Bread and Fish for All
6 1-4 After this, Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee (some call it Tiberias). A huge crowd followed him, attracted by the miracles they had seen him do among the sick. When he got to the other side, he climbed a hill and sat down, surrounded by his disciples. It was nearly time for the Feast of Passover, kept annually by the Jews.
5-6 When Jesus looked out and saw that a large crowd had arrived, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy bread to feed these people?” He said this to stretch Philip’s faith. He already knew what he was going to do.
7 Philip answered, “Two hundred silver pieces wouldn’t be enough to buy bread for each person to get a piece.”
8-9 One of the disciples—it was Andrew, brother to Simon Peter—said, “There’s a little boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But that’s a drop in the bucket for a crowd like this.”
10-11 Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” There was a nice carpet of green grass in this place. They sat down, about five thousand of them. Then Jesus took the bread and, having given thanks, gave it to those who were seated. He did the same with the fish. All ate as much as they wanted.
12-13 When the people had eaten their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the leftovers so nothing is wasted.” They went to work and filled twelve large baskets with leftovers from the five barley loaves.
14-15 The people realized that God was at work among them in what Jesus had just done. They said, “This is the Prophet for sure, God’s Prophet right here in Galilee!” Jesus saw that in their enthusiasm, they were about to grab him and make him king, so he slipped off and went back up the mountain to be by himself.
16-21 In the evening his disciples went down to the sea, got in the boat, and headed back across the water to Capernaum. It had grown quite dark and Jesus had not yet returned. A huge wind blew up, churning the sea. They were maybe three or four miles out when they saw Jesus walking on the sea, quite near the boat. They were scared senseless, but he reassured them, “It’s me. It’s all right. Don’t be afraid.” So they took him on board. In no time they reached land—the exact spot they were headed to.
22-24 The next day the crowd that was left behind realized that there had been only one boat, and that Jesus had not gotten into it with his disciples. They had seen them go off without him. By now boats from Tiberias had pulled up near where they had eaten the bread blessed by the Master. So when the crowd realized he was gone and wasn’t coming back, they piled into the Tiberias boats and headed for Capernaum, looking for Jesus.
25 When they found him back across the sea, they said, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
26 Jesus answered, “You’ve come looking for me not because you saw God in my actions but because I fed you, filled your stomachs—and for free.
The Bread of Life
27 “Don’t waste your energy striving for perishable food like that. Work for the food that sticks with you, food that nourishes your lasting life, food the Son of Man provides. He and what he does are guaranteed by God the Father to last.”
28 To that they said, “Well, what do we do then to get in on God’s works?”
29 Jesus said, “Sign on with the One that God has sent. That kind of a commitment gets you in on God’s works.”
30-31 They waffled: “Why don’t you give us a clue about who you are, just a hint of what’s going on? When we see what’s up, we’ll commit ourselves. Show us what you can do. Moses fed our ancestors with bread in the desert. It says so in the Scriptures: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
32-33 Jesus responded, “The real significance of that Scripture is not that Moses gave you bread from heaven but that my Father is right now offering you bread from heaven, the real bread. The Bread of God came down out of heaven and is giving life to the world.”
34 They jumped at that: “Master, give us this bread, now and forever!”
35-38 Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life. The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever. I have told you this explicitly because even though you have seen me in action, you don’t really believe me. Every person the Father gives me eventually comes running to me. And once that person is with me, I hold on and don’t let go. I came down from heaven not to follow my own agenda but to accomplish the will of the One who sent me.
39-40 “This, in a nutshell, is that will: that everything handed over to me by the Father be completed—not a single detail missed—and at the wrap-up of time I have everything and everyone put together, upright and whole. This is what my Father wants: that anyone who sees the Son and trusts who he is and what he does and then aligns with him will enter real life, eternal life. My part is to put them on their feet alive and whole at the completion of time.”
41-42 At this, because he said, “I am the Bread that came down from heaven,” the Jews started arguing over him: “Isn’t this the son of Joseph? Don’t we know his father? Don’t we know his mother? How can he now say, ‘I came down out of heaven’ and expect anyone to believe him?”
43-46 Jesus said, “Don’t bicker among yourselves over me. You’re not in charge here. The Father who sent me is in charge. He draws people to me—that’s the only way you’ll ever come. Only then do I do my work, putting people together, setting them on their feet, ready for the End. This is what the prophets meant when they wrote, ‘And then they will all be personally taught by God.’ Anyone who has spent any time at all listening to the Father, really listening and therefore learning, comes to me to be taught personally—to see it with his own eyes, hear it with his own ears, from me, since I have it firsthand from the Father. No one has seen the Father except the One who has his Being alongside the Father—and you can see me.
