As we finish John 6, we see Jesus's first metaphorical "I AM" statement just after the miracle where he feeds the five thousand with just five loaves and two fish. Jesus said, "Truly, truly, I say to you whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life" (John 6:47-48). He then explains that anyone who eats his flesh and drinks his blood has eternal life (verse 54). By eating the bread of life, Jesus himself, he means coming to him and believing in him. Thousands of people were offended at this thought, and did not understand that he was not speaking of physical eating, but spiritual.
Next Jesus explains unbelief, knowing that the crowds were about to reject him.
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” - John 6:63-65.
The Holy Spirit is the life-giver, as we saw in John 3 (John 3:5-21), and Jesus says the flesh is no help at all. He says that some do not believe (verse 64) because no one can come to Jesus unless it is granted him by the Father (verse 65). He is reiterating what he said back in John 6:44 as well, that no one can come to Jesus unless the Father draws them. This points to God's sovereignty in salvation. When it has been granted by the Father, the Father draws, the Holy Spirit gives life, and the person believes and comes to Jesus. This also clarifies what Jesus said in verse 37, that all the Father gives him (Jesus) will come to him, and that he will never cast them out. What a wonderful promise that gives us hope! When we belong to Jesus, he will never cast us out. We are secure in him.
At this point, the crowds left in droves. In their unbelief, they rejected Jesus. However, his disciples' faith deepened (aside from Judas who John tells us early on will reject Jesus). Jesus asks the twelve disciples, "Do you want to go away as well?" (verse 67) Peter, acting as the spokesman for the group, says, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know that you are the Holy One of God."
Have you made a similar confession? Peter proclaims that Jesus is Lord, has the words of eternal life, and that he believes Jesus is the Holy One of God. Jesus promises eternal life to those who believe and trust that he is who he says he is. If you do believe this, it is because you have been given life by the Spirit. When Jesus gives his words of eternal life, those promises are for you. We can praise God for the amazing grace he gives us by rescuing sinners from eternal death and giving us the gift of eternal life.
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Post by Peggy Starling