Christian Hedonist, husband to Bibi, father to Melody & Malachi, and happy servant to FBC-Longwood.
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John 6:35-40: See and Savor
Those who are "given" both "see" and "savor"
Published August 15th, 2018; Updated August 18th, 2018
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Main point summary
Meditations on John 6:35-40 See and Savor Those who come to Jesus and believe see Him as satisfying: meaning, they recognize he satisfies what they hunger for and quenches what they thirst for. In other words, they realize in what sense He is the "Bread of Life" (Jn 6:50-51), who offers "living water" (cf. Jn 4:10,7:37-38). He offers a life that is satisfied in Him, in the same way, that bread is necessary for life, it is necessary therefore to see Him in this way, as utterly necessary to our having life, and that life, a life of satisfaction. The belief that enjoins seeing can be described as a savoring of those realities which they have seen. This "savoring" motif can be understood from the satisfying notion behind "shall not hunger" and "never thirst" (v. 35). To see Jesus "as He is" is to recognize those things which make Him the all-satisfying one ("Bread of Life", v. 35), and then to dwell on, trust in, exult in, etc. those realities. It is a living-trust in response to such a delightful revelation of Him as the Source of, and indeed the very Sustenance of, Life (cf. Jn 1:4, Jn 5:26) Nevertheless, Jesus concedes that there are two groups who "see" Him ( Jn 6:36 cf. Jn 6:40 ). The first group "only" sees (v.36) but doesn't believe. The other group both sees and believes (v. 40). More specifically, some merely "come" but don't experience Him as all-satisfying, life-sustaining treasure, in other words, "they do not believe". Jesus equates, at least in a general sense, coming with looking/seeing. He does this by pairing the concepts of coming/looking/seeing with believing (Compare the relationships between come /believe in v. 35 with see/believe in v. 36 and look/believe in v.40). Given by the Father to the Son Then who both sees and savors? It is only those whom the Father has given to the Son (Jn. 6:37,40). Notice that Jesus says this directly in response to the group who does not believe, as if to give the basis for their merely "seeing" and not believing. It's not that they truly saw Him as the all-satisfying "Bread of Life" and then didn't enjoy tasting of Him enough to savor it. Rather, their "mere" seeing was to understood as "though seeing they did not see" (Matt 13.13). Also, note that "all" the "given" ones come/look/see (v. 37) and believe (v. 40). None of them are lost between the Father's giving to the Son, their seeing/believing, and the Son raising them up (eternal life). Jesus will "never cast them out" (v. 37) and the Father willed that Jesus "lose none" of those given, but rather raise them up. Unless of course, one charges Jesus with not doing the Father's will, which is an impossibility according to the grounds in this text (see below) not a single "given" one isn't "raised up" to eternal life. This "seeing" of the given ones (which is enjoined with savoring-trust)" is distinguished from the mere "seeing" of those who "do not believe" and Jesus gives the reason for this, which is rooted in the will of the Father. Because a specific people are given, therefore, they come/see, savor, remain, and therefore have life both now and forever! Because that is "the will of Him who sent" Jesus. And Jesus always does the Father's will (Jn 8:29 cf. Jn 5:19 ). Even more forcefully, He is "not able to" ( δύναμαι - to be able to do) do anything (lit. "no thing" οὐδέν) other than the Father's will (Jn 5:30)! It is His purpose to do it, it with this intention that "He came down" (Jn 6:38). The inference that He "will raise him (the given ones) up" (Jn 6:40) is grounded in the Son's purpose to ( only ) do the Father's will, which includes the basis that the Father has given a specific people to the Son, to see and savor Him!
Main point summary
Jesus said: the ones who see with savoring trust are the only ones who have been given to him by the Father. They will come, they will remain, they will have eternal life; because this is the Father's will and Jesus only does the Father's will.
John 6:35-40
Jesus said to them,
x “I am the bread of life;
y whoever comes to me
shall not hunger,
and whoever believes in me
shall never thirst.
But I said to you
that you have seen me
and yet do not believe.
z All that a the Father gives me
will come to me,
and b whoever comes to me
I will never cast out.
For c I have come down from heaven,
not to do d my own will
but d the will of him e who sent me.
And f this is the will of him who sent me,
g that I should lose nothing of h all that he has given me,
but i raise it up on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father,
that everyone who j looks on the Son
and k believes in him
l should have eternal life,
and I will raise him up on the last day.”
Jesus explains how he is bread of Life. and therefore those who come (see) and believe are satisfied
Nevertheless , some see him but don't believe
Because the ones who come and believe are only the ones whom the Father gives to Jesus, and they remain and will be raised up.
Because Jesus' purpose is only to do the Father's will
I.E. that the given ones will see and savor resulting in resurrection life
Those who both see and trust in Jesus will have eternal life (have been given by the Father) and therefore Jesus will raise them up!
The reason some don't savor (trust) but only see is that: only those the Father has given both see AND savor
Jesus makes two points: 1. Even though some see and then savor (trust) and therefore are satisfied 2. Others see but don't savor (trust)
The given ones WILL come and WILL remain and they WILL have eternal life because it is the Father's will and Jesus only does the Father's will
Zach Grimes
Brotha James! This was a very insightful blog post, which I thoroughly enjoyed! I wanted to specifically point to a few things that stood out about the relationship between Jesus and the Father. You said: "And Jesus always does the Father's will. Even more forcefully, He is "not able to" do anything other than the Father's will!" Also, I loved when you said: "which includes the basis that the Father has given a specific people to the Son, to see and savor Him!"

These two things stuck out to me because I believe that a lot of people use this type of argument to snuff out Reformed believers, calling them out for believing that Jesus did not extend His offer of salvation to everyone. I thank you that you took the time to publish an in-depth response to the scripture, one with context and plenty of explanation. I believe that the more we can teach our brothers and sisters by doing things like this, the more the bride of Christ will rejoice in the fact that Jesus, specifically, is in charge of never letting them go, and that He is perfectly executing the Father's will. He is saving, adopting, and reforming the bride through the mighty work of His Holy Spirit, for His glory and their good.

Peace be with you, brother!

Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.