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John 6:63 – BibleTools.info

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John 6:63

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

It is the spirit that quickeneth - It is the spiritual sense only of my words that is to be attended to, and through which life is to be attained, 2 Corinthians 3:6. Such only as eat and drink what I have mentioned, in a spiritual sense, are to expect eternal life.

The flesh profiteth nothing - If ye could even eat my flesh and drink my blood, this would not avail for your salvation. These words contain a caution that the hearers should not understand his words in the strict literal sense, as if his body were really Bread, and as if his flesh and blood were really to be eaten and drank.

The words that I speak - Or, I have spoken. Instead of λαλω, I speak, I read λελαληκα, I have spoken, on the authority of BCDKLT, thirteen others; the Syriac, all the Arabic, all the Persic, Coptic, Ethiopic, Gothic, Slavonic, Vulgate, all the Itala; Origen, Eusebius, Athanasius, Basil, Cyril, Chrysostom, Tertullian, Ambrosias, Augustin, Gaudentius, and Vigilius Taps. This is an important reading, and plainly shows that our Lord's words here do not refer to any new point of doctrine which he was then inculcating, but to what he had spoken concerning his being the living bread, and concerning the eating of his flesh, and drinking of his blood, in the preceding verses.

Are spirit, and they are life - As my words are to be spiritually understood, so the life they promise is of a spiritual nature: see Bishop Pearce.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

It is the Spirit that quickeneth - These words have been understood in different ways. The word “Spirit,” here, evidently does not refer to the Holy Spirit, for he adds, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit.” He refers here, probably, to the doctrine which he had been teaching in opposition to their notions and desires. “My doctrine is spiritual; it is fitted to quicken and nourish the soul. It is from heaven. Your doctrine or your views are earthly, and may be called flesh, or fleshly, as pertaining only to the support of the body. You place a great value on the doctrine that Moses fed the body; yet that did not permanently profit, for your fathers are dead. You seek also food from me, but your views and desires are gross and earthly.”

Quickeneth - Gives life. See the notes at John 5:21.

The flesh - Your carnal views and desires, and the literal understanding of my doctrine. By this Jesus shows them that he did not intend that his words should be taken literally.

Profiteth nothing - Would not avail to the real needs of man. The bread that Moses gave, the food which you seek, would not be of real value to man‘s highest wants.

They are spirit - They are spiritual. They are not to be understood literally, as if you were really to eat my flesh, but they are to be understood as denoting the need of that provision for the soul which God has made by my coming into the world.

Are life - Are fitted to produce or give life to the soul dead in sins.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The human nature of Christ had not before been in heaven, but being God and man, that wondrous Person was truly said to have come down from heaven. The Messiah's kingdom was not of this world; and they were to understand by faith, what he had said of a spiritual living upon him, and his fulness. As without the soul of man the flesh is of no value, so without the quickening Spirit of God all forms of religion are dead and worthless. He who made this provision for our souls, alone can teach us these things, and draw us unto Christ, that we may live by faith in him. Let us apply to Christ, thankful that it is declared that every one who is willing to come unto him shall be made welcome.
Ellen G. White
Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 439

Christ's words contain nothing that is nonessential. The Sermon on the Mount is a wonderful production, yet so simple that a child can study it without misunderstanding. The mount of beatitudes is a symbol of the spiritual elevation on which Christ ever stood. Every word He uttered came from God, and He spoke with the authority of heaven. “The words that I speak unto you,” He said, “they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63. His teaching is full of ennobling, saving truth, to which men's highest ambitions and most profound investigations can bear no comparison. He was alive to the terrible ruin hanging over the race, and He came to save souls by His own righteousness, bringing to the world definite assurance of hope and complete relief. CT 439.1

It is because Christ's words are disregarded, because the word of God is given a second place in education, that infidelity is riot and iniquity is rife. Things of minor consequence occupy the minds of many of the teachers of today. A mass of tradition, containing merely a semblance of truth, is brought into the courses of study given in the schools of the world. The force of much human teaching is found in assertion, not in truth. The teachers of the present day can use only the ability of previous teachers; and yet with all the weighty importance that may be attached to the words of the greatest human authors there is a conscious inability to trace back to the first great principle, the Source of unerring wisdom. There is a painful uncertainty, a constant searching, a reaching for assurance, that can be found only in God. The trumpet of human greatness may be sounded, but it is with an uncertain sound; it is not reliable, and the salvation of souls cannot be assured by it. CT 439.2

