Jesus Multiplies Food
1After this Jesus went to the other side of the Lake of Tiberias, # 6:1 Or “which is also called the Lake of Tiberias.” Tiberias was the largest Jewish city in the Galilee province, located on the western shore of Lake Galilee. This could also be translated “Jesus went beyond Tiberias to Lake Galilee.” which is also known as Lake Galilee. 2And a massive crowd of people followed him everywhere. They were attracted by his miracles and the healings they watched him perform. 3Jesus went up the slope of a hill and sat down with his disciples. 4Now it was approaching the time of the Jewish celebration of Passover, and there were many pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem in the crowd.
5As Jesus sat down, he looked out and saw the massive crowd of people scrambling up the hill, for they wanted to be near him. So he turned to Philip and said, “Where will we buy enough food to feed all these people?” 6Now Jesus already knew what he was about to do, but he said this to stretch Philip’s faith.
7Philip answered, “Well, I suppose if we were to give everyone only a snack, it would cost thousands of dollars # 6:7 Or “two hundred pieces of silver.” This equates to about eight months’ wages of the average person. Philip didn’t answer the question and was focused on how much money it would cost, but Jesus’ question was, “Where will we buy bread?” Jesus was testing Philip to see if he would look to Jesus to supply all that was needed and not consider their limited resources. to buy enough food!”
8But just then, Andrew, Peter’s brother, spoke up and said, 9“Look! Here’s a young person # 6:9 The Aramaic is literally translated “boy.” However, the Greek uses a word, paidarion, which can also mean a girl or young woman. with five barley loaves and two small fish . . . but how far would that go with this huge crowd?”
10“Have everyone sit down,” Jesus said to his disciples. So on the vast grassy slope, more than five thousand hungry people sat down. # 6:10 The number five thousand would have likely been only the number of men in the crowd. Jesus had everyone sit down. To receive bread from Jesus, the Source, doesn’t require that you stand and work hard for it, you simply sit down and rest to be fed the living bread. 11Jesus then took the barley loaves # 6:11 Barley is the first crop to harvest in Israel. It is a picture of the resurrected Christ. A barley loaf becomes a picture of Christ given to us in resurrection life. He is the firstfruit of resurrection life. See Lev. 23:10; Judg. 7:13–14. and the fish and gave thanks to God. He then gave it to the disciples to distribute to the people. Miraculously, the food multiplied, with everyone eating as much as they wanted! # 6:11 When tempted by the devil, Jesus refused to turn stones into bread to satisfy his own hunger. Yet here Jesus multiplied bread to satisfy the hunger of others. Philip was hoping to give each one a little to eat, but Jesus’ supply is always abundant to satisfy the hunger of all.
12When everyone was satisfied, Jesus told his disciples, “Now go back and gather up the pieces left over so that nothing will be wasted.” 13The disciples filled up twelve baskets of fragments, a basket of leftovers for each disciple.
14All the people were astounded as they saw with their own eyes the incredible miracle Jesus had performed! They began to say among themselves, “He really is the One—the true prophet # 6:14 See Deut. 18:15–19. we’ve been expecting!”
15So Jesus, knowing that they were about to take him and make him their king by force, quickly left and went up the mountainside alone. # 6:15 Jesus knew the time of liberating Israel had not yet come. Men don’t just need better government; we need new hearts.
Jesus Walks on Water
16-17After waiting until evening for Jesus to return, the disciples went down to the lake. But as darkness fell, he still hadn’t returned, so the disciples got into a boat and headed across the lake to Capernaum. # 6:16–17 Capernaum means “the village of Nahum.” Nahum means “comfort” or “the village of comfort.” 18By now a strong wind # 6:18 Or “the Spirit stirred up on their behalf.” began to blow and was stirring up the waters. 19The disciples had rowed about halfway # 6:19 Or “three or four miles.” The lake was approximately seven miles across, so they would have rowed about halfway. across the lake when all of a sudden they caught sight of Jesus walking on top of the waves, coming toward them. The disciples panicked, 20but Jesus called out to them, “Don’t be afraid. You know who I am.” # 6:20 Or “Fear not. I Am!”
21They were relieved to take him in, and the moment Jesus stepped into the boat, they were instantly transported to the other side!
