John 6:35-45 Exegeted

I’m posting this because somebody named thequakerchannel thinks that just citing passages is actually exegeting them. He thinks that just posting opinion and philosophical positions is exegeting scripture.

We are discussing John 6:35-45 and I challenged him to exegete these passages and make his claims that God wants and tries to save all through a “predestining of a plan” and not individuals to salvation. This is the email that I sent to this person:

I have exegeted the passages we were discussing on Open Air preachers video combox. Instead of trying to deflect the issues, I’ve dealt with them.

If you have anything that directly refutes the points that I’ve made; context, grammar, syntax, bring it on. Please though…no more bluster, no more blind posting of proof texts…do the work….make your claims…

Here is the link.

I’m letting a few Youtube users know that I’ve done this,that way you can’t say later that I didn’t give you a chance and also that way if you come up with something solid, more people will be able to see it.

Let me know what you decide.


So with that said; here’s my take on John 6:35-45

Let’s begin with verse 35 for context shall we?
Jesus has just fed the 5000, and has quite a few following him.
He uses the bread reference as follows:

35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. The one who comes to me will never go hungry, and the one who believes in me will never be thirsty.

So Jesus states a beautiful truth, that the one coming to him, will not be turned away…He is all that is needed.
He is the bread of life.
Notice that he uses a common phrase “ho erchomai” “the one coming.” It’s synonymous with believing. And notice that He is NOT addressing WHO will come yet…just that “the one coming” will not be turned away…he will not be hungry or thirsty.

But then Jesus says:

36 But I told you that you have seen me and still do not believe.

Jesus is using a strong adversative; “alla” which is to draw a hard distinction between what he just said, and what He’s now going to say…He’s going to explain why they won’t believe even though they’ve been in the presence of the Son of God, and they’ve seen the same miracles as everyone else:

Everyone whom the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will never send away.

The same phrase is used here: “pas ho didomai moi ho pater” which is speaking of a certain group “those that the Father gives to Jesus. It’s not an offer of anything, it’s a statement of who will believe; this group.

And then Jesus says that the ones whom the Father gives to Jesus will not be sent away, or turned away. There is no way to be given to Jesus by the Father, only to find later that you are now lost again. The word combo that Jesus uses here is a “double negative” “ou ma” which is no, not ever, never.
The very next word that Jesus uses is “hoti” which is translated “for.” It’s a “marker of explanatory clauses.” It’s function is to elaborate and explain what has been said in the last clause.
Jesus continues:

For I have come down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me. Now this is the will of the one who sent me – that I should not lose one person of every one he has given me, but raise them all up at the last day.

Wow…what a mouthful. The will of the Father is that Jesus lose none of those that the Father has given to Him…BUT INSTEAD raise them up on the last day.
So the ones that are given are raised to eternal life…no question about it. Jesus will not fail…that’s what He came for.
Notice that those that are given, are those that are raised. Same direct object being referred to. (I’m going to skip ahead to save space)
The Jews were grumbling over the things that He said

43 Jesus replied, “Do not complain about me to one another. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.

Jesus is STILL addressing their unbelief…that’s the subject matter. He says that no one is ABLE to come to Jesus…unless the Father draws him. This is a continuation of the previously spoken context…he’s still addressing the inability of them to come.
The word He uses for “able” is “dunamai” which speaks to ability, not permission. They do not have the power to come, they cannot come except something happen…and what is it? That the Father draws them. The word for “draws” is commonly thought of as a “wooing” but it’s actually used of “dragging” or “to move an object by your power.” Cross ref Luke 12:58 where this same form is used to denote “dragging someone into court” and John 21:11 where Peter drags the fish net up on shore”
And what does Jesus say for the third time??
If the preceding happen, then Jesus WILL raise them up to eternal life. No question.
And here we come to the next verse, no break in thoughts, no subject change.

45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who hears and learns from the Father comes to me.

Jesus restates the same truth again; Being taught by God is synonymous with being “given” by the Father. And what will happen (how many times has Jesus restated this so far?) when they are taught by God?

Everyone who hears and learns from the Father comes to me.

They come to Jesus; no question about it.
So the sequence of events is this:

  1. The father gives men to the Son
  2. The Son loses none
  3. The Son raises them to eternal life.

The same thing is being taught all of the way through this passage; it couldn’t be more clear…The giving, the teaching, the drawing, all are actions that the Father does.
Do these passages not support the idea of Monergism?
Inside these passages we’ve seen:

  1. Total depravity (no one as the ability)
  2. Irresistible grace (if the Father gives, Jesus will raise)
  3. Perseverance of the saints (I will lose none of what’s been given to me)

What do you have in the way of exegesis on these passages?

2 responses

6 12 2010

See provided link.

6 12 2010

Just in case it didn’t come through; here is your link:

For the record…I disagree with many of the arguments in it…if I have time, I’ll deal with it.


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