In acquiring earthly knowledge, men have thought to gain a treasure; and they have laid the Bible aside, ignorant that it contains a treasure worth everything else. A failure to study and obey God's word has brought confusion into the world. Men have left the guardianship of Christ for the guardianship of the great rebel, the prince of darkness. Strange fire has been mingled with the sacred. The accumulation of things that minister to lust and ambition has brought upon the world the judgment of heaven. CT 440.1

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 251

God takes men as they are, and educates them for His service, if they will yield themselves to Him. The Spirit of God, received into the soul, will quicken all its faculties. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the mind that is devoted unreservedly to God develops harmoniously, and is strengthened to comprehend and fulfill the requirements of God. The weak, vacillating character becomes changed to one of strength and steadfastness. Continual devotion establishes so close a relation between Jesus and His disciple that the Christian becomes like Him in mind and character. Through a connection with Christ he will have clearer and broader views. His discernment will be more penetrative, his judgment better balanced. He who longs to be of service to Christ is so quickened by the life-giving power of the Sun of Righteousness that he is enabled to bear much fruit to the glory of God. DA 251.1

Men of the highest education in the arts and sciences have learned precious lessons from Christians in humble life who were designated by the world as unlearned. But these obscure disciples had obtained an education in the highest of all schools. They had sat at the feet of Him who spoke as “never man spake.” DA 251.2

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Ellen G. White
Education, 126

He who grasps this thought has before him an infinite field for study. He has the key that will unlock to him the whole treasure house of God's word. Ed 126.1

The science of redemption is the science of all sciences; the science that is the study of the angels and of all the intelligences of the unfallen worlds; the science that engages the attention of our Lord and Saviour; the science that enters into the purpose brooded in the mind of the Infinite—“kept in silence through times eternal” (Romans 16:25, R.V.); the science that will be the study of God's redeemed throughout endless ages. This is the highest study in which it is possible for man to engage. As no other study can, it will quicken the mind and uplift the soul. Ed 126.2

“The excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.” “The words that I speak unto you,” said Jesus, “they are spirit, and they are life.” “This is life eternal, that they should know Thee the only true God, and Him whom Thou didst send.” Ecclesiastes 7:12; John 6:63; 17:3, R.V. Ed 126.3

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Ellen G. White
Christ's Object Lessons, 38

The word of God is the seed. Every seed has in itself a germinating principle. In it the life of the plant is enfolded. So there is life in God's word. Christ says, “The words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63. “He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life.” John 5:24. In every command and in every promise of the word of God is the power, the very life of God, by which the command may be fulfilled and the promise realized. He who by faith receives the word is receiving the very life and character of God. COL 38.1

Every seed brings forth fruit after its kind. Sow the seed under right conditions, and it will develop its own life in the plant. Receive into the soul by faith the incorruptible seed of the word, and it will bring forth a character and a life after the similitude of the character and the life of God. COL 38.2

The teachers of Israel were not sowing the seed of the word of God. Christ's work as a teacher of truth was in marked contrast to that of the rabbis of His time. They dwelt upon traditions, upon human theories and speculations. Often that which man had taught and written about the word, they put in place of the word itself. Their teaching had no power to quicken the soul. The subject of Christ's teaching and preaching was the word of God. He met questioners with a plain, “It is written.” “What saith the Scriptures?” “How readest thou?” At every opportunity, when an interest was awakened by either friend or foe, He sowed the seed of the word. He who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, Himself the living Word, points to the Scriptures, saying, “They are they which testify of Me.” And “beginning at Moses and all the prophets,” He opened to His disciples “in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” John 5:39; Luke 24:27. COL 38.3

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Ellen G. White
Christ's Object Lessons, 132

The springs of heavenly peace and joy, unsealed in the soul of the teacher by the words of Inspiration, will become a mighty river of influence to bless all who connect with him. The Bible will not become a tiresome book to the student. Under a wise instructor the word will become more and more desirable. It will be as the bread of life, and will never grow old. Its freshness and beauty will attract and charm the children and youth. It is like the sun shining upon the earth, perpetually imparting brightness and warmth, yet never exhausted. COL 132.1

God's holy, educating Spirit is in His word. A light, a new and precious light, shines forth from every page. Truth is there revealed, and words and sentences are made bright and appropriate for the occasion, as the voice of God speaking to the soul. COL 132.2

The Holy Spirit loves to address the youth, and to discover to them the treasures and beauties of God's word. The promises spoken by the great Teacher will captivate the senses and animate the soul with spiritual power that is divine. There will grow in the fruitful mind a familiarity with divine things that will be as a barricade against temptation. COL 132.3

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