Locate verse: Type a verse reference like 'Romans 10:9' or abbreviated 'Rm 10:9'.
By just typing the verse one can jump to the corresponding verse on the active page (only works if the current page displays a chapter).
If a chapter and a verse is entered without a book, the current selected book is assumed.
Providing only the name of a book will bring one to the chapter index of that book.
Examples (without the quotes): '1 Tim 3:16', 'Rv 1:8', 'Matthew 5', '3:16', '8', 'Phm'.
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
DESCENDING BREAD, A DRAWING FATHER,
AND A RETURNING SON
Key Word: Bread
John 6:1-9 – A Boy with Five Loaves
JN6:1 After these things Jesus left for the other side of the Sea of Galilee, or Tiberias.
JN6:2 A large crowd323
was following him because they saw the signs that he was performing on those who were sick.
Large crowd: The Greek is OCHLOS POLYS and literally means crowd + many [much] and here is a group of over 5,000 men. The words may
describe a considerably smaller group. [Matthew 26:47; Luke 5:29] Compare this with the OCHLOS POLYS at Revelation 7:9 where such may be as small as 7,000. [Revelation 11:12, 13]
Jesus went up into the mountain, and there he was sitting with his disciples.
JN6:4 Now the Passover festival324
of the Jews was near.
Passover festival: Some believe this to be the third Passover of Jesus’ ministry.
JN6:5 So, Jesus looked up and viewed the large crowd coming toward him,325
saying to Philip:
“Where might we buy loaves so that these may eat?”326
Viewed the large crowd coming toward him: We can see the throng of thousands working their way up the hill to the meadow where Jesus
Where might we buy loaves so that these may eat: Jesus has his reasons for asking the question. Money
is not always the answer to a need. This also shows the Nazarene’s instant response to this approaching crowd: first, he is confident they will remain for a while; and, second he shows an immediate concern in advance of the needs of these people. The
first attribute of love is interest, followed by empathic concern, and then compassionate positive action. We see these elements in this story.
JN6:6 But, Jesus said this to test him,327
for he knew what he was about to do.
Jesus said this to test him: Probably Jesus had his reasons. John realizes that Philip is rare in the other Gospels and so in his
Gospel some of these apostles are mentioned much more often.
JN6:7 Philip answered him: “Two hundred denarii328
[worth of] loaves would not be enough to feed them so that each person might receive a small piece!”
Two hundred denarii: About two-thirds of a laborers yearly wages. In the account only the males are counted, so there were many more
than 5,000. This also demonstrates that the Nazarene was not a moneyed man as some claiming to represent him are in modern times.
JN6:8 One of Jesus’ disciples – Andrew the brother
of Simon Peter – said to Jesus:
JN6:9 “Here is a little boy329
who has five barley loves and two small fish! But what is this among so many?”
Here is a little boy: It is sometimes amazing
the instrument God uses!
John 6:10-13 – 5000 Fed
JN6:10 Jesus said:
“All of you [disciples], have the people recline.”
Now there was plenty of grass in this place. So, all five thousand males reclined.
JN6:11 Then Jesus took the loaves, and after giving thanks,330
distributed them to those lying around. Likewise, also, [he distributed] the small fish,331
as much as [the people] wanted.
After giving thanks: Perhaps the key to the miracle?
The small fish: Possibly the silvery little fingerlings eaten throughout the Mediterranean. One may speculate and suggest these were the dried fish and together with bread is a tasty meal. We can suspect water was present with so much plentiful grass on the mountain.
JN6:12 Now, when they were all filled, [Jesus] told his disciples:
“All of you [disciples], gather up the leftover pieces, so that nothing is wasted.”332
So that nothing is wasted: An object lesson for all in waste. Millions of people could be fed from the leftovers of tables in the
JN6:13 So, they gathered up [the leftovers], and it filled twelve baskets of leftovers from the five barley loaves that had been taken to feed them.
John 6:14-15 – A King Withdraws
JN6:14 So, when these people beheld [the] signs [Jesus] performed they began asking, “Is this in fact
[Deuteronomy 18:15] –
the One coming334
into the world of humankind?” [Malachi 3:1]
The Prophet: The Jews were familiar with one famous text of Moses. [Deuteronomy 18:15, 18]
The One coming: It is possible these Jews echo Malachi 3:1.
