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the Father sealed. 28 Then said they unto him, What
o shall we do, that we d might work the works of God ? 81 John ili. 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, & This is the work
of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
30 They said therefore unto him, h What sign e shewest Mark vil: thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost 1 Exod. xvi. thou work ? 31 i Our fathers did 'eat manna in the
1.7. Neh. 8 desert; as it is written, * He gave them bread from kojarili. heaven to eat. 32 h Then Jesus said unto them, Verily,
verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not i that bread
h Matt. xii.
38: xvi. 1. Mark viii. 11. 1 Cor. 1. 22.
ix. 15. 1 Cor X. 3.
d render, may.
o render, must.
i render, the.
ch. iv. 14. If this “ meat” remains to even in the writings of the Apostles, which eternal life, it must be spiritual food says só clearly and significantly, that all which the Son of man shall give unto eternal life in men proceeds from nothing you See ch. iv. ib. which agrees else than faith in Christ.” 30, 31. with “meat," not with“ life.” shall This answers to ch. iv. 12, “ Art thou give, future, because the great Sacrifice was greater than our father Jacob,” &c. It is not yet offered: so in ch. iv. the Son spoken in unbelief and opposition; not, as of man, emphatic here, and belonging to many have supposed, as a request for the this discourse, since it is of His Flesh that Bread of Life, meaning it by the sign, but He is about to speak for Him the in the ordinary sign-seeking spirit of the Father sealed, even God] This rendering Jews. Stier says well, “They have been is made necessary by the grammatical form hesitating between better and worse of the original. sealed, by undoubted thoughts, till at last unbelief prevails.” testimony, as at His baptism; and since, by The sign here demanded is the sign from His miracles, see ch. x. 36: not, 'stamped heaven, the proof of the sealing by God; with the image of His Person,' which is such a proof would be, in their estimation, altogether beside the present subject, and compared with His present miracles, as the inconsistent with the meaning of the verb. manna (bread from heaven) was, compared
28.] The people understand His to the multiplied loaves and fishes. working literally, and dwell upon it. The manna was extolled by the Jews, as They quite seem to think that the food the greatest miracle of Moses. Josephus which is to endure for ever is to be spiri. calls it “a divine and wondrous food :" tually interpreted; and they therefore ask see also Wisd. xvi. 20, 21. “They forgot this question,-referring the "working” to that their fathers disbelieved Moses almost the works of the law. the works of from the time when they began to eat the God must not be taken to mean the works manna; and that the Psalm from which which God works,' but, as in Jer. xlviii. they quote most strongly sets forth this; 10; 1 Cor. xv.58, the works well pleasing that they despised the manna, and preto God. 29.] The meaning is not, ferred ordinary meat to it." Stier. that faith is wrought in us by God, is the Observe our Lord's believe on him in ver. work of God; but that the truest way of 29, and their believe thee. The former, working the work of God is to believe on the casting their whole hopes and faith on Him whom He hath sent. work, not Him, is what He requires : but they will works, because there is but this one, pro. not even give the latter, common credence, perly speaking, and all the rest are wrapt to Him. Their what dost thou work? up in it (see James i. 25). This is a Meyer remarks, is a retort of our Lord's most important saying of our Lord, as con question, ver. 27. The stress, in these taining the germ of that teaching after words, should be not on the thou, which is wards so fully expanded in the writings of not expressed in the original, but on the St. Paul. “I know not,” says Schleier. what. 32.] Our Lord lays open the macher, “where we can find any passage, course of their argument. They have not
from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is k he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 34 11 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this 1 See chap. iv. bread. 35 cm And] Jesus said unto them, m I am the bread m ver. 48, 58. of life: " he that cometh to me shall 1 never hunger; and n ch. iv. 14: he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 36 ° But I said o vv.28, 64. unto you, That ye o also have seen me, and believe not. 37 P All P that the Father giveth me shall come to me; p ver. 95. k render, that.
