James Nisbet Commentary - John 6:39 - 6:39

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James Nisbet Commentary - John 6:39 - 6:39

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:


‘And this is the Father’s Will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.’


‘Raise up at the last day’ is a phrase repeated four times in this chapter (Joh_6:39-40; Joh_6:44; Joh_6:54). The neuter gender of the pronoun is used. Why? Everything that His Father had given our Lord is here viewed as a whole, a kingdom, although it includes individuals mainly. There will be a glorious resurrection of things as well as persons.

I. The significance of His Providence will be shown in the Resurrection.—This discourse was suggested by the miracle of the loaves and fishes. He says, ‘Gather up the fragments that nothing be lost.’ Every fragment of His Providential dispensations will be gathered up in ‘that day,’ and each item of His Providential dealings with men will appear as something not to be lost. We are in danger of losing these fragments now. The varied experiences of life combine the apparently trivial with its great issues. Men are accustomed to attach vast importance to great events, and its lesser incidents are thought little of. But the King of Glory, although proprietor of all things, is a great economist, and the Resurrection will include a vindication of His dealings with men in all the petty details of life. Life is now surrounded with mystery. We are like miners working in the dark beneath the surface of visible things, yet co-workers with God, and ever contributing to His glory if faithful, glorifying the Son of God by submitting to His Providence even when we do not understand its meaning. And when we are brought above ground, so to speak, into the light of Resurrection, there will be raised with us a clear indication and vindication of the Providence of God in our lives.

II. The bearing of the material miracles upon the spiritual life will also be shown in the Resurrection. This most spiritual address of our Lord’s was based upon a material miracle. Men do not see the spiritual meaning of the miracles which occur in every life just now, but although much of what may be termed side-light may be thrown upon them in this life, yet the full effulgence of heavenly light will not shine upon them until that last day. Eternal light is needed for the full exposition of Eternal truth. St. Paul says that the Rock which followed Israel was Christ. In a manner which we now know not of, it will be seen in that day how the Christ has followed the life of every believer in all its details. And the miracles in that life (and who has not experienced such?) will be manifested in all their spiritual meaning and bearing upon eternity.

III. The full testimony of Christ’s work will be shown in the Resurrection.—We have referred to two classes of these works: His general Providence and His miracles. ‘The works that the Father hath given Me to accomplish bear witness of Me, that the Father hath sent Me.’ ‘If ye believe not Me, believe the works.’ In these days the testimony of these works seems to be obscured, but He ‘will raise it up at the last day.’ ‘When the Son of Man cometh shall He find faith on the earth?’ Whether or not, there will be a glorious revelation of the meaning of those works as a testimony to the well-beloved Son, ‘I must work the works of Him that sent Me while it is day, for the night cometh.’ But the duration of that night is limited, and it will be followed by a yet more glorious day. The Day of Resurrection will be a Day of Revelation. Then shall His works in the whole world bear convincing testimony to the power and authority of the Christ—a testimony which shall convict every gainsayer. And as the Resurrection body will be infinitely more glorious than the natural body, so will the Resurrection testimony to the works of the Christ be infinitely more glorious than anything offered to Him during His earthly ministry. Rev_12:10 : ‘And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ.’ And there were great voices in heaven saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our God and of His Christ.’ The voices that now hear testimony to the Christ are not, alas! always ‘loud’ or ‘great,’ but the Resurrection testimony will be as the voice of seven thunders. ‘Blessing, and glory, and honour, and power be unto Him that sitteth upon the Throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.’ Thus in that last day will be raised up every jot and scrap of evidence to the greatness and glory of the Son of God, through the light of eternity thrown upon the dealings of His Providence, the lesson of His miracles in their spiritual significance and application, and the full testimony of all His words and works while here on earth.