John 6:43
Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.
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(43) He does not meet their difficulty. It does not appear, indeed, that it was expressed to Him. He seeks to silence the interruption which their murmuring among themselves has caused, and resumes the discourse broken at John 6:40.

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. 43, 44. Murmur not … No man—that is, Be not either startled or stumbled at these sayings; for it needs divine teaching to understand them, divine drawing to submit to them. By this our Saviour gives them another proof of his Divine nature, viz. in his knowing of their hearts and thoughts; for though they were inwardly angry, and in a rage, yet we read not of any words spoken by them; but our Saviour needed not their words to tell him what was in the secret of their hearts. Our Saviour bids them not murmur at this, for he had much more than this to tell them, as followeth.

Jesus therefore answered and said unto them,.... Either overhearing what they said, or knowing, as God, their secret murmurs, and private cavils among themselves, thus addressed them,

murmur not among yourselves: meaning neither about his descent from heaven, nor about coming to him, and believing in him; for it follows,

Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.
John 6:43-44. Jesus does not enter upon a solution of this difficulty, but admonishes them not to trouble themselves with it; they should not dwell upon such questions, but upon something far higher; the “drawing” of the Father is the condition of participation in His salvation.

The ἑλκύειν is not simply a strengthening of the διδόναι in John 6:37-38, but specifies the method of it, an inner drawing and leading to Christ through the working of divine grace (comp. LXX. Jeremiah 31:3), which, however, does not annul human freedom, but which, by means of the enlightening, animating, and impelling influence, and of the instruction appropriated by the man, wins him over. Comp. John 12:32. Ἑλκύειν (John 6:45) includes the Father’s teaching by His witness to Christ (Weiss), but this is not all that it comprehends; it denotes rather the whole of that divine influence whereby hearts are won to the Son. In the consciousness of those who are thus won, this represents itself as a holy necessity, to which they have yielded. Comp. Wis 19:4, where the opposite, the attraction of evil, appears as a necessity which draws them along, yet without destroying freedom. See Grimm, Handb. p. 292 f. Comp. also the classical ἕλκομαι ἦτορ (Pind. Nem. iv. 56), ἕλκει τὸ τῆς φύσεως βάρβαρον (Dem. 563, 14), and the like. Augustine already compares from the Latin the “trahit sua quemque voluptas” of Virgil. The word[235] in itself may denote what involves force, and is involuntary (Acts 16:19; 3Ma 4:7; 4Ma 11:9; Homer, Il. xi. 258; xxiv. 52, 417; Soph. O. C. 932; Aristoph. Eq. 710; Plato, Rep. iv. p. 539 B, and often; see Ast, Lex. Plat. I. p. 682), which is always expressed by σύρειν (comp. Tittm. Syn. p. 56 ff.); but the context itself shows that this is not meant here (in the classics it may even stand for invitare; see Jacobs, ad Anthol. IX. 142). Accordingly it is not, as Calvin judges, false and impious to say: “non nisi volentes trahi;” and Beza’s “Volumus, quia datum est, ut velimus,” is true and pious only in the sense of Php 2:13. Comp. Augustine: “non ut homines, quod fieri non potest, nolentes credant, sed ut volentes ex nolentibus fiant.”

ὁ πέμψ. με] a specific relationship with which the saving act of the ἙΛΚΎΕΙΝ essentially corresponds.

ΚΑῚ ἘΓῺ ἈΝΑΣΤΉΣΩ, Κ.Τ.Λ.] the same solemn promise which we have already, John 6:39-40, but with the ἘΓΏ of Messianic authority and power, as in John 6:54.

[235] The Attics also prefer the Aorist form of ἑλκύω to that of ἕλκω, but they form the future ἕλξω rather than ἑλκύσω (John 12:32). See Lobeck, Paral. p. 35 f.

