Dr. James White has stated on his Dividing Line program that he wants to see how I line up the John 6 passage to show why people are not coming to Jesus. This post will summarize my view from my previous verse by verse exposition and tie in reasons for unbelief from the book of John. Let’s look at two different groups of people from the book of John who walked away from Jesus and several people who also ended up in unbelief and did not follower Jesus.
Why the hostile Jews did not come to Jesus
The first group of people that did not come to Jesus, John identifies as hostile to Him. In the book of John, John calls Jewish leaders who were hostile to Jesus, as “the Jews.” John identifies Jewish leaders who are hostile opposers to Jesus as “the Jews.”
the Jews Referring to the religious leaders in Jerusalem. John often uses the label hoi Ioudaioi, “the Jews,” to categorize those who are opposed to Jesus and His ministry. While the term can be used in a neutral or even a positive sense (see 2:6; 4:22), the prevailing connotation with the expression is “unbelieving Jews.” John refers to “the Jews” more than 70 times. (Faithlife Study Bible note referenced from link on John 5:15)
(John) 6:41–42 The opening words of 6:41 serve as a powerful announcement: those who had been conversing with Jesus were not merely uncommitted people in general but in fact his opponents. They were “the Jews,” the designation used by John to mark out that particular group in the people of Israel. Moreover, they were for the evangelist the equivalent of the rebellious people in the wilderness wanderings, and so he identified these Jews with the grumblers in the desert (e.g., Exod 16:2, 7) (The New American Commentary pg 267)
1. They do not have the love of God in themselves. (John 5:42) John also reveals that there is a connection between loving the Father and loving the Son. (1 John 5:1)
John 5:42 (NASB) but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. 1 John 5:1 (NASB) Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.
2. God is not their Father, and they do not know Him. Because they do not know the Father, they will not listen to Jesus or His disciples. They cannot know Jesus if they do not know the Father, and if they knew Jesus, they would have to know the Father as well. They cannot hear what Jesus said because they are not of God. They have not come to know God and they have the nature of liars. (John 8:42, John 7:28, 1 John 4:6, John 8:19, 46-47)
John 8:42 (NASB) Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. John 7:28 (NASB) Then Jesus cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, “You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. 1 John 4:6 (NASB) We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. John 8:19 (NASB) So they were saying to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.” John 8:46–47 (NASB) 46“Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? 47“He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.” John 8:55 (NASB) and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I will be a liar like you, but I do know Him and keep His word.
3. The devil is their father because they practice his evil acts. Those who practice sin cannot remain in God’s house. (John 8:41, 43-44, John 5:17, 18, John 8:34-35)
John 8:41, 43-44 (NASB) 41“You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.” 43“Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. 44“You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 5:17–18 (NASB) 17But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.” 18For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. John 8:34–35 (NASB) 34Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. 35“The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever.
4. They do not believe the testimony found in Moses; thus, they do not believe the Father’s word. They cannot believe Jesus because they do not believe Moses (John 5:46, 47.)
John 5:46, 47 (NASB) 46 “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”
The hostile Jews could not come to Jesus because they did not know the Father and did not belong to Him. Because they did not belong to the Father, and they did not receive the truth, the Jews could not be given to Jesus.
5. They are not interested in truth. Jesus spoke the truth, and because He did, they did not believe Him, and they would not receive the love of the truth. They could not hear His voice because they were not of the truth. (John 8:45, 2 Thess 2:10; John 18:37)
John 8:45 (NASB) “But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. 2 Thessalonians 2:10 (NASB) and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. John 18:37 (NASB) Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
6. They do not seek glory from God, but they actively seek glory that comes from each other. (John 5:44)
John 5:44 (NASB) “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?
7. They are not of Jesus’ sheep because they never belonged to the Father. They have never been believers, and because they have never believed the Father, they could not come to Jesus because the Father did not grant unbelievers to come to Jesus (John 10:26, John 8:47, John 6:64, 65.)