JN6:15 Jesus, therefore,
realizing they were about to come and grab him335
so that they might make him a king,336
withdrew again into the mountain all alone.337
Grab him: Or, snatch. The Greek is HARPAZEIN and is the word used at 1 Thessalonians 4:16.
Make him a king: The Jewish crowds will yet announce him as King as he enters Jerusalem. However, his hour is not yet and Jesus knows that such a nomination will only bring him into conflict with both the Jewish hierarchy and the Romans. This event also shows Jesus’ lack of interest in political involvement. [John 18:36]
He withdrew again into the mountain all alone: Jesus was a private person who often sought isolation in the mountains. How he moved away from such an enthusiastic crowd without being pursued we can only speculate. [Matthew 14:23]
John 6:16-21 – Jesus Walks on Water
JN6:16 Now, when evening came his disciples went down to the sea,
JN6:17 and once aboard the boat they left for the other side of the sea toward Capernaum. It was already dark and Jesus had not yet arrived to approach them.
JN6:18 Now there was a strong wind blowing on a rough sea.
JN6:19 And having rowed for over three or four miles338
they saw Jesus walking toward them upon the sea339
and close to arriving near the boat. They all became very frightened.
Rowed for over three or four miles: Any one who has rowed a small boat in rough winds and waves knows how difficult this is.
They saw Jesus walking toward them upon the sea: Compare the reactions described at Matthew 14:26 and Mark 6:49. With our imagination we
see Jesus amidst the wind and waves walking on the turbulent water approaching our tossing boat.
JN6:20 Then, Jesus called to them,
“I am [he],340 so do not be afraid!”
I am: Or, it is I. The Greek is EGO EIMI and is used often in John’s Gospel, including those other than Jesus. See notes on
JN6:21 So, they were willing to take him aboard the boat. Immediately they reached their destination at the shore.341
Immediately they reached their destination at the shore: Whether
this is another miracle, or it merely means after a time, is left to the reader. It is sure the disciples rowed with greater gusto.
John 6:22-24 – Crowds Look for Jesus
JN6:22 The following day the crowd from the other side of the sea saw there was only a little boat, and that Jesus had not boarded with his disciples, and only these had departed.
JN6:23 Only boats from Tiberias342
were near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Master had given thanks.
Tiberias: The town built about 21 AD is still there. It is 15 miles from Nazareth on the western shore of Galilee.
JN6:24 And so, when the crowd343
saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they boarded the little boats and left for Capernaum seeking Jesus.
It is not likely John means the whole crowd of 5,000 men. Later some Jewish leaders are in the crowd, so it may have included a number of them.
John 6:25-27 – “Work for Everlasting Food”
JN6:25 Now, having found Jesus on the other side of the sea, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you come to be here?”
JN6:26 Jesus answered them, saying:
“I tell you this truth: All of you seek me, not because you saw signs, but rather because you ate from the loaves and were filled.344
Because you ate from the loaves and were filled: The motive of the crowd is purely physical or materialistic. The miracle itself had no affect on their faith. They wanted a leader who would supply them with food.
JN6:27All of you continue to work, not for the food that perishes,345 but rather for the Food that remains unto endless Life346 – which the Son of Humankind will give you – for the Father, The God, has sealed this person.”347
The Food that remains unto endless Life: Or, endures to eternal life, last forever. See notes on John 4:14.
The God, has sealed this person: Or, NEB: seal of authority; BER: certified him; NWT: seal of approval. Compare Matthew 3:17 and 2 Peter 1:17. If “The God” has sealed the Son it means that prior to this the Son was not so sealed. This is not he final seal, for Christ must yet suffer and die on a tree in complete integrity and loyalty.
John 6:28-34 – Father Gives Heavenly Food
JN6:28 Then, facing toward Jesus, they asked: “What must we do so that we may work the works of The God?”348
What must we do so that we may work the works of The God: Or, WMS: what must we do to perform the works that God demands.
JN6:29 Jesus answered them:
“This is the work of The God, so that you might believe in the One [The God] sent forth.”349
Believe in the One [The God] sent forth: Jesus does not mean mere belief is sufficient as his teachings on works elsewhere show. Research the word work in the Gospels. He means a deep faith characterized by positive actions motivated by love.
