How the Father draws one to Jesus? What does "come" to me (v 44) means? What is the relevance of Jesus saying in verse 46?

Text: John 6:44-46 (ESV):

"44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me — 46 not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father."

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    Since the context is of God, the Father, the 'no-one' refers to every created soul. The text gives no reason for any restriction.
    – Nigel J
    Feb 28, 2022 at 18:21
  • @Nigel -You mean, the context says, Father draws one to Himself?
    – Sam
    Feb 28, 2022 at 20:49
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    No. The context of God and the Father affects the concept of who ' no-one' would be. It is 'no-one' under God and the Father.
    – Nigel J
    Feb 28, 2022 at 20:52
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    @Nigel- The fact that Jesus spoke to grumbling Jews about Jesus(v41); and He spoke "no-one" in connection to "It is written in the Prophets... Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me" (v45), indicate "no- one" in the context Jesus refers to Jews. For Jews claim God is their Father, and they have heard/learned the laws and prophets, yet reject their long-awaited Messiah who came to His own.
    – Sam
    Mar 1, 2022 at 2:56

2 Answers 2


It is true that all the chapters in John's gospel leading up to this text shows Jesus' interactions with Jewish people. They are following him around, he is speaking to them either in crowds, or smaller groups, or individually (as in chapter 4 where he speaks to a Samaritan woman). So, there is no doubt but that his statement "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him" (vs. 44) is directly spoken to the Jews (including that Samaritan woman who believed Jesus to be the Messiah), for vs. 41 tells us, "The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven."

However, although the Jews in that account did not realise it, Jesus knew that the phrase "no one" had a global application, for in a short while the gospel would be taken to the Gentiles and they would start to come to God as their Father. Chapter 6 shows this.

"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out... that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day... every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day... He that believeth on me hath everlasting life." (vss. 37, 39-40, 47)

Now, recall Jesus praying to the Father "for them which thou hast given me" and not just those Jewish believers with him, but "for them also which shall believe on me through their word, that they all may be one..." (John 17:9 & 20). Previously, in chapter 10, Jesus had said that, in addition to his 'little flock' (Jewish believers) he would add to them a great crowd of 'other sheep' (Gentile believers). These are the "all" whom the Father had "given him".

Because all those ones would be resurrected too (along with Jewish believers), when Jesus spoke in chapter 6 about the impossibility of people coming to him due to the Father drawing them, he knew that he was speaking about a global truth, not just something that applied only to Jewish people.

Not a soul in the world can come to Jesus unless the Father draws that person to Jesus.

You then go on to ask three more questions, but I suggest that (to do justice to them) you ask them separately, and individually. But it is certainly necessary to clarify first just who those ones are before being able to grasp how the Father draws them to Christ, and what 'coming' to Christ means. As for verse 44, the fact that Jesus promises to raise up to life all who come to him "at the last day" proves that the promise applies to far more than just to Jewish people. I hope this answer clarifies your main question.

  • Then, can you say there are no textual, contextual differences between "no one comes (οὐδεὶς ἔρχεται) to the Father" (Jn 14:6) and "no one can come (οὐδεὶς δύναται ἐλθεῖν) to me (Jesus)." Does "comes to the Father" and "comes to Jesus" in their context connote the same thing? The three questions are related in the context. Thanks for the suggestion, though.
    – Sam
    Mar 7, 2022 at 7:29
  • @Sam It is the same Greek word for 'come' in John 6:44, 45 & 14:6 - 'erchomai'. There is no textual difference, and I base that on Young's Concordance p.181. As for the context, the same thing is being stated by Jesus. There is nothing contradictory; it is not a conundrum. It is profound, of course, for this shows the utter unity of Father and Son in the work of saving sinners; they both, equally draw sinners, who - in coming to Christ, also come to the Father, and vice versa.
    – Anne
    Mar 7, 2022 at 17:09
  • Seems, it is "totality transfer." οὐδεὶς tr. "no one" is a compound word with the meaning of "not even one." The sense, reference, and application do change depending on the context. For example, "No one" in Room #100 and "No one" in the Auditorium; better yet, No one in the room without the white dress (in the room are many with non-white dresses). The context of Jn 14:6-Jesus speaks as the Messiah who finished His redemptive works; John 6:44, He speaks to grumbling Jews who refuse Jesus, the God-sent Messiah.
    – Sam
    Mar 8, 2022 at 7:30

Jesus' teaching in John 6 is perfectly general and applies to all humanity. In V44-46, Jesus plainly states that salvation is the initiative of God. Such an idea is taught in other places as well:

  • John 15:16 - You did not choose Me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will remain—so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you.
  • 1 John 4:19 - We love because He first loved us.
  • Phil 2:13 - For it is God who works in you to will and to act on behalf of His good purpose.
  • John 6:44 - “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.
  • Rom 2:4 - Or do you disregard the riches of His kindness, tolerance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you to repentance?
  • Eph 2:5 - Or do you disregard the riches of His kindness, tolerance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you to repentance?

Further, repentance is the also due to God's prompting, Rom 2:4, Acts 5:31, 11:18, 2 Tim 2:25. Unfortunately, some reject this wonderful gift and prompting.

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