
photographed by the same light. How can we bring these two
truths together? We get the stereoscope of the scripture, and
looking with both eyes, the two pictures melt into one. God has
given us, in His Word, the two pictures of divine truth; but we
have not all got the stereoscope properly adjusted to make them
melt into one. When we get to heaven, we shall see how all God's
truth harmonizes. If we cannot make these two parts of truth
harmonize now, at any rate we must not dare to blot out one of
them, for God has given them both.
Now, as God shall help me this morning, I want to expand both
sentences of my text with equal fidelity and plainness. I shall not
expect to please some of you while speaking on the first
sentence, and I shall not be surprised if I fail to please others of
you when I come to the second sentence; but, in ether case, it will
be a small matter to me if I have an easy conscience because I
have proclaimed what I believe to be the whole truth of God. I
am sure you will be willing to give a patient hearing to that which
you may not fully receive, if you believe it to be declared in all
honesty. Reject what I say, if it be not true, but if it be the Word
of God, receive it; and, be it known unto you that it is at your
peril if you dare to reject the truthful Word of the glad tidings of
I. I will begin with the first sentence of the text: "All that the
Father giveth Me shall come to Me." We have here, first, THE FIRM
FOUNDATION UPON WHICH OUR SALVATION RESTS.
It rests, you perceive, not on something which man does, but on
something which God the Father does. The Father gives certain
persons to His Son, and the Son says, "All that the Father giveth
Me Shall come to Me." I take it that the meaning of the text is
this,--that, if any do come to Jesus Christ, it is those whom the
Father gave to Christ. And the reason why they come,--if we
search to the very bottom of things,--is, that the Father puts it into
their hearts to come. The reason why one man is saved, and
another man is lost, is to be found in God; not in anything which
the saved man did, or did not do; not in anything which he felt, or
did not feel; but in something altogether irrespective of himself,
even in the sovereign grace of God. In the day of God's power,
the saved are made willing to give their souls to Jesus. The
language of Scripture must explain this point. "As many as
received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of
God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born,
not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man,
but of God" (John i. 12, 13). "So then it is not of him that willeth,
nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy" (Romans
ix. 16). If you want to see the fount of grace, you must go to the
everlasting God; even as, if you want to know why that river runs
in this direction, and not in that, you must trace it up to its source.
In the case of every soul that is now in heaven, it was the will of
God that drew it thither. In the case of every spirit that is on its
way to glory now, unto God and unto Him alone must be the
honour of its salvation; for He it is who makes one "differ from
another" (1 Cor. iv. 7).
I do not care to argue upon this point, except I put it thus: If any
say, "It is man himself who makes the difference," I reply, "You
are involving yourself in a great dilemma; if man himself makes
the difference, then mark--man himself must have the glory."
Now, I am certain you do not mean to give man the glory of his
own salvation; you would not have men throw up their caps in
heaven, and shout, "Unto ourselves be the glory, for we,
ourselves, were the hinge and turning point of our own salvation."
No, you would have all the saved cast their crowns at the feet of
Jesus, and give to Him alone all the honour and all the glory.
This, however, cannot be, unless, in that critical point, that
diamond hinge upon which man's salvation shall turn, God shall
have the control, and not the will of man. You know that those
who do not believe this truth as a matter of doctrine, do believe it
in their hearts as a matter of experience.
I was preaching, not very long ago, at a place in Derbyshire, to a
congregation, nearly all of whom were Methodists, and as I
preached, they were crying out, "Hallelujah! Glory! Bless the
Lord!." They were full of excitement, until I went on to say in my
sermon, "This brings me to the doctrine of Election." There was
no crying out of "Glory!" and "Hallelujah!" then. Instead, there
was a great deal of shaking of the head, and a sort of telegraphing
round the place, as though something dreadful was coming. Now,
I thought, I must have their attention again, so I said, "You all
believe in the doctrine of Election?" "No, we don't, lad," said one.
"Yes, you do, and I am going to preach it to you, and make you
cry 'Hallelujah!' over it." I am certain they mistrusted my power
to do that; so, turning a moment from the subject, I said, "Is there
any difference between you and the ungodly world?" "Ay! Ay!
