Thinking About John 6
37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.It occurs to me that Jesus is not talking about anything remotely having to do with election or predestination here. Taken in isolation, this verse can come across that way, especially when that idea is tagged. Looking at the whole chapter paints a different picture. How about starting with the surrounding context? He is saying that He is the bread of life and that they do not believe in Him (v. 35 & 36). Then he says, " 37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." And then He says "for .... I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (v. 38-40)
What of the word "for"? It is connecting two parts of the sentence. Jesus is saying that ALL that the Father gives Him will come to Him for He is not here to do His own will, but that of the Father. His point is not one of predestination or determinism, but that He is not on His own here. He is doing the will of the Father and those who come to Him are directed from the Father. I think a key verse to this passage is verse 45:
45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.Could Jesus have been telling them that if they were really followers of God, they would listen to Him? He sure talks a lot about His Father in this discourse. Perhaps that is the point! The Father gives them to the Son, not in the sense that He looks from eternity past with the Son and says, "there, there and there. Those are your sheep, I am giving them to you." Rather, if any of the Jews have truly been seeking the Father and looking for the Hope that the Lord had promised, they would be led where? To Jesus!! The Father would give them to the Son. It is the Son they will see and believe and have everlasting life and be raised on the last day. Glory!
Anyways, those were some thoughts I had when reading through this this week. I also was pointed to another source on John 6 with some insight into something about the chapter that has troubled me for some time. Reading it really helped me to understand what could have been happening when Jesus said,
"53 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."
(Has that verse ever baffled anyone else? I have heard explanations of it, but none stuck until the one I read yesterday.)
I will share the other view of this chapter that I found so helpful later in the week, before Friday. I hope you'll come back and read it!