John 6:69
And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
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(69) And we believe and are sure.—Better, We have believed and are sure. (Comp. John 1:41-42.) Go away? The faith which first burned in their hearts has passed into the calm certainty of settled knowledge.

Thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God, has found its way into this place from the confession of Matthew 16:16. The almost certain reading here is, Thou art the Holy One of God. They had heard this title ascribed to Him by beings from the spirit world (comp. Note on Mark 1:24), and it has been, perhaps, suggested by the present discourse (John 6:32; John 6:46). Like the title Messiah, or Christ, it marks out the consecration to His work. (Comp. John 10:30; 1John 2:20; Revelation 3:7.) The true reading brings out the successive confessions, which are certainly twice, and probably three times, spoken by Peter. This is the second, coming between that of Matthew 14:33 and that of Matthew 16:16. (See Notes at these places.)

6:66-71 When we admit into our minds hard thoughts of the words and works of Jesus, we enter into temptation, which, if the Lord in mercy prevent not, will end in drawing back. The corrupt and wicked heart of man often makes that an occasion for offence, which is matter of the greatest comfort. Our Lord had, in the foregoing discourse, promised eternal life to his followers; the disciples fastened on that plain saying, and resolved to cleave to him, when others fastened on hard sayings, and forsook him. Christ's doctrine is the word of eternal life, therefore we must live and die by it. If we forsake Christ, we forsake our own mercies. They believed that this Jesus was the Messiah promised to their fathers, the Son of the living God. When we are tempted to backslide or turn away, it is good to remember first principles, and to keep to them. And let us ever remember our Lord's searching question; Shall we go away and forsake our Redeemer? To whom can we go? He alone can give salvation by the forgiveness of sins. And this alone brings confidence, comfort, and joy, and bids fear and despondency flee away. It gains the only solid happiness in this world, and opens a way to the happiness of the next.We are sure ... - See a similar confession of Peter in Matthew 16:16, and the notes at that place. Peter says we are sure, in the name of the whole of the apostles. Jesus immediately cautions him, as he did on other occasions, not to be too confident, for one of them actually had no such feelings, but was a traitor. 69. And we believe,—(See on [1797]Mt 16:16). Peter seems to have added this not merely—probably not so much—as an assurance to his Lord of his heart's belief in Him, as for the purpose of fortifying himself and his faithful brethren against that recoil from his Lord's harsh statements which he was probably struggling against with difficulty at that moment. Note.—There are seasons when one's faith is tried to the utmost, particularly by speculative difficulties; the spiritual eye then swims, and all truth seems ready to depart from us. At such seasons, a clear perception that to abandon the faith of Christ is to face black desolation, ruin and death; and on recoiling from this, to be able to fall back, not merely on first principles and immovable foundations, but on personal experience of a Living Lord in whom all truth is wrapt up and made flesh for our very benefit—this is a relief unspeakable. Under that blessed Wing taking shelter, until we are again fit to grapple with the questions that have staggered us, we at length either find our way through them, or attain to a calm satisfaction in the discovery that they lie beyond the limits of present apprehension. We believe (saith Peter) and are sure, both from what we have heard from time, and from the miracles which we have seen wrought by thee,

that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. The very words by which St. Matthew {Matthew 16:16} expresses that noble confession of his, which our Saviour calleth the rock, upon which he would build his church. But notwithstanding this acknowledgment, which speaks the seeds of this faith now sown in the heart of Peter, and the hearts of the rest; yet whoso considereth the passages of the other evangelists after this, will see reason to believe, that their persuasion as to this was but faint, till Christ by his resurrection declared himself the Son of God with power.

And we believe and are sure,.... Or know of a certainty: they believed upon the first call of them by Christ, and their following of him, that he was the true Messiah; and they came to an assurance of it, by the miracles he wrought, and by the doctrines which he taught; their faith, how weak soever it might be at first, rose up to a full assurance of faith, and of understanding; there was a reality and a certainty in it, as there is in all true faith, with respect to the object, though not always with respect to interest in it; which was the case here, as appears by what follows:

that thou art that Christ; or Messiah, that was promised by God of old, spoken of by the prophets, and expected by the Jews; that anointed prophet Moses had spoken of, that should arise out of Israel, like unto him that anointed priest, who, according to the oath of God, was to be priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek; and that anointed King, whom God has set over his holy hill of Zion:

the son of the living God; this they knew, and were sure of, both by John's testimony, and by the father's voice from heaven; which three of them heard, at Christ's transfiguration on the mount: God the father is called "the living God"; though the Vulgate Latin version leaves out the word "living"; not to distinguish him from his son; for he also is the living God; and is so called, Hebrews 3:12, but to distinguish him from the idols of the Gentiles, who have no life nor breath in them: and Christ is called the son of the living God, as he is a divine person, as he is truly God; and to show that he has the same life his father has; being a partaker of the same nature, and divine perfections: and this is another reason why sensible souls will go to Christ, and no other; because he is the Messiah, the Saviour, and Redeemer, and an able one; and because he is God, and there is none else.

And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
69. we believe] Rather, we have believed: the perfect tense implies that the faith and knowledge which they possess have been theirs for some time past. ‘Are sure’ means literally ‘have come to know.’

thou art that Christ, &c.] These words seem to have been imported hither from S. Peter’s Confession, Matthew 16:16. The true reading here is; Thou art the Holy One of God. This is altogether a different occasion from Matthew 16:16, and probably previous to it. The Confessions are worth comparing. 1. ‘Thou art the Son of God’ (Matthew 14:33); in this the other Apostles joined. 2. ‘Thou art the Holy One of God’ (John 6:69). 3. ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God’ (Matthew 16:16). They increase in fulness, as we might expect.

John 6:69. Ἡμεῖς, we) whatsoever others may determine on.—πεπιστεύκαμεν καὶ ἐγνώκαμεν, we have believed and known [“are sure,” Engl. Vers.]) From the words of Jesus, knowledge follows faith: 2 Peter 1:5, “Add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge.” They are astray who demand knowledge first: it follows faith and obedience: ch. John 7:17, “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine.” We have known, that is, we have it as a sure and certain truth.

John 6:69Are sure (ἐγνώκαμεν)

Literally, have come to know. The order of the words believe and know is reversed in John 17:8; 1 John 4:16. In the case of the first disciples, faith, produced by the overpowering impression of Jesus' works and person, preceded intellectual conviction.

That Christ, the Son of the living God

The best texts substitute ὁ ἅγιος τοῦ Θεοῦ, the holy one of God. The other reading has resulted from the attempt to bring Peter's confession here into accord with that in Matthew 16:16. The two confessions differ in that "here the confession points to the inward character in which the Apostles found the assurance of life; there the confession was of the public office and theocratic person of the Lord" (Westcott).

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