|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.
Verse 46. - Not that any one hath seen the Father, save he who is from God, he hath seen the Father. "Hearing" and "learning" do not amount to the beatific vision. "No one [as John said, John 1:18] hath seen God at any time, the only begotten [Son] who is in the bosom of the Father [πρὸς τὸν Θεόν, John 1:1; εἰς τὸν κόλπον, John 1:18], he hath declared him" (cf. Matthew 11:27). The full revelation of the Father is alone possible to one who is (παρὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ) "forth from God," yet evermore standing in close association with God. Cyril and Erasmus here suggest the fact that Christ distinguishes himself from Moses, and some suggest that Christ protests against the supposition which would make the spiritual "inner Christ" of modern speculation of more value than the historical personality. But παρὰ in association with ω}ν indicates more than mission from God, and obviously stands in indissoluble relation with the teaching of the prologue, viz. the eternal pre-existence of the personal Logos - the identity of the Person who was made flesh with the Christ of this discourse. These words bring our Lord's teaching back to a full justification or reassertion of the statement that he had come down from heaven.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Not that any man hath seen the Father,.... This is said, lest it should be thought from the above words, that our Lord meant that men should be so taught of God, as that they should visibly see the Father, and vocally hear his voice, and be personally instructed by him; for his voice is not heard, nor his shape seen; see John 1:18;
save he which is of God; who is begotten of him, and of the same nature and perfections with him, though a distinct person from him, and who was always with him, and lay in his bosom:
he hath seen the Father; has perfect knowledge of him, personal communion with him; has seen the perfections and glory of his person, and the thoughts, purposes, and counsels of his heart, his whole mind, and will, and all the grace, goodness, and mercy which is in him, and has declared it; see John 1:18.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
46. Not that any man hath seen, &c.—Lest they should confound that "hearing and learning of the Father," to which believers are admitted by divine teaching, with His own immediate access to Him, He here throws in a parenthetical explanation; stating, as explicitly as words could do it, how totally different the two cases were, and that only He who is "from God" hath this naked, immediate access to the Father. (See Joh 1:18).
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