Jesus, the Living Bread
22-23The next morning, the crowds were still on the opposite shore of the lake, near the place where they had eaten the bread he had multiplied after he had given thanks to God. # 6:22–23 This information from v. 24 is included here for the sake of the English narrative. Yet Jesus was nowhere to be found. They realized that only one boat had been there and that Jesus’ hadn’t boarded, and they concluded that his disciples had left him behind. 24So when the people saw on the shoreline a number of small boats from Tiberias and realized Jesus and the disciples weren’t there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum to search for him.
25When they finally found him, they asked him, “Teacher, how did you get here?”
26Jesus replied, “Let me make this very clear, # 6:26 Or “Amen, amen, I say unto you” or “Timeless truth I speak unto you.” you came looking for me because I fed you by a miracle, not because you believe in me. 27Why would you strive for food that is perishable and not be passionate to seek the food of eternal life, which never spoils? # 6:27 The Aramaic is “Why would you not seek the food that fastens you to eternal life?” I, the Son of Man, am ready to give you what matters most, for God the Father has destined me for this purpose.” # 6:27 Or “has set his seal (of approval) upon me” or “the Father has sealed me as God with his seal of approval.” The Aramaic word for “seal” can also mean “destine” or “determine.”
28They replied, “So what should we do if we want to do God’s work?”
29Jesus answered, “The work you can do for God starts with believing in the One he has sent.”
30-31They replied, “Show us a miracle so we can see it, and then we’ll believe in you. Moses took care of our ancestors who were fed by the miracle of manna # 6:30–31 Manna means “What is it?” This is the bread of mystery that became the wilderness food for the Hebrews for more than thirty-eight years. every day in the desert, just like the Scripture says, ‘He fed them with bread from heaven.’ # 6:30–31 See Ex. 16:4–36; Neh. 9:15; Ps. 78:24. What sign will you perform for us?”
32“The truth is,” # 6:32 The Aramaic is “Timeless truth I speak unto you.” Jesus said, “Moses didn’t give you the bread of heaven. It’s my Father who offers bread that comes as a dramatic sign # 6:32 The Aramaic can be translated “a rainbow sign.” Just as Noah was given a rainbow sign of the covenant God was making with him, Jesus’ earthly life was a rainbow sign from heaven of the new covenant life given to every believer today. See Gen. 9; Rev. 4:3; 10:1. The Greek is “true bread out of heaven.” from heaven. 33The bread of God is the One who came out of heaven to give his life to feed the world.”
34“Then please, sir, give us this bread every day,” they replied.
35Jesus said to them, “I am the Bread of Life. # 6:35 The Aramaic can be translated “I am the living God, the Bread of Life.” Come every day to me and you will never be hungry. Believe in me and you will never be thirsty. 36Yet I’ve told you that even though you’ve seen me, you still don’t believe in me. 37But everyone my Father has given to me, they will come. And all who come to me, I will embrace and will never turn them away. 38And I have come out of heaven not for my own desires, but for the satisfaction # 6:38 As translated from the Aramaic. of my Father who sent me. 39My Father who sent me has determined that I will not lose even one of those he has given to me, and I will raise them up in the last day. 40For the longing of my Father is that everyone who embraces the Son # 6:40 Or “sees the Son.” and believes in him will experience eternal life and I will raise them up in the last day!”
41When the Jews who were hostile to Jesus heard him say, “I am the Bread that came down from heaven,” they immediately began to complain, 42“How can he say these things about himself? We know him, and we know his parents. How dare he say, ‘I have come down from heaven?’ ”
43Jesus responded, “Stop your grumbling! 44The only way people come to me is by the Father who sent me—he pulls # 6:44 The Greek word is “drag” or “pull by force.” The name Moses means “pulled” (from the Nile). The Aramaic is “ransom” or “save.” on their hearts to embrace me. And those who are drawn to me, I will certainly raise them up in the last day.”
45Jesus continued, “It has been written by the prophets, ‘They will all be taught by God himself.’ # 6:45 See Isa. 54:13; Jer. 31:34. If you are really listening to the Father and learning directly from him, you will come to me. 46For I am the only One who has come from the Father’s side, and I have seen the Father!
