John 6:41
The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeChrysostomClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTeedTTBVWSWESTSK
(41) The Jews murmured at him.—Better, concerning Him, as in John 7:12; John 7:32. Here, too, it was “among themselves” (John 6:43). With the true spirit of objectors, they do not regard what He has since said in explanation, but fasten upon what they do not understand in its most striking form. Perhaps they have not listened to what has followed; indeed, the words imply that they were for some time talking to one another, and interrupting His discourse, and that this led to His answering them. They are the Jewish authorities, representing, and probably in part consisting of, members of the Sanhedrin. (Comp. Note on John 1:19.)

John 6:41-47. The Jews then murmured at him — The dispositions of the greatest part of the Jews being carnal, the doctrine of our Lord respecting the spiritual nature of the blessings which his followers were to receive, and especially his affirming that he was the bread of life, and that he came down from heaven, greatly offended them. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, &c. — Was he not born into the world as other men are, and are we not well acquainted with his parents, and know him to be earth- born? How then can he pretend to have come down from heaven? Jesus answered, Murmur not among yourselves — On account of my words, for it is not want of truth in them, but want of affection to my doctrine, and your not considering the testimony God hath given to it, that makes you thus to murmur at and reject what I say. Set yourselves, therefore, to reflect seriously on your present state, and on your true interest. I know indeed that your prejudices against me are strong, and, without the influences of divine grace, will prove invincible and fatal: for, such is the moral blindness and degeneracy of human nature, that no man can come to me — Namely, by a saving faith; except the Father which hath sent me draw him — By the influence of his Holy Spirit on the heart, saving faith being of the operation of God, and the gift of God, Colossians 2:12; Ephesians 2:8. In other words, no man can believe in Christ to the saving of his soul, unless God give him power: God draws us first by good desires, not by compulsion, not by laying the will under any necessity; but by the strong and sweet, yet still resistible motions of his heavenly grace. That the expression, applied to reasonable agents, does not import any force or constraint, is plain from Jeremiah 31:3, where God says to Israel, With loving kindness have I drawn thee; that is, by the manifold benefits which I have bestowed on thee, and particularly by the revelation of my will committed to thee, and have prevailed with thee to obey me. Thus also our Lord uses the expression, John 12:32; If I be lifted up from the earth I will draw all men unto me; that is, being put to death on the cross, and raised from the dead, and exalted into heaven, and preached through the world, I will, by my word and Spirit, persuade many to follow me to heaven. Thus also, Hosea 11:4, God says, he drew Israel with the cords of a man, with bands of love. Wherefore, by the Father’s drawing men to Christ we may understand his persuading them to believe on him, by the several proofs wherewith he has supported his mission, by the doctrine of his gospel, and by those influences of his grace, which are necessary to give men a right discernment of the evidences of religion, and of the certainty and importance of the great truths of it, and to impress these things deeply on their minds. Accordingly, in the following verse, the effect which the Father’s drawing hath upon men, is described by their hearing and learning of him. It is written in the prophets, (see the margin,) they shall be all taught of God — Namely, not merely by his word, but also and especially by his Spirit, termed therefore, (Ephesians 1:17,) the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. “Before the coming of Christ the Father spake to the world concerning him by the prophets, and when he appeared in the human nature on earth, he demonstrated the truth of his mission by the testimony of John, and by voices from heaven, declaring him to be his beloved Son, and commanding all men to hear him. He did the same likewise by the doctrines which he inspired Jesus to preach, by the miracles which he gave him to perform, and by the influences of the Spirit which he empowered him to dispense.” Every man therefore, &c. — Every one that hath heard and understood what the Father hath said concerning the Messiah, whether by the prophets or by John the Baptist, or by the voices from heaven, or by my doctrine and miracles, and has also been enlightened, and drawn by the influences of the Holy Spirit; cometh unto me — Will believe on me, and cordially receive me under the character I profess. Not that any man hath seen the Father — Not that I mean, when I speak of men’s hearing and learning of God, that they can see God personally, and be taught of him in the manner that a scholar is taught of his master; save he who is of God — No man hath seen the Father personally, except the Son, who is come to men as the great ambassador from God; he, indeed, being statedly resident with him, and inseparably united to him, has seen the Father, and enjoyed that intimacy with him which no creature can pretend to have known.

