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John 6 Good News Translation (GNT)

Jesus Feeds Five Thousand

After this, Jesus went across Lake Galilee (or, Lake Tiberias, as it is also called). A large crowd followed him, because they had seen his miracles of healing the sick. Jesus went up a hill and sat down with his disciples. The time for the Passover Festival was near. Jesus looked around and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, so he asked Philip, “Where can we buy enough food to feed all these people?” (He said this to test Philip; actually he already knew what he would do.)

Philip answered, “For everyone to have even a little, it would take more than two hundred silver coins[a] to buy enough bread.”

Another one of his disciples, Andrew, who was Simon Peter's brother, said, “There is a boy here who has five loaves of barley bread and two fish. But they will certainly not be enough for all these people.”

10 “Make the people sit down,” Jesus told them. (There was a lot of grass there.) So all the people sat down; there were about five thousand men. 11 Jesus took the bread, gave thanks to God, and distributed it to the people who were sitting there. He did the same with the fish, and they all had as much as they wanted. 12 When they were all full, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces left over; let us not waste a bit.” 13 So they gathered them all and filled twelve baskets with the pieces left over from the five barley loaves which the people had eaten.

14 Seeing this miracle that Jesus had performed, the people there said, “Surely this is the Prophet[b] who was to come into the world!” 15 Jesus knew that they were about to come and seize him in order to make him king by force; so he went off again to the hills by himself.

Jesus Walks on the Water

16 When evening came, Jesus' disciples went down to the lake, 17 got into a boat, and went back across the lake toward Capernaum. Night came on, and Jesus still had not come to them. 18 By then a strong wind was blowing and stirring up the water. 19 The disciples had rowed about three or four miles when they saw Jesus walking on the water, coming near the boat, and they were terrified. 20 “Don't be afraid,” Jesus told them, “it is I!” 21 Then they willingly took him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached land at the place they were heading for.

The People Seek Jesus

22 Next day the crowd which had stayed on the other side of the lake realized that there had been only one boat there. They knew that Jesus had not gone in it with his disciples, but that they had left without him. 23 Other boats, which were from Tiberias, came to shore near the place where the crowd had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 When the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they got into those boats and went to Capernaum, looking for him.

Jesus the Bread of Life

25 When the people found Jesus on the other side of the lake, they said to him, “Teacher, when did you get here?”

26 Jesus answered, “I am telling you the truth: you are looking for me because you ate the bread and had all you wanted, not because you understood my miracles. 27 Do not work for food that spoils; instead, work for the food that lasts for eternal life. This is the food which the Son of Man will give you, because God, the Father, has put his mark of approval on him.”

28 So they asked him, “What can we do in order to do what God wants us to do?”

29 Jesus answered, “What God wants you to do is to believe in the one he sent.”

30 They replied, “What miracle will you perform so that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, just as the scripture says, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

32 “I am telling you the truth,” Jesus said. “What Moses gave you was not[c] the bread from heaven; it is my Father who gives you the real bread from heaven. 33 For the bread that God gives is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

34 “Sir,” they asked him, “give us this bread always.”

35 “I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “Those who come to me will never be hungry; those who believe in me will never be thirsty. 36 Now, I told you that you have seen me but will not believe. 37 Everyone whom my Father gives me will come to me. I will never turn away anyone who comes to me, 38 because I have come down from heaven to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And it is the will of him who sent me that I should not lose any of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them all to life on the last day. 40 For what my Father wants is that all who see the Son and believe in him should have eternal life. And I will raise them to life on the last day.”

41 The people started grumbling about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 So they said, “This man is Jesus son of Joseph, isn't he? We know his father and mother. How, then, does he now say he came down from heaven?”

43 Jesus answered, “Stop grumbling among yourselves. 44 People cannot come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me; and I will raise them to life on the last day. 45 The prophets wrote, ‘Everyone will be taught by God.’ Anyone who hears the Father and learns from him comes to me. 46 This does not mean that anyone has seen the Father; he who is from God is the only one who has seen the Father. 47 I am telling you the truth: he who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate manna in the desert, but they died. 50 But the bread that comes down from heaven is of such a kind that whoever eats it will not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If you eat this bread, you will live forever. The bread that I will give you is my flesh, which I give so that the world may live.”

52 This started an angry argument among them. “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” they asked.

53 Jesus said to them, “I am telling you the truth: if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will not have life in yourselves. 54 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them to life on the last day. 55 For my flesh is the real food; my blood is the real drink. 56 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood live in me, and I live in them. 57 The living Father sent me, and because of him I live also. In the same way whoever eats me will live because of me. 58 This, then, is the bread that came down from heaven; it is not like the bread that your ancestors ate, but then later died. Those who eat this bread will live forever.”

