For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.John 6:40 NIV
What is God’s will? There are many different answers one might give to this question, depending on the context in which it is asked. The context here is Jesus’ teaching concerning obtaining eternal life. Jesus said here that it is his Father’s will that everyone who does two related things will have eternal life. That they look to the Son. And that they believe in him.
The expression “looks to” translates the Greek word theoreo. Vines describes this word as “a spectator: used of one who looks at a thing with interest and for a purpose, usually indicating the careful observation of details.”
The word “believes” translates the Greek word pisteuo. According to Vines, this word means “to believe, to be persuaded of, to place confidence in, to trust, reliance upon.”
Look to and Believe
This verse would seem to indicate a sequence. One first looks to Jesus, expressing interest in the message about him. And then taking the next step to believe in him. Looking to Jesus is the work of a spectator. Believing in him goes a step beyond and places your trust in him. Too many people today are just spectators, expressing interest in Jesus, but never go beyond that. But Jesus tells us here that it is those who go beyond and place their trust in Jesus, relying on him, that will have eternal life. Don’t be content with being a spectator. It is a necessary first step. But if it does not lead to belief, it will do you no good. Look to the Son and believe. And you will have eternal life.