That passage fascinates me. It seems to say that that there are those whom the Father gives to the Son, all of whom infallibly ‘come’ to the Son (eventually repent of sin and believe in Jesus). It raises huge questions.
1. Since everyone doesn’t come to believe in Jesus, does it mean some are NOT given to the Son?
2. Of those NOT given to the son, do any of them come to Jesus on their own?
3. If we can come to Jesus on our own, why would the Father need to give anyone to the Son?
When we put John 6:37 back into its context, we discover more about those given by the father to the Son:
37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”(John 6:37-40)
We are told that:
1. Jesus will never drive away those given to him by the Father. (v. 37). If you are thinking that although Jesus won’t send them away, they could walk away voluntarily, check out the next point:
2. Jesus will lose none of those given to him by the Father. They will be raised up on the last day. (vv. 39) If you are now thinking that if a believer walks away from Christ, he/she hasn’t technically been ‘lost’ by Jesus, ask yourself how someone walking away is NOT losing one of his. Also note that Jesus also says that he will raise up ALL who have been given him by the Father.
Jesus then tells us that those who are raised up on the last day (those given by the Father to the Son) are ‘drawn’ to the Son by the Father:
44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:44)
The father doesn’t give anyone to the Son against his/her will, but he ‘draws’ them to the Son and they are subsequently raised up on the last day. There is no language in the text that tells us that the Father draws all men without exception to the Son and some receive the Son while others reject him. No such language exists in the text. No one is able to come to the Son unless the Father ‘draws’; and those that are thusly ‘drawn’ are raised up on the last day.
A final thought.
If all those drawn by the Father and ‘given’ to the Son come to the Son and are raised up, what does “all men” in John 12:32 mean?
“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” (John 12:32)
Well, we have two possibilities. “All men” has to mean 1) all men without exception (every person on the planet) or, 2) all kinds of people (people ‘from every tongue and tribe and nation’ (Rev 5:9).
If we believe the text in John 6 that tells us that all who are drawn are raised up, option 1 (believed by most evangelicals today) is a goner. Are you ready for such a dramatic shift in your theological paradigm?
Well, that’s enough possibly mind bending theology for today. I just wanted to put it out there. I’m really not in the mood for a heated debate about any “…isms”. What I care about are the words on the pages.