Contemporary English Version
Feeding Five Thousand
6 Jesus crossed Lake Galilee, which was also known as Lake Tiberias. 2 A large crowd had seen him work miracles to heal the sick, and those people went with him. 3-4 It was almost time for the Jewish festival of Passover, and Jesus went up on a mountain with his disciples and sat down.[a]
5 When Jesus saw the large crowd coming toward him, he asked Philip, “Where will we get enough food to feed all these people?” 6 He said this to test Philip, since he already knew what he was going to do.
7 Philip answered, “Don’t you know that it would take almost a year’s wages[b] just to buy only a little bread for each of these people?”
8 Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the disciples. He spoke up and said, 9 “There is a boy here who has five small loaves[c] of barley bread and two fish. But what good is that with all these people?”
10 The ground was covered with grass, and Jesus told his disciples to have everyone sit down. About five thousand men were in the crowd. 11 Jesus took the bread in his hands and gave thanks to God. Then he passed the bread to the people, and he did the same with the fish, until everyone had plenty to eat.
12 The people ate all they wanted, and Jesus told his disciples to gather up the leftovers, so that nothing would be wasted. 13 The disciples gathered them up and filled twelve large baskets with what was left over from the five barley loaves.
14 After the people had seen Jesus work this miracle,[d] they began saying, “This must be the Prophet[e] who is to come into the world!” 15 Jesus realized that they would try to force him to be their king. So he went up on a mountain, where he could be alone.
Jesus Walks on the Water
16 That evening, Jesus' disciples went down to the lake. 17 They got into a boat and started across for Capernaum. Later that evening Jesus had still not come to them, 18 and a strong wind was making the water rough.
19 When the disciples had rowed for three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the water. He kept coming closer to the boat, and they were terrified. 20 But he said, “I am Jesus![f] Don’t be afraid!” 21 The disciples wanted to take him into the boat, but suddenly the boat reached the shore where they were headed.
The Bread That Gives Life
22 The people who had stayed on the east side of the lake knew that only one boat had been there. They also knew that Jesus had not left in it with his disciples. But the next day 23 some boats from Tiberias sailed near the place where the crowd had eaten the bread for which the Lord had given thanks. 24 They saw that Jesus and his disciples had left. Then they got into the boats and went to Capernaum to look for Jesus. 25 They found him on the west side of the lake and asked, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
26 Jesus answered, “I tell you for certain that you are not looking for me because you saw the miracles,[g] but because you ate all the food you wanted. 27 Don’t work for food that spoils. Work for food that gives eternal life. The Son of Man will give you this food, because God the Father has given him the right to do so.”
28 “What exactly does God want us to do?” the people asked.
29 Jesus answered, “God wants you to have faith in the one he sent.”
30 They replied, “What miracle will you work, so that we can have faith in you? What will you do? 31 For example, when our ancestors were in the desert, they were given manna[h] to eat. It happened just as the Scriptures say, ‘God gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
32 Jesus then told them, “I tell you for certain that Moses wasn’t the one who gave you bread from heaven. My Father is the one who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 And the bread that God gives is the one who came down from heaven to give life to the world.”
34 The people said, “Lord, give us this bread and don’t ever stop!”
35 Jesus replied:
I am the bread that gives life! No one who comes to me will ever be hungry. No one who has faith in me will ever be thirsty. 36 I have told you already that you have seen me and still do not have faith in me. 37 Everything and everyone that the Father has given me will come to me, and I won’t turn any of them away.
38 I didn’t come from heaven to do what I want! I came to do what the Father wants me to do. He sent me, 39 and he wants to make certain that none of the ones he has given me will be lost. Instead, he wants me to raise them to life on the last day.[i] 40 My Father wants everyone who sees the Son to have faith in him and to have eternal life. Then I will raise them to life on the last day.
41 The people started grumbling because Jesus had said he was the bread that had come down from heaven. 42 They were asking each other, “Isn’t he Jesus, the son of Joseph? Don’t we know his father and mother? How can he say that he has come down from heaven?”
43 Jesus told them:
Stop grumbling! 44 No one can come to me, unless the Father who sent me makes them want to come. But if they do come, I will raise them to life on the last day. 45 One of the prophets wrote, “God will teach all of them.” And so everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him will come to me.
46 The only one who has seen the Father is the one who has come from him. No one else has ever seen the Father. 47 I tell you for certain that everyone who has faith in me has eternal life.
48 I am the bread that gives life! 49 Your ancestors ate manna[j] in the desert, and later they died. 50 But the bread from heaven has come down, so that no one who eats it will ever die. 51 I am that bread from heaven! Everyone who eats it will live forever. My flesh is the life-giving bread that I give to the people of this world.
52 They started arguing with each other and asked, “How can he give us his flesh to eat?”
53 Jesus answered:
I tell you for certain that you won’t live unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man. 54 But if you do eat my flesh and drink my blood, you will have eternal life, and I will raise you to life on the last day. 55 My flesh is the true food, and my blood is the true drink. 56 If you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you are one with me, and I am one with you.
57 The living Father sent me, and I have life because of him. Now everyone who eats my flesh will live because of me. 58 The bread that comes down from heaven isn’t like what your ancestors ate. They died, but whoever eats this bread will live forever.
59 Jesus was teaching in a Jewish place of worship in Capernaum when he said these things.
The Words of Eternal Life
60 Many of Jesus' disciples heard him and said, “This is too hard for anyone to understand.”
61 Jesus knew that his disciples were grumbling. So he asked, “Does this bother you? 62 What if you should see the Son of Man go up to heaven where he came from? 63 The Spirit is the one who gives life! Human strength can do nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are from that life-giving Spirit. 64 But some of you refuse to have faith in me.” Jesus said this, because from the beginning he knew who would have faith in him. He also knew which one would betray him.
65 Then Jesus said, “You cannot come to me, unless the Father makes you want to come. That is why I have told these things to all of you.”
66 Because of what Jesus said, many of his disciples turned their backs on him and stopped following him. 67 Jesus then asked his twelve disciples if they were going to leave him. 68 Simon Peter answered, “Lord, there is no one else that we can go to! Your words give eternal life. 69 We have faith in you, and we are sure that you are God’s Holy One.”
70 Jesus told his disciples, “I chose all twelve of you, but one of you is a demon!” 71 Jesus was talking about Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.[k] He would later betray Jesus, even though he was one of the twelve disciples.
- 6.3,4 sat down: Possibly to teach. Teachers in the ancient world, including Jewish teachers, usually sat down to teach.
- 6.7 almost a year’s wages: The Greek text has “two hundred silver coins.” Each coin was worth the average day’s wages for a worker.
- 6.9 small loaves: These would have been flat and round or in the shape of a bun.
- 6.14 miracle: See the note at 2.11.
- 6.14 the Prophet: See the note at 1.21.
- 6.20 I am Jesus: The Greek text has “I am” (see the note at 8.24).
- 6.26 miracles: The Greek text has “signs” here and “sign” in verse 30 (see the note at 2.11).
- 6.31 manna: When the people of Israel were wandering through the desert, the Lord gave them a special kind of food to eat. It tasted like a wafer and was called “manna,” which in Hebrew means, “What is this?”
- 6.39 the last day: When God will judge all people.
- 6.49 manna: See the note at 6.31.
- 6.71 Iscariot: This may mean “a man from Kerioth” (a place in Judea). But more probably it means “a man who was a liar” or “a man who was a betrayer.”