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.Every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him - It was not sufficient to see him and hear him, but it was necessary, also, to believe on him. Many of the Jews had seen him, but few believed on him. Jesus had said in the previous verse that all that the Father had given him should be saved. But he never left a doctrine so that men must misunderstand it. Lest it should be supposed that if a man was given to him this was all that was needful, and lest anyone should say, "If I am to be saved I shall be, and my efforts will be useless," he states here that it is necessary that a man should believe on him. This would be the evidence that he was given to God, and this would be evidence conclusive that he would be saved. If this explanation of the Saviour had always been attended to, the doctrine of election would not have been abused as it has been. Sinners would not sit down in unconcern, saying that if they are given to Christ all will be well. They would have arisen like the prodigal, and would have gone to God; and, having believed on the Saviour, they would then have had evidence that they were given to him - the evidence resulting from an humble, penitent, believing heart - and then they might rejoice in the assurance that Jesus would lose none that were given to him, but would raise it up at the last day. All the doctrines of Jesus, as he preached them, are safe, and pure, and consistent; as men preach them, they are, unhappily, often inconsistent and open to objection, and are either fitted to produce despair on the one hand, or presumptuous self-confidence on the ether. Jesus teaches men to strive to enter heaven, as if they could do the work themselves; and yet to depend on the help of God, and give the glory to him, as if he had done it all. 41-46. Jews murmured—muttered, not in our Lord's hearing, but He knew it (Joh 6:43; Joh 2:25).

he said, I am the bread, &c.—Missing the sense and glory of this, and having no relish for such sublimities, they harp upon the "Bread from heaven." "What can this mean? Do we not know all about Him—where, when, and of whom He was born? And yet He says He came down from heaven!"

The Jews were exceedingly prone to this sin of murmuring, which is a complaining either through indignation, or impatience of what men hear spoken, or see done: the thing which offended, seemeth not to be his calling himself the true bread, and the bread of life; but because he said, that he came down from heaven.

The Jews then murmured at him,.... When they found that he spoke of himself as the true bread, the bread of God, and bread of life, and as descending from heaven: and which was to be fed upon in a spiritual manner by faith, which they were ignorant of, and had no desire unto: and thus being disappointed of the delicious corporeal food they expected, they grew uneasy, and displeased,

because he said I am the bread which came down from heaven; for though, as yet, he had not said this in so many words, and in this direct form, as afterwards, in John 6:51; yet he had said what amounted to it, and which might be easily gathered from John 6:35 The Vulgate Latin reads, "I am the living bread"; and the Persic version, "I am the bread of life". And this last renders the first clause "mocked at him".

{9} The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.

(9) Flesh cannot perceive spiritual things, and therefore the beginning of our salvation comes from God, who changes our nature, so that we, being inspired by him, may remain to be instructed and saved by Christ.

John 6:41-42. “They murmured, and this μετʼ ἀλλήλων, John 6:43, against Him with reference to what He had said, viz. that,” etc. Upon all the rest they reflect no further, but this assertion of Jesus impresses them all the more offensively, and among themselves they give expression half aloud to their dissatisfaction. This last thought is not contained in the word itself (comp. John 7:32; John 7:12; according to Pollux, v. 89, it was also used of the cooing of doves), but in the context (οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι). We are not therefore, as De Wette supposes, to think of it merely as a whispering. Comp. rather John 6:61; Matthew 20:11; Luke 5:30; 1 Corinthians 10:10; Numbers 11:1; Numbers 14:27; Sir 10:24; Jdt 5:22; Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 358.

οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι] The opposition party among the Jews were therefore among the ὄχλος (John 6:5; John 6:22; John 6:24). Even in the congregation of the synagogue itself (John 6:59), though it included many followers of Jesus (John 6:60), there may have been present members of the spiritual aristocracy (see on John 1:19). The assumption that the ὄχλος itself is here called οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι, on account of its refusal to recognise Jesus (De Wette, Tholuck, Baur, Brückner, Hengstenberg, Godet, and most others), is more far-fetched, for hitherto the ὄχλος had shown itself sensuously eager indeed after miracles, but not hostile.

ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ἄρτος κ.τ.λ.] compiled from John 6:33; John 6:35; John 6:38.

οὗτος] on both occasions, contemptuously.

ἡμεῖς] we on our part.

οἴδαμεν τ. πατ. κ. τ. μητ.] This human descent which they knew (comp. Matthew 13:55) seemed to them in contradiction with that assertion, and to exclude the possibility of its truth. Hebrews 7:3 (ἀπάτωρ ἀμήτωρ) does not apply here, because it is not a question of the Messiahship of Jesus, but of His coming down from heaven.

