A Meditation on John 6:37

Jesus said, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away” (John 6:37).

The question that immediately springs to mind is this: who are those that the Father gives to the Son?  Since the answer cannot be “no one,” I see only two broad possibilities: (1) Everyone; or (2) Some People. 

But the Father cannot “give everyone” to the Son, since Jesus said that those given to him will come to him.  Since not everyone comes to Jesus, we know that not everyone is given to him.  Jesus also says, “I shall lose none of all that he has given me” (6:39).  So, if the Father gave everyone to the Son, then no one would be ultimately lost.  But since there are people who will be ultimately lost, not everyone is given to the Son.  There is only one viable option left. 

Thus, the Father gives “some people” to the Son.  These people, since they are given to Jesus, come to him.  Notice that “being given to the Son” precedes “coming to the Son.”  This order is crucial.  Otherwise, someone might say, “Well, once you come to Christ, the Father gives you to his Son.”  This idea would mean “being given” depends on your “coming to Christ.”  But Jesus’ order is clear: your “coming to Christ” is dependent on your “being given” to the Son. 

And what does “coming” to Jesus mean?  Jesus tells us in a parallel fashion: “He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”  So coming to Jesus is equivalent to believing in him. 

Let’s tie some of this together, then.  The Father gives some people to the Son.  Those people will then come to Jesus (or believe in him).  Who are those given by the Father to the Son?  The Father entrusts to the Son all of the elect.  God’s chosen people come to (or believe in) Christ, and Christ will lose none of his elect.  Indeed, Christ will raise his people on the last day (6:39). 

The apostle Paul said it another way: “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.  In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will” (Ephesians 1:4-5).  God’s people were chosen, predestined–or, in other words–given by the Father to the Son.

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