47-51 “I’m telling you the most solemn and sober truth now: Whoever believes in me has real life, eternal life. I am the Bread of Life. Your ancestors ate the manna bread in the desert and died. But now here is Bread that truly comes down out of heaven. Anyone eating this Bread will not die, ever. I am the Bread—living Bread!—who came down out of heaven. Anyone who eats this Bread will live—and forever! The Bread that I present to the world so that it can eat and live is myself, this flesh-and-blood self.”
52 At this, the Jews started fighting among themselves: “How can this man serve up his flesh for a meal?”
53-58 But Jesus didn’t give an inch. “Only insofar as you eat and drink flesh and blood, the flesh and blood of the Son of Man, do you have life within you. The one who brings a hearty appetite to this eating and drinking has eternal life and will be fit and ready for the Final Day. My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. By eating my flesh and drinking my blood you enter into me and I into you. In the same way that the fully alive Father sent me here and I live because of him, so the one who makes a meal of me lives because of me. This is the Bread from heaven. Your ancestors ate bread and later died. Whoever eats this Bread will live always.”
59 He said these things while teaching in the meeting place in Capernaum.
Too Tough to Swallow
60 Many among his disciples heard this and said, “This is tough teaching, too tough to swallow.”
61-65 Jesus sensed that his disciples were having a hard time with this and said, “Does this rattle you completely? What would happen if you saw the Son of Man ascending to where he came from? The Spirit can make life. Sheer muscle and willpower don’t make anything happen. Every word I’ve spoken to you is a Spirit-word, and so it is life-making. But some of you are resisting, refusing to have any part in this.” (Jesus knew from the start that some weren’t going to risk themselves with him. He knew also who would betray him.) He went on to say, “This is why I told you earlier that no one is capable of coming to me on his own. You get to me only as a gift from the Father.”
66-67 After this, many of his disciples left. They no longer wanted to be associated with him. Then Jesus gave the Twelve their chance: “Do you also want to leave?”
68-69 Peter replied, “Master, to whom would we go? You have the words of real life, eternal life. We’ve already committed ourselves, confident that you are the Holy One of God.”
70-71 Jesus responded, “Haven’t I handpicked you, the Twelve? Still, one of you is a devil!” He was referring to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. This man—one from the Twelve!—was even then getting ready to betray him.
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition
6 After this, Jesus went to the farther side of the Sea of Galilee—that is, the Sea of Tiberias.
2 And a great crowd was following Him because they had seen the signs (miracles) which He [continually] performed upon those who were sick.
3 And Jesus walked up the mountainside and sat down there with His disciples.
4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was approaching.
5 Jesus looked up then, and seeing that a vast multitude was coming toward Him, He said to Philip, Where are we to buy bread, so that all these people may eat?
6 But He said this to prove (test) him, for He well knew what He was about to do.
7 Philip answered Him, Two hundred pennies’ (forty dollars) worth of bread is not enough that everyone may receive even a little.
8 Another of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him,
9 There is a little boy here, who has [with him] five barley loaves, and two small fish; but what are they among so many people?
10 Jesus said, Make all the people recline (sit down). Now the ground (a pasture) was covered with thick grass at the spot, so the men threw themselves down, about 5,000 in number.
11 Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks, He distributed [a]to the disciples and the disciples to the reclining people; so also [He did] with the fish, as much as they wanted.
12 When they had all had enough, He said to His disciples, Gather up now the fragments (the broken pieces that are left over), so that nothing may be lost and wasted.
13 So accordingly they gathered them up, and they filled twelve [[b]small hand] baskets with fragments left over by those who had eaten from the five barley loaves.
14 When the people saw the sign (miracle) that Jesus had performed, they began saying, Surely and beyond a doubt this is the Prophet Who is to come into the world!(A)
15 Then Jesus, knowing that they meant to come and seize Him that they might make Him king, withdrew again to the hillside by Himself alone.
16 When evening came, His disciples went down to the sea,
17 And they took a boat and were going across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and still Jesus had not [yet] come back to them.
18 Meanwhile, the sea was getting rough and rising high because of a great and violent wind that was blowing.
19 [However] when they had rowed three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and approaching the boat. And they were afraid (terrified).