59 Jesus said this as he taught in the synagogue in Capernaum.

The Words of Eternal Life

60 Many of his followers heard this and said, “This teaching is too hard. Who can listen to it?”

61 Without being told, Jesus knew that they were grumbling about this, so he said to them, “Does this make you want to give up? 62 Suppose, then, that you should see the Son of Man go back up to the place where he was before? 63 What gives life is God's Spirit; human power is of no use at all. The words I have spoken to you bring God's life-giving Spirit. 64 Yet some of you do not believe.” (Jesus knew from the very beginning who were the ones that would not believe and which one would betray him.) 65 And he added, “This is the very reason I told you that no people can come to me unless the Father makes it possible for them to do so.”

66 Because of this, many of Jesus' followers turned back and would not go with him any more. 67 So he asked the twelve disciples, “And you—would you also like to leave?”

68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. 69 And now we believe and know that you are the Holy One who has come from God.”

70 Jesus replied, “I chose the twelve of you, didn't I? Yet one of you is a devil!” 71 He was talking about Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. For Judas, even though he was one of the twelve disciples, was going to betray him.

Footnotes:

  1. John 6:7 A silver coin was the daily wage of a rural worker (see Mt 20.2).
  2. John 6:14 See 1.21.
  3. John 6:32 What Moses gave you was not; or It was not Moses who gave you.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

John 6 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 6

Multiplication of the Loaves.[a] After this, Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee [of Tiberias].[b] A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. [c]When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” [d]He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages[e] worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little [bit].” One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves[f] and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass[g] in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. 12 When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” 13 So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets[h] with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. 14 When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet,[i] the one who is to come into the world.” 15 Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

Walking on the Water.[j] 16 When it was evening, his disciples went down to the sea, 17 embarked in a boat, and went across the sea to Capernaum. It had already grown dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18 The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea[k] and coming near the boat, and they began to be afraid. 20 But he said to them, “It is I.[l] Do not be afraid.” 21 They wanted to take him into the boat, but the boat immediately arrived at the shore to which they were heading.

The Bread of Life Discourse. 22 [m]The next day, the crowd that remained across the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not gone along with his disciples in the boat, but only his disciples had left. 23 [n]Other boats came from Tiberias near the place where they had eaten the bread when the Lord gave thanks. 24 When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus. 25 And when they found him across the sea they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” 26 Jesus answered them and said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. 27 Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life,[o] which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.” 28 So they said to him, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.” 30 So they said to him, “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do? 31 [p]Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written:

‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

32 So Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

34 So they said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” 35 [q]Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst. 36 But I told you that although you have seen [me], you do not believe. 37 Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, 38 because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me. 39 And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it [on] the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him [on] the last day.”

41 The Jews murmured about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven,” 42 and they said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph? Do we not know his father and mother? Then how can he say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered and said to them, “Stop murmuring[r] among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets:

‘They shall all be taught by God.’

Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; 50 this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

52 The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us [his] flesh to eat?” 53 Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. 54 Whoever eats[s] my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.” 59 These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

The Words of Eternal Life.[t] 60 Then many of his disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?” 61 Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you? 62 What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?[u] 63 It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh[v] is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. 65 And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”

66 As a result of this, many [of] his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. 67 Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.” 70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you twelve? Yet is not one of you a devil?” 71 He was referring to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot; it was he who would betray him, one of the Twelve.

Footnotes:

