John 6:46
Not that any man has seen the Father, save he which is of God, he has seen the Father.
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(46) But this hearing and learning of the Father was the preparation for, not the substitute for, the fuller revelation in the person of the Son. Once again He declares that “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath been the interpreter.” (See Note on John 1:18; and comp. John 3:13; John 8:38.) Every man, in proportion as he had been taught of God, would feel how little he knew of God, and there would be in him the yearning desire and the trained faculty to see Him who is of God.

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.Not that any man hath seen the Father - Jesus added this, evidently, to guard against mistake. He had said that all who came to him were taught of God. The teacher was commonly seen and heard by the pupil; but, lest it should be supposed that he meant to say that a man to come to him must see and hear God, visibly and audibly, he adds that he did not intend to affirm this. It was still true that no man had seen God at any time. They were not, therefore, to expect to see God, and his words were not to be perverted as if he meant to teach that.

Save he which is of God - Jesus here evidently refers to himself as the Son of God. He had just said that no man had seen the Father. When he affirms that he has seen the Father, it implies that he is more than man. He is the only-begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, John 1:18; the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, Hebrews 1:3; God over all, blessed forever, Romans 9:5. By his being of God is meant that he is the only-begotten Son of God, and sent as the Messiah into the world.

Hath seen - Hath intimately known or perceived him. He knows his nature, character, plans. This is a claim to knowledge superior to what man possesses, and it cannot be understood except by supposing that Jesus is equal with God.

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). None must dream that the Father should visibly appear in the world to teach men; for the essence of God is invisible, none hath seen it at any time, saving he alone who is the only begotten Son of the Father; he hath seen the essence of the Father, he knoweth his will, and most secret counsels. 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.

Not that any man hath seen the Father, {o} save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.

(o) If only the Son has seen the Father, then it is only he that can truly teach us and instruct us.

John 6:46. Lest His hearers should suppose that in Messianic times direct knowledge of God was to be communicated, He adds, οὐχ ὅτι τὸν πατέρα τις ἑώρακεν, it is not by direct vision men are to learn of God. One alone has direct perception of the Father, ὁ ὢν παρὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ, He whose origin is Divine; not ὁ ἀπεσταλμένος παρὰ Θεοῦ, a designation which belonged to all prophets, but He whose Being is directly derived from God. Similarly, in John 7:29, we find Jesus saying ἐγὼ οἶδα αὐτόν ὅτι παρʼ αὐτοῦ εἰμί καὶ ἐκεῖνός με ἀπέστειλεν, where the source of the mission and the source of the being are separately mentioned. To refer this exclusive vision of the Father to any earthly experience seems out of the question. No one who was not more than man could thus separate himself from all men. See John 1:18. Having thus explained that they could not believe in Him without having first been taught of God, He returns (John 6:47) to the affirmation of John 6:40, ἀμὴνζωῆς. Their unbelief does not alter the fact, nor weaken His assurance of the fact. This consciousness of Messiahship was so identified with His spiritual experience and existence that nothing could shake it. But now He adds a significant confirmation of His claim.46. Not that any man hath seen] To be enlightened and taught by the Father it is not necessary to see Him. “That is a privilege reserved for a later stage in the spiritual life, and is only to be attained mediately through the Son (comp. John 1:18).” S. p. 129.

he which is of God] Or, He which is from God, with whom He was previous to the Incarnation; John 1:1; John 1:14, John 8:42, John 16:27.John 6:46. Οὐκ ὅτι, not that) By the addition of this declaration it is intimated, that the Father is heard then only, when the Son is heard; and that He is seen then only, when the Son is discerned: ch. John 14:9, [Jesus to Philip] “He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father.”—ἐώρακεν, hath seen) Understand, and hath heard. Comp. the preceding verse, who hath heard (and hath seen). But because to see is a more intimate perception than to hear, the seeing is with elegant propriety ascribed to the Son, the hearing to the believers. Comp. ch. John 1:18, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, etc., hath declared Him.”—ὁ ὢν παρὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ, He who is from God) So ch. John 7:29, “I know Him, for I am from Him, and He hath sent Me.”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. Hath seen

As contrasted with hearing and learning (John 6:45). The Father is not seen immediately, but through the Son. Compare John 1:18; John 14:9; 1 John 3:2, Matthew 11:27.

Of God (παρὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ)

More correctly, as Rev., from, with an idea of association with: from with God. Παρά is used of procession from a personal object, indicating it generally as the starting-point.

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