Ay!" "Is there any difference between you and the drunkard, the
harlot, the blasphemer?" "Ay! Ay! Ay!" Ay! there was a
difference indeed. "Well, now," I said, "there is a great
difference; who made it, then?" for, whoever made the difference,
should have the glory of it. "Did you make the difference?" "No,
lad," said one; and the rest all seemed to join in the chorus. "Who
made the difference, then? Why, the Lord did it; and did you
think it wrong for Him to make a difference between you and
other men?" "No, no," they quickly said. "Very well, then; if it
was not wrong for God to make the difference, it was not wrong
for Him to purpose to make it, and that is the doctrine of
Election." Then they cried, "Hallelujah!" as I said they would.
The doctrine of Election is God's purposing in His heart that He
would make some men better than other men; that He would give
to some men more grace than to other men; that some should
come out and receive the mercy; that others, left to their own free
will, should reject it; that some should gladly accept the
invitations of mercy, while others, of their own accord,
stubbornly refuse the mercy to which the whole world of mankind
is invited. All men, by nature, refuse the invitations of the gospel.
God, in the sovereignty of His grace, makes a difference by
secretly inclining the hearts of some men, by the power of His
Holy Spirit, to partake of His everlasting mercy in Christ Jesus. I
am certain that, whether we are Calvinists or Arminians, if our
hearts are right with God, we shall all adoringly testify: "We love
Him, because He first loved us." If that be not Election, I know
not what it is.
II. Now, in the second place, note THE CERTAINTY OF THE ETERNAL
SALVATION OF ALL WHO WERE GIVEN TO JESUS; "All that the Father giveth
Me shall come to Me."
This is eternally settled, and so settled that it cannot be altered by
either man or devil. All whose names are written in the Book of
Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, all whom
God the Father designed to save when He gave up His well-
beloved Son to die upon the cross of Calvary, shall in time be
drawn by the Holy Spirit, and shall surely come to Christ, and be
kept by the Spirit, through the precious blood of Christ, and be
folded for ever with His sheep, on the hill-tops of glory.
Mark! "All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me." Not one
of those whom the Father hath given to Jesus shall perish. If any
were lost, the text would have to read: "Almost all," or, "All but
one;" but it positively says "All," without any exception; even
though one may have been, in his unregenerate state, the very
chief of sinners. Yet even that chosen one, that given one, shall
come to Jesus; and when he has come, he shall be held by that
strong love that at first chose him, and he shall never be let go,
but shall be held fast, even unto the end. Miss Much-afraid, and
Mrs. Despondency, and Mr. Feeble-mind, shall as certainly come
to the arms of Christ, as Mr. Great-heart, and Mr. Faithful, and
Mr. Valiant-for-Truth. If one jewel were lost from Christ's
crown, then Christ's crown would not be all-glorious. If one
member of the body of Christ were to perish, Christ's body would
not be complete. If one of those who are one with Christ should
miss his way to eternal live, Christ would not be a perfect Christ.
"All that the Father giveth Me Shall come to Me." "But suppose
they will not come?" I cannot suppose any such thing, for He
says they "shall come." They shall be made willing in the day of
God's power. God knows how to make a passage through the
heart of man; and though man is a free agent, yet God can incline
him, willingly, to come to Jesus. There are many sentences even
in Wesley's hymn-book which contain this truth. If God took
away freedom from man, and then saved him, it would be but a
small miracle. For God to leave man free to come to Jesus, and
yet to so move him as to make him come, is a divinely-wrought
miracle indeed. If we were for a moment to admit that man's will
could be more than a match for God's will, do you not see where
we should be landed? Who made man? God! Who made God?
Shall we lift up man to the sovereign throne of Deity? Who shall
be master, and have his way, God or man? The will of God, that
says they "shall come", knows how to make them come.
"But suppose it should be one of those who are living in the
interior of Africa, and he does not hear the gospel; what then?"
He shall hear the gospel; either he shall come to the gospel, or
the gospel shall go to him. Even if no minister should go to such a
chosen one, he would have the gospel specially revealed to him
rather than that the promise of the Almighty God should be
"But suppose there should be one of God's chosen who has
become so bad that there is no hope for him? He never attends a
place of worship; never listens to the gospel; the voce of the
preacher never reaches him; he has grown hardened in his sin,
like steel that has been seven times annealed in the fire; what
then?" That man shall be arrested by God's grace, and that
obdurate, hard-hearted one shall be made to see the mercy of
God; the tears shall stream down his cheeks, and he shall be
made willing to receive Jesus as Saviour. I think that, as God
could bend my will, and bring me to Christ, He can bring
"Why was I made to hear His voice,
And enter while there's room;
When thousands make a wretched choice,
And rather than come?
"'Twas the same love the spread the feast,
That sweetly forced me in;
Else I had still refused to taste,
And perish'd in my sin."
