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John 6Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Jesus Feeds More Than 5000

Later, Jesus went across Lake Galilee (also known as Lake Tiberias). A great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he did in healing the sick. Jesus went up on the side of the hill and sat there with his followers. It was almost the time for the Jewish Passover festival.

Jesus looked up and saw a crowd of people coming toward him. He said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough bread for all these people to eat?” He asked Philip this question to test him. Jesus already knew what he planned to do.

Philip answered, “We would all have to work a month to buy enough bread for each person here to have only a little piece!”

Another follower there was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. Andrew said, “Here is a boy with five loaves of barley bread and two little fish. But that is not enough for so many people.”

10 Jesus said, “Tell everyone to sit down.” This was a place with a lot of grass, and about 5000 men sat down there. 11 Jesus took the loaves of bread and gave thanks for them. Then he gave them to the people who were waiting to eat. He did the same with the fish. He gave them as much as they wanted.

12 They all had plenty to eat. When they finished, Jesus said to his followers, “Gather the pieces of fish and bread that were not eaten. Don’t waste anything.” 13 So they gathered up the pieces that were left. The people had started eating with only five loaves of barley bread. But the followers filled twelve large baskets with the pieces of food that were left.

14 The people saw this miraculous sign that Jesus did and said, “He must be the Prophet[a] who is coming into the world.”

15 Jesus knew that the people planned to come get him and make him their king. So he left and went into the hills alone.

Jesus Walks on Water

16 That evening Jesus’ followers went down to the lake. 17 It was dark now, and Jesus had not yet come back to them. They got into a boat and started going across the lake to Capernaum. 18 The wind was blowing very hard. The waves on the lake were becoming bigger. 19 They rowed the boat about three or four miles.[b] Then they saw Jesus. He was walking on the water, coming to the boat. They were afraid. 20 But he said to them, “Don’t be afraid. It’s me.” 21 When he said this, they were glad to take him into the boat. And then the boat reached the shore at the place they wanted to go.

The People Look for Jesus

22 The next day came. Some people had stayed on the other side of the lake. They knew that Jesus did not go with his followers in the boat. They knew that the followers had left in the boat alone. And they knew it was the only boat that was there. 23 But then some boats from Tiberias came and landed near the place where the people had eaten the day before. This was where they had eaten the bread after the Lord gave thanks. 24 The people saw that Jesus and his followers were not there now. So they got into the boats and went to Capernaum to find Jesus.

Jesus, the Bread of Life

25 The people found Jesus on the other side of the lake. They asked him, “Teacher, when did you come here?”

26 He answered, “Why are you looking for me? Is it because you saw miraculous signs? The truth is, you are looking for me because you ate the bread and were satisfied. 27 But earthly food spoils and ruins. So don’t work to get that kind of food. But work to get the food that stays good and gives you eternal life. The Son of Man will give you that food. He is the only one qualified by God the Father to give it to you.”

28 The people asked Jesus, “What does God want us to do?”

29 Jesus answered, “The work God wants you to do is this: to believe in the one he sent.”

30 So the people asked, “What miraculous sign will you do for us? If we can see you do a miracle, then we will believe you. What will you do? 31 Our ancestors were given manna to eat in the desert. As the Scriptures say, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’[c]

32 Jesus said, “I can assure you that Moses was not the one who gave your people bread from heaven. But my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 God’s bread is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

34 The people said, “Sir, from now on give us bread like that.”

35 Then Jesus said, “I am the bread that gives life. No one who comes to me will ever be hungry. No one who believes in me will ever be thirsty. 36 I told you before that you have seen me, and still you don’t believe. 37 The Father gives me my people. Every one of them will come to me. I will always accept them. 38 I came down from heaven to do what God wants, not what I want. 39 I must not lose anyone God has given me. But I must raise them up on the last day. This is what the one who sent me wants me to do. 40 Everyone who sees the Son and believes in him has eternal life. I will raise them up on the last day. This is what my Father wants.”

41 Some Jews began to complain about Jesus because he said, “I am the bread that comes down from heaven.” 42 They said, “This is Jesus. We know his father and mother. He is only Joseph’s son. How can he say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”

43 But Jesus said, “Stop complaining to each other. 44 The Father is the one who sent me, and he is the one who brings people to me. I will raise them up on the last day. Anyone the Father does not bring to me cannot come to me. 45 It is written in the prophets: ‘God will teach them all.’[d] People listen to the Father and learn from him. They are the ones who come to me. 46 I don’t mean that there is anyone who has seen the Father. The only one who has ever seen the Father is the one who came from God. He has seen the Father.

47 “I can assure you that anyone who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread that gives life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna God gave them in the desert, but it didn’t keep them from dying. 50 Here is the bread that comes down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will never die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my body. I will give my body so that the people in the world can have life.”

52 Then the Jews began to argue among themselves. They said, “How can this man give us his body to eat?”

53 Jesus said, “Believe me when I say that you must eat the body of the Son of Man, and you must drink his blood. If you don’t do this, you have no real life. 54 Those who eat my body and drink my blood have eternal life. I will raise them up on the last day. 55 My body is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Those who eat my body and drink my blood live in me, and I live in them.

57 “The Father sent me. He lives, and I live because of him. So everyone who eats me will live because of me. 58 I am not like the bread that your ancestors ate. They ate that bread, but they still died. I am the bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

59 Jesus said all this while he was teaching in the synagogue in the city of Capernaum.

Many Followers Leave Jesus

60 When Jesus’ followers heard this, many of them said, “This teaching is hard. Who can accept it?”

61 Jesus already knew that his followers were complaining about this. So he said, “Is this teaching a problem for you? 62 Then what will you think when you see the Son of Man going up to where he came from? 63 It is the Spirit that gives life. The body is of no value for that. But the things I have told you are from the Spirit, so they give life. 64 But some of you don’t believe.” (Jesus knew the people who did not believe. He knew this from the beginning. And he knew the one who would hand him over to his enemies.) 65 Jesus said, “That is why I said, ‘Anyone the Father does not help to come to me cannot come.’”

66 After Jesus said these things, many of his followers left and stopped following him.

67 Jesus asked the twelve apostles, “Do you want to leave too?”

68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, where would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. 69 We believe in you. We know that you are the Holy One from God.”

70 Then Jesus answered, “I chose all twelve of you. But one of you is a devil.” 71 He was talking about Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Judas was one of the twelve apostles, but later he would hand Jesus over to his enemies.


  1. John 6:14 Prophet They probably meant the prophet that God told Moses he would send. See Deut. 18:15-19.
  2. John 6:19 three or four miles Literally, “25 or 30 stadia,” about 5 or 6 km.
  3. John 6:31 Quote from Ps. 78:24.
  4. John 6:45 Quote from Isa. 54:13.
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International


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