The verse that is the most ignored by Calvinists in their own proof text is John 6:27, and within the verse, in particular, a specific phrase. Calvinists prefer to start their focus in John 6 with verse 37, but it is vital to discuss all of Jesus’ words to the crowd, so that we do not miss out on the truth presented in verse 27.
Jesus makes a promise
In John 6:27 Jesus makes a promise that lays the foundation for the important words that will follow. Jesus said:
John 6:27 (NASB) “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”
To understand this verse, we need to know who Jesus is talking to.
To whom is Jesus talking to?
John 6:26 (NASB) Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.
Jesus is speaking to the crowd that had been fed by the bread and had followed Jesus. But they were not following Him because they had faith, but because they had a physical need met. Jesus exposes their motive for following Him in verse 26.
Are these people believers?
The crowd of Jews is identified as unbelievers by Jesus in verse 36.
John 6:36 (NASB) “But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe.
Jesus answers them and gives a promise that He will give them the bread that endures to eternal life.
The promise that Jesus gives is not just a possibility. “Will give” is future tense and indicative. The indicative is the mood in which the action is presented as real and actual, as opposed to possible or contingent on intention. Jesus said He would most certainly give them eternal bread!
What is the reason Jesus will give the crowd the bread that endures to eternal life?
Jesus stated the reason in John 6:27
John 6:27 (NASB) “…for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”
Jesus gives the reason He gives them the eternal bread, is because the seal of God is upon Him. Having the seal of God means that He is representing the Father’s will. Having the seal of God is also a proof of His identification with God.
It is God’s will that Jesus gives the bread that endures to eternal life, to this crowd.
What is the bread?
John 6:33 (NASB) “For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.”
Jesus, who is the eternal life, is the bread that comes down from Heaven. The unbelieving crowd is part of the “world” for whom Jesus promises to give life.
How is the life given for the world?
John 6:51 (NASB) “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”
Jesus shows that it is His death that He is the giving of life for the world. The unbelieving crowd is a part of that “world” that Jesus will die for.
Understanding the promise from John 6:27, and to whom it was said, will help us to understand Jesus words to the unbelieving Jewish crowd and why all do not come to Jesus. In my next post, I will deal with John 6:28, 29.