John 6:40

40 My Father wants all who look to the Son and believe in him to have eternal life. I will raise them up on the last day."

John 6:40 Meaning and Commentary

John 6:40

And this is the will of him that sent me
The Vulgate Latin adds, "of my Father"; and all the Oriental versions read only, "and this is the will of my Father"; this is his declared, his revealed will in the Gospel, which the sons of men are made acquainted with, as the other was his secret will, which was only known to the Son till he discovered it.

That everyone which seeth the Son, and believeth on him;
who so sees him as to believe in him; for this is not to be understood of a corporeal sight of Christ, or of a mere speculative knowledge of him, or historical faith in him; for it is not so to see him, as merely to believe what he is, the Son of God, the Messiah and Saviour of the world, or what he says, but to trust in him for righteousness, life, and happiness. Men are by nature blind, their eyes are shut to all that is spiritually good; it is the Spirit of God that opens blind eyes, and illuminates the understanding: and in his light men see not only themselves, their sin, and want of righteousness, and their lost state and condition, but Christ, and a beauty, glory, and excellency in him, ability and willingness to save, a suitableness in him for them, and a fulness of all grace; they see righteousness, peace, pardon, cleansing, wisdom, strength, grace, life, and salvation, and go out of themselves to him for all: and such a sight, though it may be but glimmering, is saving, and is self-abasing, soul rejoicing, surprising, and transforming; is attended with certainty, reality, and evidence, and is a foretaste of glory; for it is the will of God, and not man, of a gracious Father, of an unchangeable and eternal being, whose will cannot be resisted, and made void, that such

may have everlasting life;
which will be a life of glory, and will consist in possessing glory both in soul and body; in beholding glory, the glory of one another, the glory of angels, the glory of divine truths, and mysterious providences, the glory of the divine perfections, and of the Lord Jesus Christ; and it will be a life of perfection, of perfect knowledge, holiness, obedience, love, peace, and joy; a life free from all the miseries and inconveniences of this, both in a natural and spiritual sense; a life of pleasure, and which will last for ever: to which Christ adds,

and I will raise him up at the last day;
Christ will be the efficient cause, as well as he is the exemplar, the earnest, and first fruits of the resurrection of the dead; he will indeed raise all the dead by his power, but the saints particularly, by virtue of union to him, as the members of his body, and in the first place; and the very same shall rise, and with the same numerical body, that were given to him, and believe in him: and this will be at the last of the last days, at the end of all things; and is mentioned to show, that length of time will not hinder the resurrection of the dead, and in opposition to a Jewish notion, that the resurrection of the dead would be at the Messiah's coming: it will be at his second coming, but was not to be at his first; there was indeed then a resurrection of some particular persons, but not a general one of all the saints: that the Jews expect the resurrection of the dead when the Messiah comes, appears from their Targums, Talmuds, and other writers; so the Targumist on ( Hosea 14:8 ) :

``They shall be gathered from their captivity, they shall sit under the shadow of their Messiah, "and the dead shall live", and good shall be multiplied in the land.''

And in the Talmud F16 it is said,

``the holy blessed God will quicken the righteous, and they shall not return to their dust.''

The gloss upon it is,

``the holy blessed God will quicken them "in the days of" the Messiah.''

And so the land of the living is said to be,

``the land, whose dead live first in the days of the Messiah F17.''

And hence R. Jeremiah desired to he buried with his clothes and shoes on, and staff in his hand, that when the Messiah came, he might be ready F18 with which agree others of the more modern writers; so Kimchi on ( Isaiah 66:5 ) .

``They shall live at the resurrection of the dead, in the days of the Messiah.''

And the same writer on ( Jeremiah 23:20 ) observes it is said,

``"ye" shall consider, and not "they" shall consider; which intimates the "resurrection of the dead in the days of the Messiah".''

And says Aben Ezra on ( Daniel 12:2 ) :

``The righteous which die in captivity shall live, when the Redeemer comes;''

though some of their writers differ in this point, and will not allow the days of the Messiah, and the resurrection of the dead, to be one and the same F19.


F16 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 92. 1.
F17 T. Hieros. Kilaim, fol. 32. 3.
F18 T. Hieros. Kilaim, foi. 32. 3. col. 2.
F19 Zohar in Gen. fol. 82. 4.

John 6:40 In-Context

38 "I have not come down from heaven to do what I want to do. I have come to do what the One who sent me wants me to do.
39 The One who sent me doesn't want me to lose anyone he has given me. He wants me to raise them up on the last day.
40 My Father wants all who look to the Son and believe in him to have eternal life. I will raise them up on the last day."
41 Then the Jews began to complain about Jesus. That was because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven."
42 They said, "Isn't this Jesus, the son of Joseph? Don't we know his father and mother? How can he now say, 'I came down from heaven'?"
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