1 render, They said therefore.
n render, not.
mentioned Moses,-nor was the giving of ways. 35.] As in ch. v. 30, so here, the manna a miracle performed by Moses ;— our Lord passes from the indirect to the but He knew that the comparison between direct form of speech. Henceforward it is Moses and Himself was in their minds, and I,' Me,' throughout the discourse. answers by exposing the error which re. In the genitive of life, is implied, “ which presented Moses as the giver of the mauna. came down from heaven and giveth life Neither again was that the true bread unto the world.” So living water in ch. from heaven. It was, in one sense, bread iv. On the assurance of never hun. from heaven ;-but not in this sense. It gering or thirsting, see note at ch. iv. 14. was a type and shadow of the true bread It is possible that our Lord placed the allfrom heaven, which my Father is giving satisfying bread of life in contrast to the (or perhaps the abstract present,-signify. manna, which was no sooner given, Exod. ing that it is His office to give it) to you. xvi., than the people began to thirst, Exod. Our Lord does not here deny, but asserts xvii. ;-but I would not lay any stress on the miraculous character of the manna. this. be that cometh to me is in the
33.7 the bread of God answers to same sense as in ch. v. 40—that of accept. “the bread which my Father giveth.” The ance of and faith in Him. 36. I said words that which cometh down from unto you] “When did He say this to heaven .... are the predicate of the bread, them ? perhaps it was said, but has not been and do not apply, in the construction of recorded.” Euthymius. But perhaps the this rerse, to Christ personally, however reference may be to ch. v. 37–44, and truly they apply to Him in fact. The unto you may be said generally. Stier A. V. is here wrong: it should be, The and others think that ver. 26 is referred bread of God is that (not He) which to: but this is far-fetched. We have cometh, &c. Not till ver. 35 does Jesus instances of reference to sayings not refirst say, 'I AM the bread of life. The corded, in ch. x. 26; xii. 34. manna is still kept in view, which when have even seen] •Ye have seen the true the dew fell on the camp .... fell (the Bread from heaven, the sign greater Greek word in the LXX is the same as than the manna, even Me Myself : and yet here, came down) upon it,' Num. xi. 9. have not believed. 37.] The whole And the present tense, here used in refer- body of believers on Christ are spoken of ence to the manna, is dropped when the by Him, here and in ch. xvii., as given Lord Himself is spoken of: see vv. 38, 41, to Him by the Father. But Bengel's ob58, and especially the distinction between servation is very important: all that ver. 50 and ver. 51. 34.7 ch. iv. 15 which-a most significant expression, and, is exactly parallel. The Jews understand compared with what follows, most worthy this bread, as the Samaritan woman under of consideration. For in our Lord's disstood the water, to be some miraculous courses, that, which the Father bath given kind of sustenance which would bestow Him, is spoken of in the singular number life everlasting :- perhaps they thought of and neuter gender, “ all that which :" the heavenly manna, which the Rabbis whereas they who come to Him, the Son, speak of as prepared for the just in the are spoken of in the masculine gender, and future world ; --see Rev. ii. 17. ever, sometimes also in the plural number : more] emphatic :-not now only, but al. “every man,” or “all they." The Father
9 Matt xxvi.
30. ch. v. 30. r ch. iv, 34 6 ch. X. 28: xvii. 19: xviii. 9.
Luke iv. 92.
and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 9.Matt. . to. 38 For I 9 came down from heaven, 9 not to do mine own roh.iv.8 will, " but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is
r the Father's will which hath sent me, s that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it
up [s again) at the last day. 40 t And this is the will of him e ver. 27, 47. that sent me, that every one which a seeth the Son, and 15, 16; iv. 14. believeth on him, may have everlasting life, and > I will
raise him up at the last day. 41 The Jews then murmured
at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down u Matt. xill. 55. from heaven. 42 And they said, " Is not this Jesus, the Mark vi. 3.
son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know ? how is
it then that he saith, I y came down from heaven ? 43 Jesus a render, am come. r read and render, the will of him that sent me. & omit,
t read, For this is the will of my Father. render, looketh on.
> render, that I should.