John 10:26 (NASB) “But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. John 8:47 (NASB) “He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.” John 6:64–65 (NASB95) 64“But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. 65And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”
8. They do not obey the Father’s commands, and they are unteachable, they claim to know God but are liars, they do not fear God, and they do not do the will of the Father. (John 5:28, 29; John 9:31, 39-41, John 5:38)
John 5:28–29 (NASB) 28“Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment. John 9:31 (NASB) “We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him. John 9:39–41 (NASB) 39And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” 40Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” 41Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains. John 5:38 (NASB) “You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent.
9. They were unwilling (John 5:39, 40)
John 5:39–40 (NASB) 39“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; 40and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.
Why the crowd following Jesus did not come to Jesus
1. They were seeking Jesus for physical bread, not spiritual life John 6:26
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.
2. They saw His signs but didn’t believe. They looked for greater signs from Jesus. They didn’t belong to the Father by faith in Him, so they were not given to Jesus. They were unbelievers and walked away from Jesus. They could not believe because they closed their eyes, and their hearts have become dull. (John 6:30, 36, 66, John 12:37-40, Matt 13:14, 15)
John 6:30 (NASB) So they said to Him, “What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform? John 6:36 (NASB) “But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. John 6:37 (NASB) “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. John 6:66 (NASB) As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. John 12:37–40 (NASB) 37But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him. 38This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet which he spoke: “Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” 39For this reason they could not believe, for Isaiah said again, 40“He has blinded their eyes and He hardened their heart, so that they would not see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and be converted and I heal them.” Matthew 13:14–15 (NASB) 14“In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, ‘You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; 15For the heart of this people has become dull, With their ears they scarcely hear, And they have closed their eyes, Otherwise they would see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, And understand with their heart and return, And I would heal them.’
Why the parents of the blind man who Jesus healed did not come to Jesus
1. They were fearful of the Jews who threatened anyone if they would confess Jesus as Christ (John 9:22, 23)
John 9:22–23 (NASB) 22His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed Him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue. 23For this reason his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
Why Judas did not come to Jesus
1. Judas was a son of destruction (perdition) who practiced evil. He was indwelt by Satan. (John 17:12, John 12:6, John 13:27)
John 17:12 (NASB) “While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. John 12:6 (NASB) Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it. John 13:27 (NASB) After the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Therefore Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.”
Did Jesus want the unbelieving crowd to have life?
1. Jesus said that He would give the unbelieving crowd eternal life (John 6:26, 27)
John 6:26–27 (NASB) 26Jesus 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. 27“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.”
Did Jesus desire that the hostile Jewish leaders should have life?
1. Jesus said His words to the Jews so they may be saved. Jesus also gave a prophecy to these leaders that “when you lift up the Son of Man, you will know that I am He” Everyone was provided for them to repent and believe. (John 5:18, 29, 34, John 8:24)
John 5:18–19 (NASB) 18For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. 19Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, … John 5:34 (NASB) “But the testimony which I receive is not from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. John 8:24, 28 (NASB) 24“Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” 28So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.
2. All must come to faith through Jesus through the message of repentance. It was God’s message through John the Baptist that all might be ready for the Messiah through repentance and faith.
John 1:7 (NASB) He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him.
Did Jesus die for Judas?
1. Jesus said that His blood was poured out for “you” plural. See my post on Judas here.
Luke 22:20–22 (NASB) 20And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. 21“But behold, the hand of the one betraying Me is with Mine on the table. 22“For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!”
Was John the Baptist guaranteed eternal life as one of the elect?
1. John the Baptist had the greatest revelation of any man and Jesus said that John was the greatest among those born of women, let the least in the kingdom of Heaven is greater than John. He did not become a follower of Jesus and after all the revelation he had, he spoke words of unbelief. See my post on John the Baptist here.
Matthew 11:11 (NASB) “Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
The ONLY way to come to Jesus is through repentance and faith, the very message that John the Baptist preached. No one, not even John the Baptist will be in the Kingdom of Heaven without repentance and faith. Those who say that they can see and understand spiritual things, but who shut their eyes to the truth of God’s message and the way, the truth, and the life found in Jesus, will be turned away, with God blinding their own stubborn blind eyes. Jesus has paid the price for every man, but not everyone will be saved. Only those coming in God’s way through Jesus will be saved.