Did the disciples leave because God the Father chose to not “draw” them to Jesus?
John 6:44 – “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day.” Some believe the Father chose to not draw many disciples to his Son and that was the reason why these disciples left Jesus. 66
Jesus defined “draw” in the very next verse!
“It is written in the prophets: ‘They shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.” 45
Listen and learn from the Father
Listening and learning from the Father allows you to “come to Jesus.” If you come to Jesus, according to verse 44 you will be raised on the last day.
The “only” way to be raised on the last day is to believe in Jesus. This is defined “all” throughout the New Testament.
Therefore, what is taught by the Father “must” be a belief requirement in his Son.
The greatest thing to learn from God the Father would be his “will,” which Jesus purposely explained in verse 40. These verses are connected:
Verse 40 – “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and “believes” in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.”
To be raised on the last day:
- According to Jesus, you have to listen and learn from his Father (draw) which will result in you being raised on the last day.
- The Father’s “will” gives instructions on “how” to be raised on the last day:
- If you see his Son and “believe” in him, you will be raised on the last day.
- These verses are connected. If the Jews did not interrupt the Lord by complaining (41-43), these verses would be “back to back,” covering the same topic of being “raised on the last day.”
- Jesus then confirms the Father’s instructions in verse 47: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.”
- The will of the Father is to give eternal life to those who see his Son and believe in him. If you follow the instructions from the will of the Father, you will be drawn and then raised on the last day.
Prior to the discourse, Jesus “never” referred to himself as bread. Difficult and disturbing new teachings took place that shook the faith of many disciples. The disciples never heard Jesus speak this way before. He wants us to eat his flesh and drink his blood, and somehow bread becomes his flesh? 48-58
Three times scripture reveals disciples’ lack of faith in these new teachings:
1. Then many of his disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?” 60
2. “But there are some of you who do not believe…” 64
3. “As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.” 66
Many disciples did not follow the instructions from the will of the Father and stopped believing in his Son.
In the Bread of Life Discourse, “nowhere” does it state the Father made these disciples not believe in these new teachings from his Son. According to scripture, many disciples could not listen to these difficult new teachings. It was the difficult and disturbing new teachings that many disciples mentally struggled with that led to their disbelief.
Some believe verse 65 supports the theory that God the Father chose to not draw the disciples to his Son?
Verse 65 – And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”
- When Jesus said “for this reason” in verse 65, what is the reason?
- The reason is in verse 64.
- In his “own words,” Jesus defined the “reason.” These verses are connected:
“But there are some of you who do not believe…” (64) “For this reason …” 65
The reason many disciples were not granted by the Father was because they did not believe in these new teachings, from his Son. “As a result of this,” many disciples left Jesus. 66
Though the commentary from St. John in verse 64 is very important, connecting the Lord’s own words together gives you the true meaning of what Jesus taught at the Bread of Life Discourse.
If you do not believe in his Son, then you are not obedient to the will of the Father. As a result, you will not be granted.