y render, am come. hath given to the Son as it were one mass, what went before: “this is the end, bethat all whom He hath given should be yond which there is no danger.” But one : that whole mass the Son unfoldeth there is much more than this in it. In one by one in this following out of the this declaration (vv. 39, 40) is contained Father's design. Hence also that which the key of the following discourse, yy. we read in ch. xvii. 2, “ that all that which 44–59. The end of the work of God, as Thou hast given Him (so literally), to them regards man, is the glorification of his He may give eternal life." See also restored and sanctified nature,- body, soul, 1 John v. 4. I will in no wise cast and spirit,-in eternity. Without this, out does not refer here to the office of the salvation, restitution, would be incomplete. Son of God as Judge ; but is another way The adoption cannot be consummated withof expressing the grace, and readiness with out the redemption of the body. Rom. which He will receive all who come to viii. 18-23. And the glorification of the Him. 38, 39, 40.] His reception of body, soul, and spirit,-of the whole man, men is not capricious, nor even of His own cannot take place but by means of the arbitrary choice; but as He came into the glorified Body of the second Adam. He world to do the Father's will, and that will who does not see this, will never underis that all who come to Him by faith shall stand either the Holy Communion, or this have life, so He receives all such ;- loses testimony of the Lord in its inner meannone of them ;-and will raise them all up ing.' Stier. The looketh on here is a (here, in the fullest and blessed sense) at different thing from the mere seeing of the last day. Olshausen remarks, that in ver. 56. It is the awakening of the atten. ch. iv. we had only the inexhaustible re- tion preparatory to faith, answering to the freshing of the soul by the water of life; looking on the serpent of brass : with the but this discourse goes further;—that not eyes of the soul, as Euthymius says; but we even death itself shall destroy the body must not make the looking equivalent to of him who has been nourished by this believing, to which it is only preparatory. bread of life. raise it up again
41.] Not different hearers, nor does refers to the only resurrection which is the the scene of the discourse here change : completion of the man in his glorified they were the same,-perhaps the principal state ;-it does not set aside the “resur among them, the official superintendents rection of judgment” (ch. v. 29), but that of the synagogue :- for St. John generally very term is a debasement of “resurrec. uses “the Jews" in this official sense. tion:” its true sense is only “resurrection 42.] They rightly supposed that this of life." Bengel has beautifully given having come down from heaven must imthe connexion of this last promise with ply some method of coming into the world
y Isa. liv. 13.
Jer. XrXi, 34. Mic. iv. 2. Heb. viii. 10:
X. 18. z ver. 37. a ch. i. 18:
V. 87. b Matt. xi. 27.
Luke x. 22. ch. i. 18: vii. 29: viii. 19.
unto me. 4. heard, and hath learner Every
therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not
d render, from. diverse from ordinary generation. Meyer England, at the end. This drawing gathers from the word we know, that towards Christ may be exemplified in the our Lord's reputed father was then still legal dispensation, which was to the Jews alive. But surely the verb will bear the a schooling for Christ. It now is being sense of knowing, as matter of fact, who exerted on all the world,- in accordance they were, and need not be confined to with the Lord's prophecy ch. xii. 32 (see porsonal knowledge. 43.] Our Lord note there), and His command Matt. does not answer their objection, because it xxvii. 19, 20,- by Christian preaching lay far from His present purpose to disclose and missions; but, after all, the individual aught of those mysteries which the answer will must be turned to Christ by the must have indicated. It was not till the Father, Whose covenanted promise is, faith of the apostolic Christians was fully that He will so turn it in answer to fixed on Him as the Son of God, and the prayer. “Art thou not yet drawn? pray outline of the doctrine of His Person was that thou mayest be drawn.” Augustine. firinly sketched out, that the Spirit brought The same solemn and joyous refrain, out those historical records which assure us as Meyer well calls it, follows, as in vv. of His supernatural conception.
39, 40. 45.] in the prophets may 44.] The connexion seems to be this: be a general form of citation (Mark i. 2. They were not to murmur among them. Acts vii. 42; xij. 40), or may mean selves because He had said this; for the that the sense is found in several places right understanding of what He had said of the prophets : see especially Jer. xxxi. is only to be gained by being taught of 33, 34. This clearly intimates the kind God, by being drawn by the Father, who of drawing meant in the last verse :alone can give the desire to come to the opening the eyes of the mind by Christ, and bring a man to Him. That divine teaching. hath heard and this drawing' is not irresistible grace, is hath learned are expansions of the confessed even by Augustine himself, the word taught in the citation from the great upholder of the doctrines of grace. prophets. cometh unto me) This “If a man is drawn, says an objector, he is the final decision of the human will, comes against his will. (We answer) if acted on by the divine attraction to he comes unwillingly, he does not believe: Christ. The beginning is, The Father if he does not believe, he does not come. draws him : the progress, he hears and For we do not run to Christ on our feet, learns - here is the consenting will — but by faith ; not with the movement of “Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth :'the body, but with the free will of the the end, he cometh to Christ-here is the heart ... Think not that thou art drawn will acting on the whole man. against thy will: the mind can be drawn 46.] The connexion is : the mention of by love." Calvin and others understand hearing from the Father might lead them irresistille grace to be here meant: “ It is to think of a personal communication from false and profane,” says Calvin, “to say that the Father to each man, and thus the only the willing are drawn." The Greek ex- necessity of the mission of the Son might positors take the view which I have adopted be invalidated. This was the only way in above. Chrysostom says, “ This expression which a Jew could misunderstand ver. 45 ; does not remove our part in the coming, he could not dream of a seeing of the but rather shews that we want help to Father with hodily eyes. he which come.” See Article X. of the Church of is of God, is Jesus Himself; see ch. vii. 29.
