John's Gospel, chapter 6
objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read
layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses
for verse-by-verse study or meditation. To focus each
verse we have also added in italic a description of what is happening)
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
Jesus Walks on the Water
Jesus the Bread of Life
Many Disciples Desert Jesus
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
(Jesus crossed the Sea again) Some
time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of
Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people
followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing
3 (he sat on a mountainside to teach) Then
Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples.
4 (Passover was coming up) The
Jewish Passover Festival was near.
5 (seeing the crowd he asked Jesus how they could
feed them) When Jesus looked
up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip,
“Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?”
6 (he did it to test Philip) He
asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he
was going to do.
7 (Philip focused on the resources needed) Philip
answered him, “It would take more than half a year's wages to
buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
8 (Andrew spoke up ) Another
of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up,
9 (he had a small boy with him with some food)
“Here is a boy with five small barley
loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
10 (Jesus got the people to sit down, five thousand
men at least) Jesus said, “Have
the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place,
and they sat down (about five thousand men were there).
11 (he took the small amount of food, [prayed over
it and then fed the crowd) Jesus
then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who
were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
12 (he told the disciples to collect the leftovers)
When they had all had enough to eat,
he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over.
Let nothing be wasted.”
13 (they collected twelve basket-full) So
they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of
the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
14 (the crowd recognised him as a prophet)
After the people saw the sign Jesus
performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who
is to come into the world.”
15 (knowing they wanted to make him their king,
Jesus withdrew) Jesus, knowing
that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew
again to a mountain by himself.
Jesus Walks on the Water
16,17 (in the evening the disciples got into the
boat to cross the lake) When
evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, where they
got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By
now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them.
18 (it started to get rough) A
strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough.
19 (some way out they saw Jesus walking toward them)
When they had rowed about three or
four miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the
water; and they were frightened.
20 (he called to them to reassure them) But
he said to them, “It is I; don't be afraid.”
21 (they took him aboard) Then
they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the
boat reached the shore where they were heading.
22 (the next day the crowd realised he had gone)
The next day the crowd that had stayed
on the opposite shore of the lake realized that only one boat
had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples,
but that they had gone away alone.
23 (some other boats arrived) Then
some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people
had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks.
24 (many got in the boats crossed back) Once
the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there,
they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus.
Jesus the Bread of Life
25 (when they found him they asked how he got there)
When they found him on the other
side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
26 (Jesus declared they asked for more food, not
because of the sign) Jesus answered,
“Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you
saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had
27 (he said seek eternal food rather than just earthly
food) Do not work for food that
spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son
of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his
seal of approval.”
28 (what must we do, they asked) Then
they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
29 (believe in me) Jesus
answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has
30 (they ask for a sign) So
they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see
it and believe you? What will you do?
31 (they cite Moses giving them manna) Our
ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He
gave them bread from heaven to eat. ' [Exo 16:4; Neh.9:15;
32 (Jesus said it was God not Moses who gave
it) Jesus said to them, “Very
truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread
from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread
33 (God's bread is what comes down from heaven that
gives life) For the bread of
God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to
34 (we want it) “Sir,”
they said, “always give us this bread.”
35 (Jesus declared, I am the bread of life)
Then Jesus declared, “ I
am the bread of life . Whoever
comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will
never be thirsty.
36 (but I know you won't believe) But
as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.
37 (only who the Father gives will come) All
those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to
me I will never drive away.
38 (I've come down from heaven to do His will)
For I have come down from heaven
not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.
39 (it is that I lose none he gives me) And
this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of
all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.
40 (whoever believes in me will have eternal life)
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.”
41 (the Jews grumbled at this) At
this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said,
“ I am the bread that came
down from heaven .”
42 (they knew he was a carpenter – from heaven??)
They said, “Is this not Jesus, the
son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now
say, ‘I came down from heaven' ?”
43 (Jesus told them to stop grumbling) “Stop
grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered.
44 (Jesus reiterates only those the Father draws
will come) “No one can come
to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise
them up at the last day.
45 (just as Isaiah had said) It
is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.'
[Isa 54:13] Everyone
who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me.
46 (only the one from God has seen Him) No
one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he
has seen the Father.
47 (whoever believes receives eternal life) Very
truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.
48 (he reiterated he was the Bread of Life)
I am the bread of life.
49 (their ancestors died even after eating the manna)
Your ancestors ate the manna in the
wilderness, yet they died .
50 (but the bread from heaven stops death)
But here is the bread that comes
down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die.
51 (he is that bread from heaven that brings that
life) I am the living bread
that came down from heaven.
Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh,
which I will give for the life of the world.”
52 (they misunderstand) Then
the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this
man give us his flesh to eat?”
53 (Jesus rubs it in – you need to eat me)
Jesus said to them, “Very truly I
tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink
his blood, you have no life in you.
54 (only those who do it receive eternal life)
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks
my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last
55 (taking in him is real food and drink) For
my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.
56 (such people become united with Jesus) Whoever
eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.
57 (life comes from God through him to them)
Just as the living Father sent me
and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will
live because of me.
58 (thus he is different from the manna for they
will live for ever if they ‘eat' him) This
is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna
and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”
59 (these things he said in the Capernaum synagogue)
He said this while teaching in the
synagogue in Capernaum.
Many Disciples Desert Jesus
60 (a number of his followers struggled with this)
On hearing it, many of his disciples
said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”
61 (Jesus asked if this offended them) Aware
that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them,
“Does this offend you?
62 (would his ascension help them [implication,
stay around and see it]) Then
what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before!
63 (his words come from the Spirit who brings life)
The Spirit gives life; the flesh
counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full
of the Spirit and life.
64 (yet some had never really believed) Yet
there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known
from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would
65 (which is why he talked about the Father drawing
some) He went on to say, “This
is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father
has enabled them.”
66 (a number turned away) From
this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed
67 (Jesus asked the twelve) “You
do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
68 (Peter says there is nowhere else to go)
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord,
to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
69 (we've come to believe) We
have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of
70 (yes, you're chosen, even those one is an enemy
agent) Then Jesus replied, “Have
I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!”
71 (he referred to Judas Iscariot who would betray
him) (He meant Judas, the son
of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to
In this chapter we see the first of the seven ‘I Am' sayings of
Jesus found in John's Gospel. The significance is found in God's
description of Himself in Ex 3:14 and it is thought Jesus is identifying
with his Father in this word usage. Each one makes a particularly
divine claim. We have made them stand out in the text by making
them red. In this chapter there are four forms of the same claim,
most simply put in v.48.
This chapter is unique in that it is the only place where Jesus
declares so clearly that he has come down from heaven, i.e. he
existed in heaven before he was ‘born' on earth.)