John 6:65 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 6:65, NIV: "He went on to say, 'This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.'"

John 6:65, ESV: "And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”"

John 6:65, KJV: "And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father."

John 6:65, NASB: "And He was saying, 'For this reason I have told you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.'"

John 6:65, NLT: "Then he said, 'That is why I said that people can't come to me unless the Father gives them to me.'"

John 6:65, CSB: "He said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted to him by the Father.""

What does John 6:65 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In verse 63, Jesus comments that "the flesh is no help at all." This is meant to directly indicate that His teaching on "eating" His flesh and blood were symbolic, not literal. At the same time, that remark also illustrates the difference between legitimate belief and mere "interest." Many of the people who were following Jesus at that time had a shallow, selfish interest in His ministry. Over this passage, Jesus has challenged their motivations (John 6:26), their understanding of Scripture (John 6:27–29), and what it really means to have faith in the One God has sent (John 6:37–40). Many will respond to this by proving that their behaviors—their "flesh," so to speak—both discourages and disproves their faith.

This also speaks to the earlier point made by Jesus that only those God has "given" to Him can be saved (John 6:37). This is related to the controversial doctrine of predestination. Other passages of the Bible speak of concepts such as "choice" and "calling," and so forth. The ideas of predestination and election are not meant to be understood by examining only one or two verses. Here, however, the emphasis is clearly on the fact that only God can call a sinner to repentance. The reaction of the crowd in this story proves this idea in direct terms. Interest and action are not what save us: it is submissive faith in Christ, which is fundamentally something we can only credit to God.