JN6:30 Therefore, they asked: “So what sign do you perform so that we might see and believe you?350
What are you working?
So what sign do you perform so that we might see and believe you: Compare John 2:18. [Matthew 12:38; Mark 8:12; 1 Corinthians 1:22]
JN6:31 Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert, just as it has been written,
‘Bread from heaven He gave them to eat.’”351
Bread from heaven He gave them to eat: They quote, or paraphrase, Exodus 16:4.
JN6:32 So then Jesus said to them:
“I tell you this truth: Moses did not give you [Israelites] the Bread from the Heaven, but my Father is giving all of you the True Bread from the Celestialum.352
True Bread from the Heaven: Judging from the context when Jesus says this he refers to his pre-existence and his descending from heaven into the womb of his mother.
JN6:33For the Bread of The God is the person [who] descended from the Celestialum353 and [he] is giving Life to the world of humankind.”
The person [who] descended from the Heaven: Or, KJV: he which cometh down from heaven. The one who came Jesus of Nazareth at his birth existed in Heaven previously. Compare notes on John 17:5.
JN6:34 So then they said facing toward him: “Master, always give us this Bread!”
John 6:35-40 – “I Came Down from Heaven”
JN6:35 Jesus said to them:
“I am the Bread of the Life. The person approaching me will never go hungry, and the person believing in me will never thirst again.JN6:36However, I have already told all of you that though you have seen me you do not believe.JN6:37Everything the Father is giving me will come to me, and the person approaching toward me I will never cast out.354
I have not descended from the Celestialum355 to do my own will, but rather the will of the One who sent me.
Descended from the Heaven: Or, came down. See notes on John 17:5. Jesus will mention his pre-existence several times in this portion.
JN6:39Now, this is the Will of the One who sent me so that all that He has given to me I should not destroy,356 but rather I should resurrect them at the Last Day.357
I should not destroy: Or, lose nothing. The Greek is APOLESO.
I should resurrect them at the Last Day: Or, KJV: raise it up again at the last day; WMS: raise them to life on the last day. John is the only one to use this phrase. [John 6:40, 44, 54; 11:24;
12:48] The Greek is ESCHATE HEMERA. It is possible the idea came from Daniel 12:13 [LXX], SYNTELEIAN HEMERON. Likely, it is similar to Paul’s TO TELOS at 1 Corinthians 15:24 but with a wider meaning. It would include both resurrections: a] the Church
at the Return of Christ [1 Corinthians 15:23]; and, b] thereafter, humankind in general after “the end” of the Thousand Years. [Revelation 20:5, 12-14]
this is the will of my Father, so that everyone who beholds the Son, and continues to believe in him,358
may have endless Life, and I shall resurrect them on the Last Day.”
Beholds the Son and continues to believe in him: Or, sees; has faith in. [John 10:28]
John 6:41-47 – Unseen Father Draws People
JN6:41 Now because of this, the Jews began murmuring359
about Jesus because he said, “I am the Bread that descended from the Celestialum.”360
Jews began murmuring: Or, MON: began to find fault. See murmur or whisper elsewhere.
Descended from the Celestialum: Or, came down. The Jews understood what Jesus said as one who had come down from heaven and therefore had a spirit pre-existence. See notes on John 17:5.
JN6:42 Then they said: “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph,361
whom we knew, as well as his mother? How is it he now says, ‘I have descended from the Celestialum’?”
Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph: The Jews understand that Jesus was born in human birth as apparently the son of Joseph. It is clear they understand Jesus as claiming he had a spirit pre-existence.
JN6:43 So Jesus answered them, saying:
“Do not be murmuring with one another!JN6:44No person can approach me unless the Father who sent me draws that person,362 and [then] I shall resurrect that person during the Last Day.
Unless the Father who sent me draws that person: Or, KNX: without being attracted to me by the Father. [John 6:65; 2 Thessalonians
2:13] The Father has sent out an invitation to all the House of Israel. [Matthew 25:1-14]
JN6:45It has been written in the Prophets,‘And they all will be God’s taught ones.’363
[Isaiah 54:13 LXX]
Everyone who listens to the Father and has learned approaches me.
