John 6:65 and John 14:6 together seems to imply some catch-22. The only place in the entire internet that asks or addresses this that I've found thus far is this reddit post: John 6:65 and John 14:6 seem in contradiction. Ideas? (here, I interpret OP means 'catch-22' instead 'contradiction'.) I don't get the answers there.

  1. Ok what's up with this seeming catch-22 here: We can't get to God without Jesus, ok I get (or well, so I thought) but now we can't get to Jesus without God?

  2. The answers in the reddit post say something about the Holy Spirit, so I guess John 6:65 actually means like we can't get to Jesus without the Holy Spirit and then this resolves the catch-22 unless you're binitarian?

  3. If yes to (2), then why? If no to (2), then what's up with the Holy Spirit in the reddit post eg the ff?

John 14 he is talking about his work in being the connection between the human and divine natures. He has both natures and so he is the connecting point between the two. In John 6 he is talking about the fact that we need the work of the Holy Spirit dictated by the Father to awaken us to the truth of Jesus to even come to him. Different contexts talking about slightly different things.

  1. If yes to (2), then an additional tangential thing out of curiousity: what's the binitarian answer to this?
  • Whenever the Father draws someone to Himself, He does so through Christ.
    – Lucian
    Aug 24, 2021 at 14:19

3 Answers 3


John 6:

43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.

The above pronouns refer to Jesus as a person.

John 14:

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

The "me" here does not refer to Jesus as a person but as the metaphorical Way.

Taken together, it says that no one can come to Jesus [divine person] unless the Father draws him onto the Way.


I am struggling to see the "catch-22" problem here. We are told in John 6 that the Father draws us to Him:

  • John 6:44, 45, 65 - 44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘And they will all be taught by God.’e Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from Him comes to Me ... 65 Then Jesus said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless the Father has granted it to him.”
  • John 14:6, 7 - 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. 7 If you had known Me, you would know My Father as well. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.”

Thus, as Lucian said in the comment, "Whenever the Father draws someone to Himself, He does so through Christ."

What this question appears to sidestep is the role of the Holy Spirit which the NT makes central to this process.

The Holy Spirit function (inter alia) is to strengthen the members in their daily walk to live the Christian ideals, Eph 3:16, 17, Heb 2:4, and maintain unity in the Christian community (Eph 4:3-6). The Christian must be born of the Spirit (John 3:5) by receiving the gift of the Spirit (Acts 2:38) and walk by the Spirit (Gal 5:25, John 6:63, Phil 3:3, John 4:24). In fact the whole life of Christian is to put aside the “psychical” mind and live by the Spirit (1 Cor 2:14, 1 Cor 15:44-46, Gal 5:17, Jude 19, John 6:63, 1 Peter 3:18). In short, the Holy Spirit is the only way we can know God, 1 Cor 2:10, 11, 14, John 16:13.

This last reference should be quoted in full:

John 16:13, 14, However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears, and He will declare to you what is to come. He will glorify Me by taking from what is Mine and disclosing it to you.

What the three references, John 6:44, 65, 14:6 and 16:13 clearly show is that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all active in some less that fully revealed way, in drawing us to God. This clearly shows that the process of human salvation is the initiative of God.

[Note this is also taught in many other places such as Rom 5:6-8 - For at just the right time, while we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly ... But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. See also V10 and Rom 3:23, 24, 2:4, Phil 2:13, Eph 2:5.]


First - all have an inner ‘intuition’ of unrighteousness.

ROMANS 1:19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.

Paul says this is ‘triggered’ not only via an ‘inner intuition’, but also by merely observing and pondering ‘creation’.

So already God ‘draws’ man. Via his creation (of the earth and man himself.)

For more depth we need to consider how we become a believer, - rebirth. Or more precisely, what ‘being born again’ is all about.

To ‘believe’ something you must see it. You cannot believe without seeing. Impossible. (There is no such ‘thing’ as ‘blind faith’).

The trouble is the gospel is not going to be ‘understood’ nor ‘seen’ so as to be able to be believed via the natural mind (reasoning).

1 COR 2:14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit

And, since Adam, man’s spirit is ‘dead’ - blind - so we need the Holy Spirit to reveal (show) the ‘truth’ to our ‘spirit’ so that our ‘spirit’ can ‘see’ it (the truth). That is, God (through the Holy Spirit) ‘reveals’ Christ to our ‘spirit’ - so then we can believe. This summarises what the reddit article is (trying to) say. So it’s kind of on the right track, but perhaps not far enough down it.

And once we believe (see), then ‘our’ spirit is reborn, is reconnected back with God. So then we can ‘see’ God/Christ ourselves.

This ‘seeing’ with our spirit (spiritual eyes), is called revelation. This ‘seeing’ is exactly what ‘faith’ is/means - for us. Faith is ‘seeing’ (so that then you can believe) that you have something. The gospel is ‘revealed’ to us - by the Holy Spirit, so we can ‘see’ (perceive/understand) it.

For Abraham, Faith came via his ‘natural’ eyes (he lived only in the flesh, as did all Old Testament man). For us Faith comes via our ‘spiritual eyes’, because of the difference Christ made.

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