John 6:37 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 6:37, NIV: "All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away."

John 6:37, ESV: "All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out."

John 6:37, KJV: "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."

John 6:37, NASB: "Everything that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I certainly will not cast out."

John 6:37, NLT: "However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them."

John 6:37, CSB: "Everyone the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will never cast out."

What does John 6:37 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The crowds who followed Jesus as a result of His healing miracles (John 6:2) saw Him perform a supernatural act the prior day (John 6:9–14). In this passage, Jesus has been trying to explain that His ministry is inherently spiritual, not material. The people are fixated on the idea of material things and with the concept of working for their own salvation. Instead, Jesus points to the one and only means of salvation: belief in the One whom God has sent into the world. Jesus has already pointed to Himself, specifically as this "Bread of Life" (John 6:35), which the people won't recognize even though they've seen more than enough evidence.

This verse continues to explain the idea of eternal life and touches on at least two doctrines which are controversial within Christianity. The first is that of predestination, implied by Jesus' use of the phrase "all that the Father gives me will come to me." This suggests that those who accept Jesus' teaching, that He is the Bread of Life, meaning those who obtain eternal life, are identical to those who are "given" to Him by God the Father. Logically, this implies that those who do not come to Christ have not been "given" to Him.

Various theories exist on what, exactly, this means. Some interpret this as a hardline determination by God. Others see this as a reference to God's sovereign choice in the issue of salvation; this might imply that God works to bring people to saving faith, but not necessarily that He withholds it from those who are not saved. No matter what view one takes, this verse creates a border for interpretation. God's sovereign involvement in souls coming to Christ for salvation is beyond debate. Those who are saved are those whom the Father "has given" to Christ, whatever that is interpreted to mean.

The second doctrine involved in this verse is that of eternal security. This is the idea that those who are truly saved in Christ can never lose that salvation. Compared to the nuances of predestination, the Bible is significantly more specific on this point. This particular verse, technically speaking, speaks only to Christ's unconditional acceptance of anyone who "comes to [Him]." In other words, in and of themselves, these words only indicate that those who place their faith in Christ (John 6:35) will unquestionably be saved.

However, later in this same discourse, Jesus will speak of these same people as those who will, unfailingly, be raised "on the last day" (John 6:40; 44; 54). This makes John 6:37 a useful support for the doctrine of eternal security, but only in the context of the verses which follow.