And they all will be God’s taught ones: Jesus quotes Isaiah 54:13. The Hebrew Text has YHWH, “And all thy children shall
be the instructed of Yahweh.” But, the LXX uses “God’s.” Jesus believes the “God” – or, YHWH – of Isaiah 54:13 is his Father. The Father has sent the Son to teach the Israelites exactly what God wanted them to
JN6:46Not that anyone has seen the Father,364 except the One who is from The God. That person has seen the Father.365
Not that anyone has seen the Father: Jesus clarifies that though the Jews have heard His teaching by means of His Son, they have never seen God. Compare notes on John 5:37.
That person has seen the Father: It seems clear Jesus alludes to his pre-existence in which he lived in the Father’s Presence. [John 17:5] How else could Jesus have already seen the Father?
JN6:47I tell you this truth: The person who continues to believe possesses endless Life.”
John 6:48-51 – “I Am the Bread of Life”
JN6:48“I am the Bread of the Life.JN6:49Your forefathersate the manna in the desert and they died.
JN6:50This One is the Bread who descended from the Celestialum366 so that anyone should eat from [this Bread] and not die.
This One is the Bread who descended from the Heaven: Again Jesus refers to his pre-existence.
JN6:51I am the Living Bread, the One who descended from the Celestialum. If ever anyone should eat from this Bread, such will live in the New Age.367 But the Bread that I will give is my flesh368 in behalf of the life of the world of humankind.”
Such will live in the [New] Age: Or, live forever.
The Greek is ZESEI EIS TON AIONA.
Bread that I will give is my flesh: Jesus will sacrifice his “flesh”
– that is his fleshly body as a sin-offering for the world, or humanity. [1 John 2:2] Compare Hebrews 10:10. [1 John 4:2] Thus, he cannot be resurrected in his former fleshly body. [1 Peter 3:18] For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on 1
John 6:52-59 – Feeding on Eternal Bread
JN6:52 Therefore the Jews began fighting facing one another, saying, “How is this person able to give to us his flesh to eat?”
JN6:53 So, Jesus said to them:
“I tell you this truth: If you [Jews] refuse to eat the flesh of the Son of Humankind, and [refuse] to drink his blood, you possess no Life within yourselves.JN6:54The person feeding on my flesh and drinking my blood369 possesses endless Life, and I will resurrect that person at the Last Day.370
Feeding on my flesh and drinking my blood: Or, eats. The Jews viewed cannibalism as repugnant, and it violated God’s law to
drink blood. [Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 3:17; 7:26; 17:13; Deuteronomy 12:16, 23; Acts 15:20, 29]
I will resurrect
that person at the Last Day: As the Father has given the Son to have life within, so the Son will be the instrument by which God resurrections humanity. [Acts 17:31]
my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.371
My flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink: Or, real. Jesus speaks in a spiritual analogy: the person who would gain everlasting
life must have deep conviction in the sacrificial value of Christ’s body and blood. These two elements of Jesus’ existence are used in the Master’s Supper. [1 Corinthians 11:24-26]
JN6:56The person feeding on my flesh and drinking my blood remains in harmony with me372
and I with such a person.
Remains in harmony with me: Or, KJV: dwelleth in me; ABU: abides in me; NEB: dwells continually in me; GDS: remains united to me.
[John 15:4; 1 John 3:24]
JN6:57Just as the Living Father sent me forth – and I continue to live by means of the Father373 – also the person feeding on me, that person will also live by means of me.374
I continue to live by means of the Father: Or, KJV: and I live by the Father; ALF: and I live by reason of; BAS: I have life because
of. The Son does not possess life as a natural being. He had to be given life in order to exist, thus he had an origin, or creation as Proverbs 8:22, Colossians 1:15, and Revelation 3:14. The Son cannot continue to exist without the Father, thus he is dependent
on the Father.
That person will also live by means of me: Just as the Son may cause others to live, just so the Father brought the Son into existence.
JN6:58This is the Bread, the Person who descended from heaven,375 not as the forefathers ate [the manna] and yet died. The person feeding on this Bread will live in the New Age.”
The Person who descended from heaven: Or, came down. On the pre-existence of Jesus see the notes on John 17:5. Note John 6:62.
JN6:59 Jesus said these things [while] teaching in the synagogue376
Teaching in the synagogue: Now when we re-read this portion we can imagine the scene in the Jewish meeting place.
