Select Page
Read Introduction to John


63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.


63 It is the Spirit who gives life;

A wooden interpretation of the bread of life discourse will not give life. Since Jesus would ascend to heaven, there would be no opportunity to eat of His flesh. His “flesh” would not profit in that situation.

It is only the Holy Spirit who can give eternal life. He gives that life only to the true believer. The Holy Spirit gives eternal life to those who believe. The human being unaided by the Holy Spirit cannot discern spiritual things.

the flesh profits nothing [double negative].

“Flesh” here may refer to Jesus’ statement in the bread of life discourse of eating His flesh. If so, then the idea here is that eating His physical flesh has no value. It is the giving of His life in death that has value.

The natural man cannot comprehend divine truth. He is bounded by human viewpoint. He needs the Holy Spirit to enable Him to understand divine truth. Man is completely unable to believe in Christ if he starts with himself (1 Co 2:14).

The words that I speak to you

Jesus’ words are spirit and life. He gave “words” as propositions to be believed. Life is found in His words. The essence of Jesus’ words are spirit and life. The objective words of Jesus reveal who He is.

are spirit,

The words of Jesus are the product of the life-giving Holy Spirit. Only the Spirit can impart eternal life (1 Pe 1:23).

and they are life.

Contrary to what the crowd thought of Jesus’ words being harsh, His words were spirit and life. His words not only tell of life but they bring life. The Holy Spirit is the one who gives eternal life. He works personally in individuals.


People cannot receive spiritual life from dead human sources.


Regeneration cannot come from natural generation. The spiritually dead cannot produce spiritual life. Only the Holy Spirit, a divine agent, can impart spiritual or eternal life. A person receives spiritual life when the Holy Spirit imparts Christ’s life. Spiritual life cannot come from unadulterated volition. Either we accept or reject Jesus’ words as true.

Jesus established the link between His glorification in death and resurrection and the coming ministry of the Holy Spirit.