Yes, "sweetly forced me in;"--there is no other word that can so
accurately describe my case. Oh, how long Jesus Christ stood at
the door of my heart, and knocked, and knocked, and knocked in
vain! I asked: "Why should I leave the pleasures of this world?"
Yet still He knocked, and there was music in every sound of His
pleading voice; but I said, "Nay, let Him go elsewhere." And
though, through the window, I could see His thorn-crowned head,
and the tears standing in His eyes, and the prints of the nails in
His hands, as He stood and knocked, and said, "Open to Me," yet
I heeded Him not. Then He sent my mother to me, and she
pleaded, "let the Saviour in, Charlie;" and I replied, in action,
though not in words, "Nay, I love thee, my mother; but I do not
love Christ, thy Saviour." Then came the black hours of sickness;
but in effect I said, "Nay, I fear not sickness, nor death itself; I
will still defy my Maker." But it happened, one day, that He
graciously put in His hand by the hole of the door, and I moved
toward Him, and then I opened the door, and cried, "Come in!
Come in!" Alas! alas! He was gone; and for five long years I
stood, with tears in mine eyes, and I sought Him weeping, but I
found Him not. I cried after Him, but He answered me not. I said,
"Whither is He gone? Oh, that I had never rejected Him? Oh, that
He would but come again!" Surely the angels must then have
said, "A great change has come over that youth; he would not let
Christ in when He knocked, but now he wants Christ to come."
And when He did come, do you think my soul rejected Him?
Nay, nay; but I fell down at His feet, crying, "Come in! Come in!
thou Blessed Saviour. I have waited for Thy salvation, O my
There is no living soul beyond the reach of hope, no chosen one
whom Christ cannot bring up even from the very gates of hell. He
can bare His arm, put out His hand, and pluck the brand "out of
the fire" (Zechariah iii.2). In a horrible pit, in the miry clay, His
jewels have been hidden; but down from the throne of light He
can come, and thrusting in His arm of mercy, He can pull them
out, and cause them to glitter in His crown for ever. Let it be
settled in our hearts, as a matter of fact, that what God has
purposed to do, He will surely accomplish.
I need not dwell longer upon this point, because I think I have
really brought out the essence of this first sentence of my text:
"All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me." Permit me just
to remark, before I pass on, that I am sometimes sad on account
of the alarm that some Christians seem to have concerning this
precious and glorious doctrine. We have, in the Baptist
denomination,--I am sorry to have to say it,--many ministers,
excellent brethren, who, while they believe this doctrine, yet
never preach it. On the other hand, we have some ministers,
excellent brethren, who never preach anything else. They have a
kind of barrel-organ that only plays five tunes, and they are
always repeating them. It is either Election, Predestination,
Particular Redemption, Effectual Calling, Final Perseverance, or
something of that kind; it is always the same note. But we have
also a great many others who never preach concerning these
doctrines, though they admit they are doctrines taught in Sacred
Scripture. The reason for their silence is, because they say these
truths are not suitable to be preached from the pulpit. I hold such
an utterance as that to be very wicked. Is the doctrine here--in
this Bible? If it is, as God hath taught it, so are we to teach it.
"But," they say, "not in a mixed assembly." Where can you find
an unmixed assembly? God has sent the Bible into a mixed
world, and the gospel is to be preached in " all the world", and
"to every creature." "Yes," they say, "preach the gospel, but not
these special truths of the gospel; because, if you preach these
doctrines, the people will become Antinomians and Hyper-
Calvinists." Not so; the reason why people become Hyper-
Calvinists and Antinomians, is because some, who profess to be
Calvinists, often keep back part of the truth, and do not, as Paul
did, "declare all the counsel of God"; they select certain parts of
Scripture, where their own particular views are taught, and pass
by other aspects of God's truth. Such preachers as John Newton,
and in later times, your own Christmas Evans, were men who
preached the whole truth of God; they kept back nothing that
God has revealed; and, as the result of their preaching,
Antinomianism could not find a foot-hold anywhere. We should
have each doctrine of Scripture in its proper place, and preach it
fully; and if we want to have a genuine revival of religion, we
must preach these doctrines of Jehovah's sovereign grace again
and again. Do not tell me they will not bring revivals. There was
but one revival that I have ever heard of, apart from Calvinistic
doctrine, and that was the one in which Wesley took so great a
part; but then George Whitefield was there also to preach the
whole Word of God. When people are getting sleepy, if you want
to arouse and wake them up thoroughly, preach the doctrine of
Divine Sovereignty to them; for that will do it right speedily.