τὸν πατέρα κ. τὴν μητ.] The words, on the face of them, convey the impression that both were still alive; the usual opinion that Joseph (whom subsequent tradition represents as already an old man at the time of his espousal with Mary; see Thilo, ad Cod. Apocr. I. p. 361) was already dead, cannot, to say the least, be certainly proved (comp. also Keim, Gesch. J. I. 426), though in John also he is entirely withdrawn from the history.

John 6:41-51. In this paragraph we are first told how the Jews were staggered by our Lord’s affirming that He had come down from heaven; second, how Jesus explains that in order to understand and receive Him they must be taught of God; and third, how He reiterates His claim to be the Bread of Life, adding now the explanation that it is His flesh which He will give for the life of the world.

41. The Jews then murmured at him] Better, The Jews therefore muttered respecting Him, talked in an under tone among themselves about Him: it does not necessarily mean that they found fault, though the context shews that they did (comp. John 6:61, John 7:12). From the mention of the Jews we are to understand that there were some of the hostile party among the multitude, perhaps some members of the Sanhedrin; but not that the whole multitude were hostile, though carnally-minded and refusing to believe without a further sign. Comp. John 1:19, John 2:18, John 5:10, John 7:11, &c.

I am the bread which came down from heaven] They put together the statements in John 6:33; John 6:35; John 6:38.

John 6:41. Ἐγόγγυζον, began to murmur) Jesus however was aware of it [though not spoken aloud]: John 6:43, “Murmur not among yourselves.”—ὁ ἄρτος, the bread) They take hold of the language of His, that was allegorical: they neglect the explanation, which was added in plain words.

Verses 41-51. -

(c) The murmur of the Jews met by additional claim that his "flesh" is the "living bread." The passage here following resumes the narrative of the impression produced by the extraordinary discourse that had preceded. The question of "the Jews" does not turn at all upon the explanation he had just given to his disciples in vers. 36-40, but goes back to the theme of vers. 29-36. "The Jews" need not be restricted to the Jewish or the aristocratic or bigoted portion of the Galilaean ὅχλος, but rather to the Jewish authorities of the towns of Bethsaida and Capernaum, who had been stirred up into active opposition by the report of the miracles and of the explanation which the Lord had put upon them. Verse 41. - The Jews therefore murmured concerning him. Perhaps in John 7:32 γογγύζειν means simply "whisper;" but throughout the New Testament (1 Corinthians 10:10; Luke 5:30, with πρός; Matthew 20:11, with κατὰ; cf. Acts 6:1; Philippians 2:14; 1 Peter 4:9; Wisd. 1:10) it has the malevolent meaning conveyed in the LXX. It is used to denote very rebellious feelings against God (Exodus 16:7-9; Numbers 11:1; Numbers 14:27). The Attic writers used τονθορίζω. Because he said, I am the Bread which cometh down from heaven. This was a reasonable putting together of the three assertions: "I am the Bread of life" (ver. 35); "I have come down from heaven" (ver. 38); and "The bread of God is that which cometh down from heaven" (ver. 33). "The Jews" did not misunderstand his meaning. They understood it perfectly, and rebelled against it. John 6:41Then (οὖν)

Rev., rightly, therefore: because of His words.

Murmured (ἐγγόγυζον)

See on Jde 1:16, and compare 1 Corinthians 10:10; Philippians 2:14. The word is constantly used in the Septuagint of the murmuring of Israel in the wilderness. Wyc., grudged of Him. So Chaucer, "Judas grucched agens the Maudeleyn whan sche anoynted the hed of oure Lord" ("Parson's Tale"); and Shakespeare,


Without or grudge or grumbling."

"Tempest" 1, 2, 249.

At Him (περὶ αὐτοῦ)

Implying that they addressed their remonstrances to Him. But περί means about or concerning. So Rev., properly, concerning.

John 6:41 Interlinear
John 6:41 Parallel Texts

John 6:41 NIV
John 6:41 NLT
John 6:41 ESV
John 6:41 NASB
John 6:41 KJV

John 6:41 Bible Apps
John 6:41 Parallel
John 6:41 Biblia Paralela
John 6:41 Chinese Bible
John 6:41 French Bible
John 6:41 German Bible

Bible Hub

John 6:40
Top of Page
Top of Page