Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes


John 6:36-40
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: John 6:36
v36: At some point in the middle of this dialogue about “bread from heaven,” Jesus changed physical locations. He moved from speaking to a crowd in the valley of Gennesaret (Mt 4:34; Mk 6:56) into the large synagogue in Capernaum (v59). Given all the miracles He had been doing (Mt 14:35-36; Mk 6:54-56), in addition to feeding the multitude with loaves and fish (Jn 6:1-13), the building must have been packed to capacity. But mixed in among this gathering were Pharisees from Jerusalem who had come up to Galilee to confront Him (Mt 15:1; Mk 7:1). That year Jesus had not gone down to Jerusalem for Passover, probably because it had become very dangerous for Him to do so (Jn 5:18; 7:1, 11-13) and it was not yet God’s appointed time for Him to die.

Monday: John 6:36
v36 (continued): It seems that their hostile presence influenced the tone of His words. The crowd had been pursuing Him for the wrong reasons: They wanted more bread (v26) and a king (v15). But from this verse on through the end of His teaching in that synagogue (v59), the dialogue becomes much more confrontational. He was again talking to a group of people that included religious leaders who openly rejected Him (vs41-42, 52). It would have been primarily to them that He said, “But I said to you that you have both seen and do not believe” (literal). His words describe someone who is engaged in a deliberate, fully-informed rejection of Him, not someone who is ignorant or confused.

Tuesday: John 6:36
v36 (continued): He did not speak this way to the crowd that pursued Him around the lake. He told them their problem was that they didn’t understand (v26). But He had spoken this way when talking to religious leaders in Jerusalem (Jn 5:33-47). This is the tone He took when speaking to people who knew they were rejecting the truth. And oddly, it was these religious leaders who understood the spiritual meaning of what He was saying far better than even His own disciples. As we’ll soon see they understood what He meant when He called Himself “the bread of heaven” (vs41-42); they understood what He meant when He claimed to be the Son of God (Jn 5:18) or the Son of Man (Mt 26:64-66); and they actually understood Him to say He would rise from the dead after three days (Mt 27:62-66). Yet this was the group who chose to reject Him and were plotting to kill Him (Jn 7:1). They had come up to Galilee only to gather evidence which they could use against Him in a religious trial.

Wednesday: John 6:37
v37: In front of the entire synagogue Jesus announced why some people didn’t believe in Him. Basically He said the reason they didn’t love Him was because they didn’t love God. He said all whose hearts truly belonged to the Father, the Father had given as a gift to His Son: “All which the Father gives to Me will come to Me, and the one coming to Me I will by no means throw out (outside)” (literal). His statement about not throwing someone “outside” clearly refers to His future role as Judge at the end of the age (Jn 5:27-29; Mt 25:10, 30, 41, 46). It means He will not cast anyone who believes in Him out of God’s kingdom.

Thursday: John 6:38-39
vs38-39: He told the congregation that when He left heaven and came to earth He came with a very specific assignment from the Father, and added that He was completely committed to fulfilling that assignment. He said His assignment was to find those who belong to the Father and then do everything necessary to protect and nurture them so that every single one of them could be included among the righteous whom He would resurrect at the end of the age. The language He used to say this places a very strong emphasis on preserving the faith of every believer until each one receives his or her eternal reward. He said, “And this is the will of the One having sent Me that of all that He has given Me, I shall not lose [any] out of it, but I shall raise it up in the last day” (literal).

Friday: John 6:40
v40: For this promise to be realized, someone must first “behold” Him (understand the signs, perceive the truth, recognize His true mission and identity). Then once that revelation takes place he or she must choose to “believe,” which means respond by faith to that truth. Judging by the many statements He makes throughout the gospels on this subject, by the word “believe” He meant much more than just mentally agreeing to something a person knows to be true. By “believe” He meant that a person would choose to enter into the full life of a disciple (Lk 9:23-26). He never offered the possibility of a minimal level of commitment. It was always all or nothing.

Saturday: John 6:40
v40 (continued): Yet His words that day were also filled with assurance. They contained more than simply an explanation of why He had come to earth. Along with His call to believe, He included a promise to those who did believe, assuring them that they would not walk into the future alone. He would go with them all the way to the very judgment seat of God. He would not stop caring for every single one of them. Anyone who made a decision to follow Him that day was likely to pay a harsh price. From that moment on, their future almost certainly would be marked by persecution and rejection. That prospect may have caused some to wonder if they had the strength to endure it. And to them He made this promise: “…this is the will of My Father that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up in the last day” (literal). In other words, “Yes, there will be a price to pay, but you’ll never be sorry. I will be with you along the way (v39), and it will be worth it in the end.” 


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