John 6:40 reads;

(NASB): For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.

St. John stated two things for a Christian to be worthy to be raise up on the last day and merit the entrance to God's Kingdom in Heaven.

  1. First condition is a Christian must "Behold the Son".
  2. Second condition is a Christian must "believe in Christ".

This two condition is the Will of the Father, and Jesus teaches us that only His followers who are doing the Will of the Father can enter God's Kingdom in Heaven.

Matthew 7:21-23 (ESV): Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

The second condition, believing or having faith in Christ can be done thru knowing Christ by reading and meditating the Sacred Word of the bible.

How about the first condition of "Beholding the Son"?

The meaning of the word "behold" is;

In both the Online Dictionary and in Merriam Webster dictionary the definition of BEHOLD is a transitive verb meaning:https://blog.catholicwritersguild.com/2011/12/behold.html

1: to perceive through sight or apprehension : see

2: to gaze upon : observe

The specific question is focus on the first condition, "Behold the Son".

What is the understanding of Christian denomination on John 6:40 who only espouses "Faith in Christ alone saves"?

John 6:40 clearly teaches, Faith in Christ alone is not enough, a Christian must also "Behold the Son" to follow the Will of the Father.

This question is specifically address to all Christian denominations who embraced "Jesus alone saves".

  • 1
    Sorry, I don't really get the point of your question. It's not possible to trust someone you don't know, is it?
    – curiousdannii
    Mar 17 '20 at 3:09
  • @curiousdannii It seems possible to know Christ without beholding Him in the sense of "behold" quoted from dictionaries in the question. For example, people can come to know Christ through preaching or reading. I myself have beheld Christ (in that dictionary sense) only in the Blessed Sacrament, and not everyone has that opportunity. Mar 17 '20 at 18:03
  • @AndreasBlass Yes! you've got the point. Jesus in John6:40 is building up His teaching on the Bread of Life or Holy Eucharist. My understanding of "Behold" closely refer to "gazing". It's more than reading or hearing the sacred word..It is beholding or gazing the Incarnate Word. I'm incline to see the word importance of the word "behold" at the Foot of the Cross. (John19:26-27) Mar 17 '20 at 23:02
  • @curiousdannii I've quoted Matthew7:21 this people know Jesus and they call him Lord, Lord, they even prophesy, cast out demons and used the name of Jesus to do mighty works. But Jesus turn to them and said "I never knew you". It's possible a Christian knew or believe Jesus by name but do not "behold" Him like the scene at the Foot of the Cross. The people in Matthew7:21 was not present at the Foot of the Cross, where they should behold Christ. Mar 17 '20 at 23:07

"Behold" is a wonderful English word but unfortunately rarely used in common speech today. It means to "see" in the sense of understand. We might say today that someone who "beholds" in the Greek sense is someone who "gets it".

So, to behold the Son would mean to appreciate who He is, to see Jesus with spiritual eyes. There are many who know an abundance of facts about him as a historical figure, but certainly do not "behold" Him. They don't understand, at least at the moment.

  • Thanks for your answer. I understand now why Protestant cannot understand the role of Mary because "Behold thy Mother", means to see or understand Mary's role profoundly using spiritual eyes. And also, Protestant has no means to "Behold the Son", because Jesus is no longer physically present for them to "behold", while Catholics had the means to behold Jesus "real presence" in the Blessed Sacrament "body,blood,soul and divinity. Mar 20 '20 at 1:03

This is from the SDA perspective. We believe in righteousness by faith. The Bible clearly teaches that salvation is NOT reached by works, as our works are as filthy rags:

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Isaiah 64:6

When we are in sin (iniquity), Jesus calls us to repetance and cleansing. Only Jesus can do that.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:7-9

This verse in Ephesians makes it abundantly clear that God saves us through the blood of Jesus Christ and it is by His grace ONLY, not of works:

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2: 4-10

We cannot be saved through our own works, but we walk as Jesus walked, because He saved us. We do the works of Christ not TO BE SAVED, but because He has saved us.

Jesus when talking TO HIS DISCIPLES, those that were already following Him, to them He said:

If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 14:15

Works are the evidence that Jesus is working through you. Works cannot save you, only Jesus can save you, but you can definitely be lost by your works, or lack thereof.

I don't believe John 6:40 should be taken as an exhaustive list of things that must be done to be saved. This would be taking it out of context. Yes, we must behold, the Son and walked as He walked. There are many directives like this in the Bible, behold the Son, believe in the Son, abide in Him, take up your cross and follow Him, etc. Take all these verse to see a clearer picture of God's will for your life.

  • Catholic & Chtistian teaches & believed we are saved by grace thru faith in Christ. What I'm asking is the meaning of "Behold the Son". The Jews at that time sees Jesus but do not see & believe His divinity. In our time we believe in Jesus divinity, but how can we "behold Jesus", he already ascended in Heaven? Mar 18 '20 at 21:47

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