20 But Jesus said to them, It is I; be not afraid! [I Am; stop being frightened!](B)
21 Then they were quite willing and glad for Him to come into the boat. And now the boat went at once to the land they had steered toward. [And immediately they reached the shore toward which they had been slowly making their way.]
22 The next day the crowd [that still remained] standing on the other side of the sea realized that there had been only one small boat there, and that Jesus had not gone into it with His disciples, but that His disciples had gone away by themselves.
23 But now some other boats from Tiberias had come in near the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks.
24 So the people, finding that neither Jesus nor His disciples were there, themselves got into the small boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
25 And when they found Him on the other side of the lake, they said to Him, Rabbi! When did You come here?
26 Jesus answered them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, you have been searching for Me, not because you saw the miracles and signs but because you were fed with the loaves and were filled and satisfied.
27 Stop toiling and doing and producing for the food that perishes and decomposes [in the using], but strive and work and produce rather for the [lasting] food which endures [continually] unto life eternal; the Son of Man will give (furnish) you that, for God the Father has authorized and certified Him and put His seal of endorsement upon Him.
28 They then said, What are we to do, that we may [habitually] be working the works of God? [What are we to do to carry out what God requires?]
29 Jesus replied, This is the work (service) that God asks of you: that you believe in the One Whom He has sent [that you cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in His Messenger].
30 Therefore they said to Him, What sign (miracle, wonderwork) will [c]You perform then, so that we may see it and believe and rely on and adhere to You? What [supernatural] work have You [to show what You can do]?
31 Our forefathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as the Scripture says, He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.(C)
32 Jesus then said to them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Moses did not give you the Bread from heaven [what Moses gave you was not the Bread from heaven], but it is My Father Who gives you the true heavenly Bread.
33 For the Bread of God is He Who comes down out of heaven and gives life to the world.
34 Then they said to Him, Lord, give us this bread always (all the time)!
35 Jesus replied, I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to Me will never be hungry, and he who believes in and cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me will never thirst any more (at any time).
36 But [as] I told you, although you have seen Me, still you do not believe and trust and have faith.
37 All whom My Father gives (entrusts) to Me will come to Me; and the one who comes to Me I will most certainly not cast out [I will never, no never, reject one of them who comes to Me].
38 For I have come down from heaven not to do My own will and purpose but to do the will and purpose of Him Who sent Me.
39 And this is the will of Him Who sent Me, that I should not lose any of all that He has given Me, but that I should give new life and raise [them all] up at the last day.
40 For this is My Father’s will and His purpose, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in and cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up [from the dead] at the last day.
41 Now the Jews murmured and found fault with and grumbled about Jesus because He said, I am [Myself] the Bread that came down from heaven.
42 They kept asking, Is not this Jesus, the [d]Son of Joseph, Whose father and mother we know? How then can He say, I have come down from heaven?
43 So Jesus answered them, Stop grumbling and saying things against Me to one another.
44 No one is able to come to Me unless the Father Who sent Me attracts and draws him and gives him the desire to come to Me, and [then] I will raise him up [from the dead] at the last day.
45 It is written in [the book of] the Prophets, And they shall all be taught of God [have Him in person for their Teacher]. Everyone who has listened to and learned from the Father comes to Me—(D)
46 Which does not imply that anyone has seen the Father [not that anyone has ever seen Him] except He [Who was with the Father] Who comes from God; He [alone] has seen the Father.
47 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, he who believes in Me [who adheres to, trusts in, relies on, and has faith in Me] has (now possesses) eternal life.
48 I am the Bread of Life [that gives life—the Living Bread].
49 Your forefathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and [yet] they died.
50 [But] this is the Bread that comes down from heaven, so that [any]one may eat of it and never die.
51 I [Myself] am this Living Bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this Bread, he will live forever; and also the Bread that I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh (body).
52 Then the Jews angrily contended with one another, saying, How is He able to give us His flesh to eat?
53 And Jesus said to them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, you cannot have any life in you unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood [unless you appropriate His life and the saving merit of His blood].
54 He who feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood has (possesses now) eternal life, and I will raise him up [from the dead] on the last day.
55 For My flesh is true and genuine food, and My blood is true and genuine drink.
56 He who feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood dwells continually in Me, and I [in like manner dwell continually] in him.
57 Just as the living Father sent Me and I live by (through, because of) the Father, even so whoever continues to feed on Me [whoever takes Me for his food and is nourished by Me] shall [in his turn] live through and because of Me.
