John 6:38-59

38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

[Not to do mine own will] I am come, not to act according to human motives, passions or prejudices, but according to infinite wisdom, goodness and mercy. Human passion and prejudice would reject publicans and sinners and shut the gate of heaven against the Gentiles, but God's mercy receives them.

39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

[I should lose nothing] It is the will of God that every soul who believes will have a resurrection unto life eternal.

[But should raise it up] The Jews believed that the wicked would have no resurrection, and that the principle which led to the resurrection of the body of the righteous was the indwelling Spirit of God. Shir Hashirim Rabba This explains why the resurrection of Christ is so important to the Gospel. Christ was resurrected, therefore approved of God, therefore able to raise up his own as he said he would.

40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

[This is the will of him that sent me] Lest any should take the wrong meaning out of these words Jesus repeats his previous statement and makes it even more clear.

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

[The Jews then murmured] Because the whole of his discourse went to prove that he was infinitely greater than Moses, and that he alone could give present peace and eternal glory to men.

42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?

[Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph] Well, no! He was truly the Son of God, but his neighbors and friends commonly accepted that Jesus was the son of Joseph. It is difficult to accept that one of your own is truly someone special, -- the Messiah. His family missed it (at least at first), his neighbors missed it and the Jewish religious leadership missed it.

43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.
44 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.

[Except the Father ... draw him] But how is a man drawn? St.Agustin answers this question by referring to the writings of a poet, Trahit sua quemque volupias. A man is attracted by that which he delights in. Show green herbage to a sheep; he is drawn to it. Show nuts to a child; he is drawn to them. They run, not because they are forced, but because they desire to get the things they delight in. So God draws man; he shows him his wants - he shows the Savior whom he has provided for him; the man feels himself a lost sinner and, through the desire which he finds to escape Hell, and get to heaven, he comes unto Christ that he may be justified by his blood. Unless God thus draw, no man will ever come to Christ, because none could, without this drawing, ever feel the need of a Savior.

45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

[They shall all be taught of God.] This explains the preceeding verse. God teaches a man to know himself, that, finding his need for salvation he may flee to lay hold on the hope which his heavenly Father has set before him in the Gospel. God draws men by his love and by showing them what his love has done for them. They love him, who so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish but have everlasting life.

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

[Not that any man hath seen the Father] God does not teach men by appearing personally before them. Jesus points out once again, that he alone, not Moses nor any of the prophets, had ever seen God. Jesus, who lay in the bosom of the Father, he saw and revealed him. This is a good time to go back and reread John chapter 1.

47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

[Hath everlasting life] See John 3:16-18, 36 and verses 39 & 40 of this chapter.

48 I am that bread of life.

I alone afford, by my doctrine and Spirit, the nourishment by which the soul is saved unto life eternal.

49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.

[Your fathers did eat mana ... and are dead] That bread neither preserved their bodies alive nor entitled them to life eternal; but those who receive my salvation, shall not only be raised again in the last day, but shall inherit eternal life.

50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.

[This is the bread] I am come for this very purpose, that men may believe in me and have eternal life.

51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

[The bread ... is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world] He then told them that the bread meant his flesh (his life) which he was about to give up to save the life of the world. Here our Lord plainly declares that his death was to be a vicarious sacrifice and atonement for the sin of the world. Please take the time to read Hebrews 9:11-28.

52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

In John chapter 3, Nicodemas had the same problem of placing a physical construction upon a spiritual subject. See Matthew 26:26-29 for more of what Jesus had to say on the subject.

57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.

[He that eateth me ... shall live by me] From this we learn that the union between Christ and his followers shall be similar to that which exists between God and Christ.

58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

[he that eateth of this bread shall live forever] Recall that the miraculous feeding of the five thousand had recently occured and people were still caught up in the idea that if Jesus were made king right then, he could supply all of their physical wants without much effort on their part. Jesus found it necessary to raise their understanding to a higher level.

59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.

Based upon excerpts from Adam Clarke's Commentary, 2nd edition published in New York by Lane and Scott, 1850. More recent editions may be purchased from


This page updated 11/27/2006

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