47“I speak to you living truth: Unite your heart to me and believe—and you will experience eternal life! 48I am the true Bread of Life. # 6:48 Although not found in the Greek text, there are some Aramaic manuscripts that have “I am the living God, the Bread of Life.” 49Your ancestors ate manna in the desert and died. 50But standing here before you is the true Bread that comes out of heaven, and when you eat this Bread you will never die. 51I alone am this living Bread that has come to you from heaven. Eat this Bread and you will live forever. The living Bread I give you is my body, which I will offer as a sacrifice so that all may live.”
52These words of Jesus sparked an angry outburst among the Jews. They protested, saying, “Does this man expect us to eat his body?”
53Jesus replied to them, “Listen to this eternal truth: Unless you eat the body of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will not have eternal life. 54Eternal life comes to the one who eats my body # 6:54 To eat his flesh is to take into our life by faith all that Jesus did for us by giving his body for us. To drink his blood is to take by faith all that the blood of Jesus has purchased for us. This “eating” and “drinking” is receiving the life, power, and virtue of all that Jesus is to replace all that we were in Adam. Jesus’ blood and body is the Tree of Life, which is offered to everyone who follows him. and drinks my blood, and I will raise him up in the last day. 55For my body is real food for your spirit and my blood is real drink. 56The one who eats my body and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him. # 6:56 The Aramaic is “He that eats my body and drinks my blood is strengthened in me and I in him.” 57The Father of life sent me, and he is my life. In the same way, the one who feeds upon me, I will become his life. 58I am not like the bread your ancestors ate and later died. I am the living Bread that comes from heaven. Eat this Bread and you will live forever!”
59Jesus preached this sermon in the synagogue in Capernaum.
Many Disciples Became Offended
60And when many of Jesus’ followers heard these things, it caused a stir. “That’s disgusting!” they said. “How could anybody accept it?” # 6:60 Jesus knew that these words were offending the religious Jews. To eat flesh that was not kosher was a violation of the law; how much more so to eat human flesh. Drinking blood of any kind was also forbidden (Lev. 17:11–12). The imagery is similar to Ezekiel who “ate the scroll” (of the Word, Ezek. 3:1–15).
61Without anyone telling him, Jesus knew they were outraged and told them, “Are you offended over my teaching? 62What will you do when you see the Son of Man ascending into the realm from where he came? # 6:62 The greatest offense of all will be the cross where Jesus will soon be crucified, and they will watch him surrender his Spirit to the Father in death. See 1 Cor. 1:18–25; Gal. 5:11.
63“The Holy Spirit is the one who gives life, that which is of the natural realm # 6:63 The Aramaic is “the body.” is of no help. The words I speak to you are Spirit and life. But there are still some of you who won’t believe.” 64In fact, Jesus already knew from the beginning who the skeptics were and who his traitor would be.
65He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one embraces me unless the Father has given you to me.”
Peter’s Confession of Faith
66And so from that time on many of the disciples turned their backs on Jesus and refused to be associated with him. # 6:66 Jesus went from feeding five thousand to offending five thousand. They wanted him to feed them, but didn’t want Jesus alone to be their feast. 67So Jesus said to his twelve, “And you—do you also want to leave?” 68Peter spoke up and said, “But Lord, where would we go? No one but you gives us the revelation of eternal life. 69We’re fully convinced that you are the Anointed One, the Son of the Living God, # 6:69 As translated from the Aramaic. Although many Greek scholars believe this is borrowed from the Synoptic Gospels, and is found in variant forms in Greek texts, the Aramaic and many Greek manuscripts have “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” and we believe in you!”
70Then Jesus shocked them with these words: “I have hand-picked you to be my twelve, knowing that one of you is the devil.” # 6:70 The Greek word for “devil” means “slanderer” or “adversary.” 71Jesus was referring to Judas Iscariot, # 6:71 Judas is the name Judah. Iscariot was not his last name. There are two possibilities for the meaning of Iscariot. Some believe it is taken from a Hebrew word that means “lock.” Judah the “locksmith.” He most likely was the one who locked the collection bag, which means he had the key and could pilfer the fund at will. It’s his sad history that he wanted to lock up Jesus and control him for his own ends. Other scholars see the possibility that Iscariot is actually “Ish” (man) of “Kerioth” (a town once situated south of Hebron). This would mean Judas was the only non-Galilean among the Twelve. son of Simon, for he knew that Judas, one of his chosen disciples, was getting ready to betray him.
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