John 6:43. Therefore He merely says Μὴ γογγύζετε μετʼ ἀλλήλων. That was not the way to light. Nor could He expect to convince all of them, for οὐδεὶςἑλκύσῃ αὐτόν, “no one can come to me unless the Father who hath sent me draw him”. ἑλκύειν has the same latitude of meaning as “draw”. It is used of towing a ship, dragging a cart, or pulling on a rope to set sails. But it is also used, John 12:32, of a gentle but powerful moral attraction; “I, if I be lifted up, ἑλκύσω, will draw, etc.” Here, however, it is an inward disposing of the soul to come to Christ, and is the equivalent of the Divine teaching of John 6:45. And what is affirmed is that without this action of God on the individual no one can come to Christ. In order to apprehend the significance of Christ and to give ourselves to Him we must be individually and inwardly aided by God. [Augustine says: “Si trahitur, ait aliquis, invitus venit. Si invitus venit, non credit, si non credit, nec venit. Non enim ad Christum ambulando currimus, sed credendo, nec motu corporis, sed voluntate cordis accedimus. Noli te cogitare invitum trahi: trahitur animus et amore.” And Calvin says: “Quantum ad trahendi modum spectat, non est ille quidem violentus qui hominem cogat externo impulsu, sed tamen efficax est motus Spiritus Sancti, qui homines ex nolentibus et invitis reddit voluntarios”. All that Calvin objects to is that men should be said “proprio motu” to yield themselves to the Divine drawing. cf. a powerful passage from Luther’s De libero Arbitrio quoted in Lampe; or as Beza concisely puts it: “Verum quidem est, neminem credere invitum, quum Fides sit assensus. Sed volumus quia datum est nobis ut velimus.”]

43–46. Digression on the difficulty of coming to Christ as a believer

43. Murmur not] Christ does not answer their objection or explain. Even among the first Christians the fact of his miraculous conception seems to have been made known only gradually, so foul were the calumnies which the Jews had spread respecting His Mother. This certainly was not the place to proclaim it. He directs them to something of more vital importance than the way by which He came into the world, viz. the way by which they may come to Him.

Verses 43, 44. - Jesus answered and said to them, Murmur not among yourselves; or, with one another. He had searched out a deeper reason for their murmuring than their probable involuntary ignorance of certain miraculous facts. No man can come (is able to come) to me except the Father, who hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. In the previous utterance "all" which the Father "gives" to the Son "comes" to him, reaches him, enters into close relationship with him. Here "no one is able" by the nature of the case "to come" except this process and method of a Divine giving is realized. The Father's "giving" to him is described in new terms, as "the drawing" by the Father who hath sent him. The word ἐλκύειν almost always implies resistless or at least successful force, in the stretching of a sail, the dragging of a net, the force applied to a prisoner, the drawing of a sword (John 18:10; John 21:6, 11; Acts 16:19; James 2:6). It is used also in Attic writers for the internal drawing of desire towards pleasure (Plato, "Phaedr.," p. 238, a; cf. Virgil, "Ecl.," 2:65, "Trahit sua quemque voluptas"). Our Lord also uses the word for his own attractive force, for the Divine magnetism of his cross, "If I be lifted up, I will draw all men to me;" I will counteract all the power of the prince of this world (see John 12:32, note). This drawing of the Father to the Son by an internal operation on the heart must be interpreted by the attractive force of the love and sacrifice of the Father which is seen in Christ's being lifted up; and still further explained by his own subsequent assertion in ch. 14, "No man cometh unto the Father but by me." So that, while the whole action centres in Christ, the process begins and ends in the Father's heart. The Father loves the world; the Father would have all men come to him, have access to himself. To secure this Divine result he sends forth his Son with all the attractive force of love and death. This Divine humanity is a sufficient revelation of the perfect will and infinite love of God. The drawing of Christ to himself is nothing less than the drawing of the Father to Himself; for Christ came to do the will of him that sent him. Nor is this all, for all the "internal pressing" and revelation of need and peril, the conviction of sin and righteousness and judgment by the Comforter, is at once the Father's drawing and also the attraction of the Son, and the veritable "coming" of a soul through Christ to the Father. The Father "gives" to the Son by this double process:

(1) he manifests his own fatherly heart in Christ;

(2) he opens men's eyes to see the Father in the Son. 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. I, says Christ, "will complete and consummate his life at my great day of coronation and triumph." The several thoughts must be taken together, and they explain one another. The coming of men to the Father, access to God himself in the glory of the resurrection life, is the sublime consummation. Christ is sent, the Only Begotten is given, he is lifted up to draw men by the revelation of the Father's heart to himself, and thus in seeing and knowing that Christ is in the Father and the Father in him, the soul is drawn by the Father to the Son - is drawn by the Son to the Father. Yet the subjective work of the Father in the mind, moving it even to see the full meaning of the Christ and to yield to his attractive force, is strongly suggested. The direct contact of God himself with each soul that seeks, finds, and comes to him through Christ is made evident. There is, as Reuss says, "la base mystique de la theologic Chretienne," rather than the announcement of a predestinating decree. Even Calvin says, "As to the kind of drawing, it is not violent, so as to compel men by external force; but still it is a powerful influence of the Holy Spirit which makes men willing who formerly were unwilling." John 6:43
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