  1. 6:1–15 This story of the multiplication of the loaves is the fourth sign (cf. note on Jn 5:1–47). It is the only miracle story found in all four gospels (occurring twice in Mark and Matthew). See notes on Mt 14:13–21; 15:32–39. John differs on the roles of Philip and Andrew, the proximity of Passover (Jn 6:4), and the allusion to Elisha (see Jn 6:9). The story here symbolizes the food that is really available through Jesus. It connotes a new exodus and has eucharistic overtones.
  2. 6:1 [Of Tiberias]: the awkward apposition represents a later name of the Sea of Galilee. It was probably originally a marginal gloss.
  3. 6:5 Jesus takes the initiative (in the synoptics, the disciples do), possibly pictured as (cf. Jn 6:14) the new Moses (cf. Nm 11:13).
  4. 6:6 Probably the evangelist’s comment; in this gospel Jesus is never portrayed as ignorant of anything.
  5. 6:7 Days’ wages: literally, “denarii”; a Roman denarius is a day’s wage in Mt 20:2.
  6. 6:9 Barley loaves: the food of the poor. There seems an allusion to the story of Elisha multiplying the barley bread in 2 Kgs 4:42–44.
  7. 6:10 Grass: implies springtime, and therefore Passover. Five thousand: so Mk 6:39, 44 and parallels.
  8. 6:13 Baskets: the word describes the typically Palestinian wicker basket, as in Mk 6:43 and parallels.
  9. 6:14 The Prophet: probably the prophet like Moses (see note on Jn 1:21). The one who is to come into the world: probably Elijah; cf. Mal 3:1, 23.
  10. 6:16–21 The fifth sign is a nature miracle, portraying Jesus sharing Yahweh’s power. Cf. the parallel stories following the multiplication of the loaves in Mk 6:45–52 and Mt 14:22–33.
  11. 6:19 Walking on the sea: although the Greek (cf. Jn 6:16) could mean “on the seashore” or “by the sea” (cf. Jn 21:1), the parallels, especially Mt 14:25, make clear that Jesus walked upon the water. John may allude to Jb 9:8: God “treads upon the crests of the sea.”
  12. 6:20 It is I: literally, “I am.” See also notes on Jn 4:26 and Mk 6:50.
  13. 6:22–71 Discourse on the bread of life; replacement of the manna. Jn 6:22–34 serve as an introduction, Jn 6:35–59 constitute the discourse proper, Jn 6:60–71 portray the reaction of the disciples and Peter’s confession.
  14. 6:23 Possibly a later interpolation, to explain how the crowd got to Capernaum.
  15. 6:27 The food that endures for eternal life: cf. Jn 4:14, on water “springing up to eternal life.”
  16. 6:31 Bread from heaven: cf. Ex 16:4, 15, 32–34 and the notes there; Ps 78:24. The manna, thought to have been hidden by Jeremiah (2 Mc 2:5–8), was expected to reappear miraculously at Passover, in the last days.
  17. 6:35–59 Up to Jn 6:50 “bread of life” is a figure for God’s revelation in Jesus; in Jn 6:51–58, the eucharistic theme comes to the fore. There may thus be a break between Jn 6:50–51.
  18. 6:43 Murmuring: the word may reflect the Greek of Ex 16:2, 7–8.
  19. 6:54–58 Eats: the verb used in these verses is not the classical Greek verb used of human eating, but that of animal eating: “munch,” “gnaw.” This may be part of John’s emphasis on the reality of the flesh and blood of Jesus (cf. Jn 6:55), but the same verb eventually became the ordinary verb in Greek meaning “eat.”
  20. 6:60–71 These verses refer more to themes of Jn 6:35–50 than to those of Jn 6:51–58 and seem to be addressed to members of the Johannine community who found it difficult to accept the high christology reflected in the bread of life discourse.
  21. 6:62 This unfinished conditional sentence is obscure. Probably there is a reference to Jn 6:49–51. Jesus claims to be the bread that comes down from heaven (Jn 6:50); this claim provokes incredulity (Jn 6:60); and so Jesus is pictured as asking what his disciples will say when he goes up to heaven.
  22. 6:63 Spirit…flesh: probably not a reference to the eucharistic body of Jesus but to the supernatural and the natural, as in Jn 3:6. Spirit and life: all Jesus said about the bread of life is the revelation of the Spirit.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

John 6 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Some time later, Yeshua went over to the far side of Lake Kinneret (that is, Lake Tiberias), and a large crowd followed him, because they had seen the miracles he had performed on the sick. Yeshua went up into the hills and sat down there with his talmidim. Now the Judean festival of Pesach was coming up; so when Yeshua looked up and saw that a large crowd was approaching, he said to Philip, “Where will we be able to buy bread, so that these people can eat?” (Now Yeshua said this to test Philip, for Yeshua himself knew what he was about to do.) Philip answered, “Half a year’s wages wouldn’t buy enough bread for them — each one would get only a bite!” One of the talmidim, Andrew the brother of Shim‘on Kefa, said to him, “There’s a young fellow here who has five loaves of barley bread and two fish. But how far will they go among so many?”

10 Yeshua said, “Have the people sit down.” There was a lot of grass there, so they sat down. The number of men was about five thousand. 11 Then Yeshua took the loaves of bread, and, after making a b’rakhah, gave to all who were sitting there, and likewise with the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 After they had eaten their fill, he told his talmidim, “Gather the leftover pieces, so that nothing gets wasted.” 13 They gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten.

14 When the people saw the miracle he had performed, they said, “This has to be ‘the prophet’ who is supposed to come into the world.” 15 Yeshua knew that they were on the point of coming and seizing him, in order to make him king; so he went back to the hills again. This time he went by himself.

