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Read Introduction to John


43 Jesus therefore answered and said to them, “Do not murmur among yourselves.


43 Jesus therefore answered and said to them,

Jesus did not correct their mistaken thinking about Him other than to reproach their grumbling and misunderstanding of how God works in salvation.

Do not murmur [mutter] among yourselves.

Jesus drew an allusion to murmuring in the wilderness. He warned them not to repeat the sin of complaint at the waters of Marah by murmuring about God’s provision.

The Jews in the synagogue incessantly murmured just like the people in the wilderness during Moses’ day. The word “murmur” means to speak in low, sullen tones. The Greek indicates that the crowd was persistently grumbling. They constantly complained about who Jesus was. Their murmuring was an indication of their negative volition. There was now a rising tide of protest against Jesus.

Jesus’ challenge was to stop their negative volition. Jesus did not expect to convince them all because not all of them would respond to the Father’s drawing.


Negative volition is at the heart of man’s rejection of Christianity.


Negative volition toward the message of Christianity is at the heart of rejection of Christ in the world today. People give all sorts of reasons for their unbelief in Christ but at the heart of the problem is their fundamental orientation to life. This is why it takes God’s initiative to draw us to Himself, as we will see in the next verse