|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:36-46 The discovery of their guilt, danger, and remedy, by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, makes men willing and glad to come, and to give up every thing which hinders applying to him for salvation. The Father's will is, that not one of those who were given to the Son, should be rejected or lost by him. No one will come, till Divine grace has subdued, and in part changed his heart; therefore no one who comes will ever be cast out. The gospel finds none willing to be saved in the humbling, holy manner, made known therein; but God draws with his word and the Holy Ghost; and man's duty is to hear and learn; that is to say, to receive the grace offered, and consent to the promise. None had seen the Father but his beloved Son; and the Jews must expect to be taught by his inward power upon their minds, and by his word, and the ministers whom he sent among them.
Verses 37-40. -
(b) Episode or, the blessedness of those who "come" to Christ. Verse 37. - Many suppose a time of stillness, a break in the conversation, "a significant asyndeton," from the absence of all connection between this and the previous verse. Vers. 39, 40 would seem to have been addressed more directly to the disciples, the less susceptible hearers retiring from him or engaging in eager conversation (cf. ver. 41). Nevertheless, the Lord takes up the continuous line of his self-revelation, and ver. 37 clearly refers the "non-coming" and "non-believing" in their case to their moral obliquity, and to the apparent inadequacy of sufficient proof to induce the faith which will satisfy spiritual hunger. This spiritual dulness on the part of all suggests some internal and necessary condition, which is, though yet absent, not said to be inaccessible. Seeing ought to issue in believing, but it does not; therefore there is something more than the manifestation of the Christ absolutely necessary. To that Jesus now reverts. All (πᾶν, the neuter is also used of persons in John 3:6 and John 17:2, used concerning the whole body of real believers, the whole mass of those who, when they see, do come - the entire company of believers regarded as a grand unity, and stretching out into the future) all that which the Father giveth me. The subsequent descriptions of the Father's grace (vers. 44, 45) throw light on this. The "drawing of the Father," the "hearing and learning from the Father," are there declared to be conditions of "coming to Christ." All those influences on the soul, all the new-creating and spirit-quickening energies of the Holy Ghost, the new heart and tender conscience, the honest, serious desire for holy things, are broadly described in this passage as God's method and act of giving to the Son of his love. There is no necessity (with Augustine) to suppose that our Lord refers to an absolute predestinating decree. For if God has not yet given these particular men to him, it does not say that he will not and may nut do so yet. The Father's giving to the Son may indeed assume many forms. It may take the character of original constitution, of predisposition and temperamerit, or of special "providential education and training, or of tenderness of conscience, or of a truthful and sincere and unquenched desire. The Father is the Divine Cause. "The giving" implies a present activity of grace, not a foregone conclusion. All that which the Father giveth me shall reach me - all souls touched by the Father in a thousand ways to the point of making a moral surrender to my claims, will reach me - and him that is coming to me - i.e. is on the way to me, is drawing near to me - I for my part will not cast out. Thus authority to refuse is claimed by Christ, and power to exclude from his fellowship and friendship, from his kingdom and glory. (Matthew 8:12; Matthew 22:13). Admission is not the working of some impersonal law, but the individual response of him who has come down to give life. As far as man is concerned, it turns on his voluntary coming, on his bare willingness to be fed with heavenly food. It is impossible, so far as responsibility is concerned, to get back of personal wish and individual will. The process of genuine coming to Christ does show that the Father is therein giving such soul to his Son. Archdeacon Watkins says, "Men have now seized one and now the other of these truths, and have built upon them in separation logical systems of doctrine which are but half truths. He (Jesus) states them in union. Their reconciliation transcends human reason, but is within the experience of human life." The greatness of the self-consciousness of Christ appears in the further proof that he proceeds to supply of this relation to the Father.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
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.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
37-40. All that, &c.—This comprehensive and very grand passage is expressed with a peculiar artistic precision. The opening general statement (Joh 6:37) consists of two members: (1) "All that the Father Giveth me shall come to me"—that is, "Though ye, as I told you, have no faith in Me, My errand into the world shall in no wise be defeated; for all that the Father giveth Me shall infallibly come to Me." Observe, what is given Him by the Father is expressed in the singular number and neuter gender—literally, "everything"; while those who come to Him are put in the masculine gender and singular number—"every one." The whole mass, so to speak, is gifted by the Father to the Son as a unity, which the Son evolves, one by one, in the execution of His trust. So Joh 17:2, "that He should give eternal life to all that which Thou hast given Him" [Bengel]. This "shall" expresses the glorious certainty of it, the Father being pledged to see to it that the gift be no empty mockery. (2) "And him that cometh to me I WILL IN NO WISE CAST OUT." As the former was the divine, this is just the human side of the same thing. True, the "coming" ones of the second clause are just the "given" ones of the first. But had our Lord merely said, "When those that have been given Me of My Father shall come to Me, I will receive them"—besides being very flat, the impression conveyed would have been quite different, sounding as if there were no other laws in operation, in the movement of sinners to Christ, but such as are wholly divine and inscrutable to us; whereas, though He does speak of it as a sublime certainty which men's refusals cannot frustrate, He speaks of that certainty as taking effect only by men's voluntary advances to Him and acceptance of Him—"Him that cometh to Me," "whosoever will," throwing the door wide open. Only it is not the simply willing, but the actually coming, whom He will not cast out; for the word here employed usually denotes arrival, as distinguished from the ordinary word, which rather expresses the act of coming (see Joh 8:42, Greek), [Webster and Wilkinson]. "In no wise" is an emphatic negative, to meet the fears of the timid (as in Re 21:27, to meet the presumption of the hardened). These, then, being the two members of the general opening statement, what follows is meant to take in both,
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