16 When evening came, his talmidim went down to the lake, 17 got into a boat and set out across the lake toward K’far-Nachum. By now it was dark, Yeshua had not yet joined them, 18 and the sea was getting rough, because a strong wind was blowing. 19 They had rowed three or four miles when they saw Yeshua approaching the boat, walking on the lake! They were terrified; 20 but he said to them, “Stop being afraid, it is I.” 21 Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and instantly the boat reached the land they were heading for.

22 The next day, the crowd which had stayed on the other side of the lake noticed that there had been only one boat there, and that Yeshua had not entered the boat with his talmidim, but that the talmidim had been alone when they sailed off. 23 Then other boats, from Tiberias, came ashore near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had made the b’rakhah. 24 Accordingly, when the crowd saw that neither Yeshua nor his talmidim were there, they themselves boarded the boats and made for K’far-Nachum in search of Yeshua.

25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” 26 Yeshua answered, “Yes, indeed! I tell you, you’re not looking for me because you saw miraculous signs, but because you ate the bread and had all you wanted! 27 Don’t work for the food which passes away but for the food that stays on into eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For this is the one on whom God the Father has put his seal.”

28 So they said to him, “What should we do in order to perform the works of God?” 29 Yeshua answered, “Here’s what the work of God is: to trust in the one he sent!”

30 They said to him, “Nu, what miracle will you do for us, so that we may see it and trust you? What work can you perform? 31 Our fathers ate man in the desert — as it says in the Tanakh, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’[a] 32 Yeshua said to them, “Yes, indeed! I tell you it wasn’t Moshe who gave you the bread from heaven. But my Father is giving you the genuine bread from heaven; 33 for God’s bread is the one who comes down out of heaven and gives life to the world.”

34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread from now on.” 35 Yeshua answered, “I am the bread which is life! Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever trusts in me will never be thirsty. 36 I told you that you have seen but still don’t trust. 37 Everyone the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will certainly not turn away. 38 For I have come down from heaven to do not my own will but the will of the One who sent me. 39 And this is the will of the One who sent me: that I should not lose any of all those he has given me but should raise them up on the Last Day. 40 Yes, this is the will of my Father: that all who see the Son and trust in him should have eternal life, and that I should raise them up on the Last Day.”

41 At this the Judeans began grumbling about him because he said, “I am the bread which has come down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Isn’t this Yeshua Ben-Yosef? We know his father and mother! How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Yeshua answered them, “Stop grumbling to each other! 44 No one can come to me unless the Father — the One who sent me — draws him. And I will raise him up on the Last Day. 45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘They will all be taught by Adonai.’[b] Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God — he has seen the Father. 47 Yes, indeed! I tell you, whoever trusts has eternal life: 48 I am the bread which is life. 49 Your fathers ate the man in the desert; they died. 50 But the bread that comes down from heaven is such that a person may eat it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that has come down from heaven; if anyone eats this bread, he will live forever. Furthermore, the bread that I will give is my own flesh; and I will give it for the life of the world.”

52 At this, the Judeans disputed with one another, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 Then Yeshua said to them, “Yes, indeed! I tell you that unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life in yourselves. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life — that is, I will raise him up on the Last Day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me, and I live in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me, and I live through the Father, so also whoever eats me will live through me. 58 So this is the bread that has come down from heaven — it is not like the bread the fathers ate; they’re dead, but whoever eats this bread will live forever!” 59 He said these things as he was teaching in a synagogue in K’far-Nachum.

60 On hearing it, many of his talmidim said, “This is a hard word — who can bear to listen to it?” 61 But Yeshua, aware that his talmidim were grumbling about this, said to them, “This is a trap for you? 62 Suppose you were to see the Son of Man going back up to where he was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh is no help. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life, 64 yet some among you do not trust.” (For Yeshua knew from the outset which ones would not trust him, also which one would betray him.) 65 “This,” he said, “is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has made it possible for him.”

66 From this time on, many of his talmidim turned back and no longer traveled around with him. 67 So Yeshua said to the Twelve, “Don’t you want to leave too?” 68 Shim‘on Kefa answered him, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the word of eternal life. 69 We have trusted, and we know that you are the Holy One of God.” 70 Yeshua answered them, “Didn’t I choose you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is an adversary.” 71 (He was speaking of Y’hudah Ben-Shim‘on, from K’riot; for this man — one of the Twelve! — was soon to betray him.)

Footnotes:

  1. John 6:31 Psalm 78:24; Nehemiah 9:15
  2. John 6:45 Isaiah 54:13
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

John 6 The Message (MSG)

Bread and Fish for All

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.

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, “Throw your lot in 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 whim 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 throw 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 a lot 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.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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