58 This is the Bread that came down from heaven. It is not like the manna which our forefathers ate, and yet died; he who takes this Bread for his food shall live forever.
59 He said these things in a synagogue while He was teaching at Capernaum.
60 When His disciples heard this, many of them said, This is a hard and difficult and strange saying (an offensive and unbearable message). Who can stand to hear it? [Who can be expected to listen to such teaching?]
61 But Jesus, knowing within Himself that His disciples were complaining and protesting and grumbling about it, said to them: Is this a stumbling block and an offense to you? [Does this upset and displease and shock and scandalize you?]
62 What then [will be your reaction] if you should see the Son of Man ascending to [the place] where He was before?
63 It is the Spirit Who gives life [He is the Life-giver]; the flesh conveys no benefit whatever [there is no profit in it]. The words (truths) that I have been speaking to you are spirit and life.
64 But [still] some of you fail to believe and trust and have faith. For Jesus knew from the first who did not believe and had no faith and who would betray Him and be false to Him.
65 And He said, This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless it is granted him [unless he is enabled to do so] by the Father.
66 After this, many of His disciples drew back (returned to their old associations) and no longer accompanied Him.
67 Jesus said to the Twelve, Will you also go away? [And do you too desire to leave Me?]
68 Simon Peter answered, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words (the message) of eternal life.
69 And we have learned to believe and trust, and [more] we have come to know [surely] that You are the Holy One of God, the Christ (the Anointed One), the Son of the living God.
70 Jesus answered them, Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And [yet] one of you is a devil (of the evil one and a false accuser).
71 He was speaking of Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, for he was about to betray Him, [although] he was one of the Twelve.
- John 6:11 Some manuscripts add this phrase.
- John 6:13 G. Abbott-Smith, Manual Greek Lexicon. See also footnote on Matt. 14:20.
- John 6:30 Capitalized because of what He is, the spotless Son of God, not what the speaker may have thought He was.
- John 6:42 Capitalized because of what He is, the spotless Son of God, not what the speaker may have thought He was.
New International Version
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand(A)
6 Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), 2 and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs(B) he had performed by healing the sick. 3 Then Jesus went up on a mountainside(C) and sat down with his disciples. 4 The Jewish Passover Festival(D) was near.
5 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip,(E) “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
7 Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages[a] to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
10 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 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks,(H) and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
12 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 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
14 After the people saw the sign(I) Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.”(J) 15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king(K) by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.(L)
Jesus Walks on the Water(M)
16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, 17 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 A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles,[b] they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water;(N) and they were frightened. 20 But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.”(O) 21 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 that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake(P) 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.(Q) 23 Then some boats from Tiberias(R) landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks.(S) 24 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 on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi,(T) when did you get here?”
26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me,(U) not because you saw the signs(V) I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures(W) to eternal life,(X) which the Son of Man(Y) will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal(Z) of approval.”
28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
30 So they asked him, “What sign(AC) then will you give that we may see it and believe you?(AD) What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna(AE) in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’[c]”(AF)
32 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 from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven(AG) and gives life to the world.”
34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”(AH)
35 Then Jesus declared, “I am(AI) the bread of life.(AJ) Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes(AK) in me will never be thirsty.(AL) 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the Father gives me(AM) will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven(AN) not to do my will but to do the will(AO) of him who sent me.(AP) 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me,(AQ) but raise them up at the last day.(AR) 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son(AS) and believes in him shall have eternal life,(AT) and I will raise them up at the last day.”
41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph,(AU) whose father and mother we know?(AV) How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”(AW)
43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them,(AX) and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’[d](AY) Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God;(AZ) only he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.(BA) 48 I am the bread of life.(BB) 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died.(BC) 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven,(BD) which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread(BE) that came down from heaven.(BF) Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”(BG)
53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh(BJ) of the Son of Man(BK) and drink his blood,(BL) you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.(BM) 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.(BN) 57 Just as the living Father sent me(BO) and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”(BP) 59 He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
Many Disciples Desert Jesus
61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you?(BS) 62 Then what if you see the Son of Man(BT) ascend to where he was before!(BU) 63 The Spirit gives life;(BV) the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit[e] and life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known(BW) from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him.(BX) 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”(BY)
66 From this time many of his disciples(BZ) turned back and no longer followed him.
67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.(CA)
70 Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you,(CE) the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!”(CF) 71 (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot,(CG) who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.)(CH)