III. I shall now turn very briefly to the second sentence of my
text: "And him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out."
"Now," says somebody, "he is going to knock down all that he
has been building up." Well, I would rather be inconsistent with
myself than with my Master; but I dare not alter this second
sentence, and I have no desire to alter it. Let it stand as it is, all
its glorious simplicity:--
"HIM THAT COMETH TO ME I WILL IN NO WISE CAST OUT."
Let the whole world come, still this promise is big enough to
embrace them all in its arms. There is no mistake here, the wrong
man cannot come. If any sinner come to Christ, he is sure to be
the right one. Mark, too, as there is no limitation in the person
coming, so there is no limitation in the manner of the coming.
Says one, "Suppose I come the wrong way?" You cannot come
the wrong way; it is written, "No man can come to Me, except
the Father which hath sent Me draw him." "No man can come
unto Me, except it were given unto him of My Father" (John
vi.44,65). If, then, you come to Christ in any way, you are drawn
of the Father, and He cannot draw the wrong way. If you come to
Christ at all, the power and will to come have been given you of
the Father. If you come to Christ, He will in no wise cast you out;
for no possible or conceivable reason will Jesus ever cast out any
sinner who comes to Him. There is no reason in hell, or on earth,
or in heaven, why Jesus should cast out the soul that comes to
Him. If Satan, the foul accuser of the brethren, brings reasons
why the coming sinner should not be received, Jesus will "cast
down" the accuser, but He will not "cast out" the sinner. "Come
unto Me, all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give
your rest," is still His invitation and His promise, too.
Let us suppose a case by the way of illustration. Here is a man in
Swansea,--ragged, dirty, coal-begrimed,--who has received a
message from Her Most Gracious Majesty, Queen Victoria. It
reads in this wise: "You are hereby commanded to come, just as
you are, to our palace at Windsor, to receive great and special
favours at our hand. You will stay away at your peril." The man
reads the message, and at first scarcely understands it; so he
thinks, "I must wash and prepare myself." Then, he re-reads the
royal summons, and the words arrest him: "Come just as your
are." So he starts, and tells the people in the train where he is
going, and they laugh at him. At length he arrives at Windsor
Castle; there he is stopped by the guard, and questioned. He
explains why he has come, and shows the Queen's message; and
he is allowed to pass. He next meets with a gentlemen in waiting,
who, after some explanations and expressions of astonishment,
allows him to enter the ante-room. When there, our friend
becomes frightened on account of his begrimed and ragged
appearance; he is half inclined to rush from the place with fear,
when he remembers the works of the royal command: "Stay away
at your peril." Presently, the Queen herself appears, and tells him
how glad she is that he has come just as he was. She says she
purposes that he shall be suitably clothed, and be made one of the
princes of her court. She adds, "I told you to come as you were. It
seemed to be a strange command to you, but I am glad you have
obeyed, and so come."
I do think this is what Jesus Christ says to every creature under
heaven. The gospel invitation runs thus: "Come, come, come to
Christ, just as you are." "But, let me feel more." No, come just as
you are. "But let me get home to my own room, and let me pray."
No, no, come to Christ just as you are. As you are, trust in Jesus,
and He will save you. Oh, do dare to trust Him! If anybody shall
ask, "Who are you?" answer, "I am nobody." If anyone objects,
"You are such a filthy sinner," reply, "Yes,'tis true, so I am; but
He Himself told me to come." If anyone shall say, "You are not
fit to come," say, "I know I am not fit; but He told me to come."
"Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you,
Full of pity join'd with power;
He is able,
He is willing; doubt no more.
"Let not conscience make you linger,
Nor fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requireth,
Is to feel you need of Him:
This He gives you;
'Tis the Spirit's rising beam."
Sinner, trust in Jesus: and if thou dost perish trusting in Jesus, I
will perish with thee. I will make my bed in hell, side by side
with thee, sinner, if thou canst perish trusting in Christ, and thou
shalt lie there, and taunt me to all eternity for having taught thee
falsely, if we perish. But that can never be; those who trust in
Jesus shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of His
hand. Come to Jesus, and He will in no wise cast thee out.
May the Lord bless the words I have spoken! Though hastily
suggested to my mind, and feebly delivered to you, the Lord bless
them, for Christ's sake! Amen.
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on John 6:37". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/john-6.html. 2011.
the Week of Proper 13 / Ordinary 18