36. ver. 40.
e sh. tit. 10.,. Father. 47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, < He that bec ch, lại. 16, 18, d ver. 33, 35. lieveth on me hath everlasting life. 48 I am e that bread e ver. 31. of life. 49 e Your fathers did eat f manna in the wilderfver. 61, 68. ness, and 8 are dead. 50 * This is the bread which cometh
down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not 8 ch. ill. 18. die. 61 I am the living bread, 8 which came down from
heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for b Hleb. I. 5, 10. ever : h and h the bread that I will give is my flesh, e render, the.
I render, the manna. & render, they died.
h render, yea and. His knowledge of the Father is complete culty arising, when we come to enquire and immediate; ours, partial, and de- into their application to His own Person. rived through Him only. 47.] Our The Bread of Life is Himself: and, strictly Lord now recurs to the subject of their treated, when we come to enquire what, of murmurs, and gives the answer for which that body, soul, and spirit, which constiHe has been preparing the way, repeating tuted Himself, this Bread specifically is, nearly ver. 40 and adding, 48.) If we have His answer that it is His Flesh, so, (see ver. 47,) there is full reason for wbich He will give (for this will be the my naming Myself the Bread of Life. meaning, whether the words “ which I will
49.] That bread from heaven had give" are to be regarded as part of the text no power to keep off death, and that, death or not) on behalf of the life of the world. owing to unbelief :-our Lord by thus We are then specifically directed to His mentioning your fathers and their death, Flesh as the answer. Then, what does certainly hints at the similar unbelief of that Flesh import? The flesh of animals these Jews. And the same dubious sense is the ordinary food of men : but not the of dying” prevails in ver. 50. Death is blood. The blood, which is the life, is regarded as being swallowed up in the spilt at death, and is not in the flesh glory of the resurrection, and the second when eaten by us. Now this distinction death-which was hidden in the former must be carefully borne in mind. The term died-has over him who eats this flesh here, (see ver. 53,) and the eating of Bread of Life, no power : nay, he is the flesh, are distinct from the blood, and brought, even here into a resurrection the drinking of the blood. We have no state from sin and death; see Rom. vi. 1 generalities merely, to interpret as we ff. and Col. iii. 1 ff. 51.] the living please : but the terms used are precise and bread; 'containing life in itself,' not merely technical. It is then only through or after supplying the waste of life with lifeless the Death of the Lord, that by any promatter : see on ch. iv. 13, 14. yea, priety of language, His Flesh could be said and the bread that I will give] From this to be eaten. Then another distinction time we hear no more of bread : this must be remembered: The flesh of animals figure is dropped, and the reality takes which we eat is dead flesh. It is already its place. Some difficult questions the prey of corruption; we eat it, and die arise regarding the sense and reference of (ver. 49). But this Bread, is living Bread ; this saying of our Lord. (1) Does it refer not dead flesh, but living Flesh. And to His DEATH ? and, (2) is there any therefore manducation by the teeth matereference to the ORDINANCE OF THE rially is not to be thought of here; but LORD'S SUPPER ? (1) In treating some kind of eating by which the living this question I must at once reject all Flesh of the Son of God is made the living metaphorical and side-interpretations, as, sustenance of those who partake of it. that the teaching of Christ is the Bread, Now His Flesh and Blood were sundered and to be taught by Him is feeding upon by Death. Death was the shedding of His it (so Grotius, and the modern rationalists): precious Blood, which (most probably) He that the divine Nature of Christ, or His did not afterwards resume : see ch. xx. 27, sending of the Holy Spirit, or His whole and Luke xxiv. 39. His Flesh is the glolife of doing good on earth, can be meant: rified substance of His Resurrection-Body, all such have against them the plain sense now at the right hand of God. It is then of the words, which, as Stier observes, are in His Resurrection form only that His very simple ordinary words; the only diffi- Flesh can be eaten, and be living food for