Jesus Feeds More Than Five Thousand
(Matthew 14:13–21; Mark 6:30–44; Luke 9:10–17)
1Jesus later crossed to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (or the Sea of Tiberias). 2A large crowd followed him because they saw the miracles that he performed for the sick. 3Jesus went up a mountain and sat with his disciples. 4The time for the Jewish Passover festival was near.
5As Jesus saw a large crowd coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6Jesus asked this question to test him. He already knew what he was going to do.
7Philip answered, “We would need about a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each of them to have a piece.”
8One of Jesus’ disciples, Andrew, who was Simon Peter’s brother, told him, 9“A boy who has five loaves of barley bread and two small fish is here. But they won’t go very far for so many people.”
10Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.”
The people had plenty of grass to sit on. (There were about 5,000 men in the crowd.)
11Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to the people who were sitting there. He did the same thing with the fish. All the people ate as much as they wanted.
12When the people were full, Jesus told his disciples, “Gather the leftover pieces so that nothing will be wasted.” 13The disciples gathered the leftover pieces of bread and filled twelve baskets.
14When the people saw the miracle Jesus performed, they said, “This man is certainly the prophet who is to come into the world.” 15Jesus realized that the people intended to take him by force and make him king. So he returned to the mountain by himself.
Jesus Walks on the Sea
(Matthew 14:22–33; Mark 6:45–52)
16When evening came, his disciples went to the sea. 17They got into a boat and started to cross the sea to the city of Capernaum. By this time it was dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18A strong wind started to blow and stir up the sea.
19After they had rowed three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea. He was coming near the boat, and they became terrified.
20Jesus told them, “It’s me. Don’t be afraid!”
21So they were willing to help Jesus into the boat. Immediately, the boat reached the shore where they were going.
Jesus Is the Bread of Life
22On the next day the people were still on the other side of the sea. They noticed that only one boat was there and that Jesus had not stepped into that boat with his disciples. The disciples had gone away without him. 23Other boats from Tiberias arrived near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord gave thanks. 24When the people saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into these boats and went to the city of Capernaum to look for Jesus. 25When they found him on the other side of the sea, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
26Jesus replied to them, “I can guarantee this truth: You’re not looking for me because you saw miracles. You are looking for me because you ate as much of those loaves as you wanted. 27Don’t work for food that spoils. Instead, work for the food that lasts into eternal life. This is the food the Son of Man will give you. After all, the Father has placed his seal of approval on him.”
28The people asked Jesus, “What does God want us to do?”
29Jesus replied to them, “God wants to do something for you so that you believe in the one whom he has sent.”
30The people asked him, “What miracle are you going to perform so that we can see it and believe in you? What are you going to do? 31Our ancestors ate the manna in the desert. Scripture says, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ”
32Jesus said to them, “I can guarantee this truth: Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33God’s bread is the man who comes from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread all the time.”
35Jesus told them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never become hungry, and whoever believes in me will never become thirsty. 36I’ve told you that you have seen me. However, you don’t believe in me. 37Everyone whom the Father gives me will come to me. I will never turn away anyone who comes to me. 38I haven’t come from heaven to do what I want to do. I’ve come to do what the one who sent me wants me to do. 39The one who sent me doesn’t want me to lose any of those he gave me. He wants me to bring them back to life on the last day. 40My Father wants all those who see the Son and believe in him to have eternal life. He wants me to bring them back to life on the last day.”
41The Jews began to criticize Jesus for saying, “I am the bread that came from heaven.” 42They asked, “Isn’t this man Jesus, Joseph’s son? Don’t we know his father and mother? How can he say now, ‘I came from heaven’?”
43Jesus responded, “Stop criticizing me! 44People cannot come to me unless the Father who sent me brings them to me. I will bring these people back to life on the last day. 45The prophets wrote, ‘God will teach everyone.’ Those who do what they have learned from the Father come to me. 46I’m saying that no one has seen the Father. Only the one who is from God has seen the Father. 47I can guarantee this truth: Every believer has eternal life.
48“I am the bread of life. 49Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert and died. 50This is the bread that comes from heaven so that whoever eats it won’t die. 51I am the living bread that came from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. The bread I will give to bring life to the world is my flesh.”
52The Jews began to quarrel with each other. They said, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
53Jesus told them, “I can guarantee this truth: If you don’t eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you don’t have the source of life in you. 54Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will bring them back to life on the last day. 55My flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood live in me, and I live in them. 57The Father who has life sent me, and I live because of the Father. So those who feed on me will live because of me. 58This is the bread that came from heaven. It is not like the bread your ancestors ate. They eventually died. Those who eat this bread will live forever.”
59Jesus said this while he was teaching in a synagogue in Capernaum. 60When many of Jesus’ disciples heard him, they said, “What he says is hard to accept. Who wants to listen to him anymore?”
61Jesus was aware that his disciples were criticizing his message. So Jesus asked them, “Did what I say make you lose faith? 62What if you see the Son of Man go where he was before? 63Life is spiritual. Your physical existence doesn’t contribute to that life. The words that I have spoken to you are spiritual. They are life. 64But some of you don’t believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning those who wouldn’t believe and the one who would betray him. 65So he added, “That is why I told you that people cannot come to me unless the Father provides the way.”
66Jesus’ speech made many of his disciples go back to the lives they had led before they followed Jesus. 67So Jesus asked the twelve apostles, “Do you want to leave me too?”
68Simon Peter answered Jesus, “Lord, to what person could we go? Your words give eternal life. 69Besides, we believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”
70Jesus replied, “I chose all twelve of you. Yet, one of you is a devil.” 71Jesus meant Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. Judas, who was one of the twelve apostles, would later betray Jesus.