John 6:60-65 – “The Son Returning to Heaven”
JN6:60 Therefore, many of his disciples who heard this, said: “This word is hard!377
Who can listen to it?”378
This word is hard: Or, WEY: hard to accept; GDS: a harsh teaching; MOF: hard to take; NEB: more than we can stomach.
Who can listen to it: Or, WEY: who can listen to such teaching; NEB: why listen to such words. There are two factors in Jesus’ teaching
which made it hard to listen to by the Jews: a] the drinking of blood; and, b] the pre-existence of the Son.
JN6:61 Realizing this murmuring among his disciples about these matters, Jesus
said to them:
“This stumbles you379 [disciples]?
This stumbles you: Or, offend, scandalizes, shock.
JN6:62Then, what if you [disciples] might see theSon of Humankind ascending
to where he was formerly?380
See the ‘Son of Humankind ascending’ to where he was formerly: Or, KJV: ascend up where he was before; RIE: where he came from. There can be little question Jesus speaks of his pre-existence. He paraphrases from Daniel 7:13 which foretells the ascension of Messiah to heaven, his former residence. The Nazarene tells his disciples they will see this event. [Acts 1:9-11] See notes on John 17:5.
JN6:63The Pneuma is the thing that makes alive,381the flesh is of no profit.382The Sayings that I have spoken to you [disciples] are Pneuma and is Life.383
The Pneuma is the thing that makes alive: Or, Spirit. [Psalm 36:9; 104:30] The phrase does not say, “who make alive.”
The Pneuma is something not someone.
The flesh is of no profit: Or, no benefit, no value, no avail.
JN6:64However, some from among you [disciples] continue not to believe.”384
For, from the beginning Jesus had known which ones were those who did not continue to believe,385
and also the person who would turn him in.386
Some from among you [disciples] continue not to believe: It is surprising that a disciple of the Nazarene may still not believe or
be fully convinced. The seed of doubt is an enemy in our relationship with God and among the Devil’s most effective tools.
Jesus had known which ones were those who did not continue to believe: Who these were we are not told, nor how Jesus suspected this. However, the following verses show that a large number of disciples abandoned Jesus and returned to the things behind.
The person was who would turn him in: Or, betray, hand him over. Judas would manifest himself during Christ’s final Passover.
JN6:65 And so he told them:
“It is for this reason that I said to you, ‘No person can approach me unless the Father has granted it to such one.’”
John 6:66-71 – “Master, Whom Shall We Go to?”
JN6:66 As a result of this many from among Jesus’ disciples returned to the things behind387
and would no longer continue to walk about with him.388
Many from among Jesus’ disciples returned to the things behind: Or, went back, withdrew, to their old life. [Luke 9:62; 2 Timothy
4:10; 2 Peter 2:20-22]
No longer continue to walk about with him: A teacher may get any number to follow him if he teaches what they want to hear. However, when a teacher speaks the truth, and his listeners find the message too “hard” they will leave him for another teacher more to their liking. It is amazing that Jesus himself, because of his doctrine, lost many of his disciples. He refused to compromise his message, or his manner of teaching.
JN6:67 Therefore, Jesus said to the Twelve:
“Do you also wish to leave?”389
Do you also wish to leave: Jesus is giving them their opportunity to leave if they so wish.
JN6:68 Simon Peter answered him: “Master, toward whom shall we leave?390
You possess Sayings of endless Life!391
Master, toward whom shall we leave: It is not a question of “where” but whom.
You possess Sayings of endless Life: Or, words, teachings. Peter is not just attracted to the person of Jesus Christ, but also to his teachings. Peter
is convinced that what Jesus taught can be found nowhere else.
JN6:69 And we have believed! We realize that you are the Saint of The God!”392
The Saint of The God: Or, Holy One. Compare Mark 1:24.
“Did I not chose you twelve? And yet from among you [twelve] one is a devil.”393
Yet from among you [twelve] one is a devil: Or, slanderer, enemy, adversary.
was speaking about Judas [the son] of Simon Iscariot. For this was the person about to turn Jesus in – one of the twelve!
Review Questions on Chapter Six
Why did the crowds seek Jesus to make him king?
Who is the Bread from Heaven?
How does Jesus show he had a pre-existence?
What stumbled the Jews and many of Jesus’ disciples?