To read the texts click on the texts: Acts 8:1-8; Jn 6:35-40
Today’s text begins with the last verse that was read yesterday in order to place what follows in context. Jesus has stated that he is the Bread of Life and he invites all who are willing to come to him to be fully satisfied. The words “seeing’ and “believing”, which appear at
6:36 and again at 6:40 form an inclusion. The crowd
has seen and yet has not perceived. They have not seen rightly and thus, cannot
come to faith. This lack of proper vision is surprising when one realizes that
Jesus’ primary purpose is not to hide but to reveal. He will welcome all who
come to him. They will not be driven away. The purpose of his coming down from
heaven is for the sake of revelation. This is the Father’s will and Jesus will
do only what the Father commissions him to do. The Father’s will is inclusive
and no one is to be excluded unless they want to exclude themselves. If one
sees rightly and thus believes, what is gained is eternal life and resurrection
on the last day. This promise combines both the present and the future.
These verses bring out powerfully the balance between divine initiative and human response. God takes the first step and remains open to anyone who is willing to come and receive the gifts that he wants to pour out. However, there will not be any coercion or pressure on the part of God. Those who come to receive from him must come freely and without reservation. The gift is ever available and free. It is not for a select few but for all.