Gospel of John Sunday School | Week 20

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Notes from John 6:59-71

A common accusation amongst those who disagree with the veracity (truthfulness) of scripture is that it is full of contradictions. Be it people, places, or concepts, some claim there are dozens or hundreds of these supposed inconsistencies.

However, the law of non-contradiction (something cannot be both true and not true in the same sense) can’t be used against the Bible when context is rightly understood. In other words, the alleged conflicts are usually misunderstandings based upon a lack of appreciation for the setting.

In John 6:59-71, we encounter a few “contradictory” statements:

  • Jesus just proclaimed to the Jews how He is the source of eternal life, and anyone who comes to Him will be saved (41-58)
  • Jesus plainly states that some will not believe (64, 71); only those who the Father calls will believe (37, 44, 65)

It would seem like there is a contradiction. It would seem as if Jesus is saying anyone can be saved in one place, and just a few verses later that only those who the Father chooses will be saved. We must remember that the logical law of non-contradiction applies to two statements that exist in the same sense.

Jesus isn’t saying that “only those who the Father calls will believe” and “anyone can be saved, regardless if the Father calls them or not.” Neither is He saying, “anyone who comes to Me will be saved” and “only some of those who come to Me will be saved.” What He is saying is “anyone, not just the religious, who the Father calls will come to Me and be saved.”

Now, there are many other statements in the Gospel of John, in the New Testament, and in the whole Bible that are pertinent to this present issue. What the quick demonstration above is meant to communicate is that scripture is understandable and clear when the context is in view. This passage displays the sovereignty of God in salvation. This doctrine, and its ancillary doctrines, is difficult because be nature people don’t like to be out of control. But thank God that we are not in control of our salvation! Thank God that He is in control: the Father draws, the Son’s work secures, and the Spirit regenerates.

Are there difficult statements? Absolutely. The real question for followers of Jesus is this: will you neglect His teaching because of a difficulty (60, 66) or draw closer to Him and His truth (63)?

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