John 6 New Testament for Everyone (NTE)
Feeding the Five Thousand
6 After this Jesus went away to beside the sea of Galilee, that is, the sea of Tiberias. 2 A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was doing in healing the sick. 3 Jesus went up into the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. 4 It was nearly time for the Passover, a Jewish festival.
5 Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming to him.
‘Where are we going to buy bread,’ he said to Philip, ‘so that they can have something to eat?’ 6 (He said this to test him. He himself knew what he intended to do.)
7 ‘Even with six months’ pay’, replied Philip, ‘you wouldn’t be able to buy enough bread for each of them to have just a little!’
8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, joined in.
9 ‘There’s a lad here’, he said, ‘who’s got five barley loaves and two fish. But what use are they with this many people?’
10 ‘Make the men sit down,’ said Jesus.
There was a lot of grass where they were, so the men sat down, about five thousand in all. 11 So Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks and gave them to the people sitting down, and then did the same with the fish, as much as they wanted.
12 When they were satisfied, he called the disciples.
‘Collect up the bits and pieces left over,’ he said, ‘so that we don’t lose anything.’
13 So they collected it up, and filled twelve baskets with broken pieces of the five barley loaves left behind by the people who had eaten.
14 When the people saw the sign that Jesus had done, they said, ‘This really is the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.’ 15 So when Jesus realized that they were intending to come and seize him to make him king, he withdrew again, by himself, up the mountain.
Jesus Walking on the Water
16 When it was evening, Jesus’ disciples went down to the seashore. 17 They got into a boat, and went across the sea towards Capernaum. It was already getting dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18 A strong wind blew up, and the sea began to get rough. 19 They had been rowing for about three or four miles when they saw Jesus walking on the sea, coming towards the boat. They were terrified.
20 But he spoke to them.
‘It’s me!’ he said. ‘Don’t be afraid!’
21 Then they were eager to take him into the boat; and at once the boat arrived at the land they had been making for.
22 The next day the crowd that had remained on the far side of the lake saw that there had only been the one boat there. They knew that Jesus hadn’t gone with his disciples, but that the disciples had set off by themselves. 23 But other boats came from Tiberias, near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
25 When they found him beside the sea, they said to him, ‘Rabbi, when did you come here?’
Bread from Heaven
26 This was Jesus’ reply.
‘I’m telling you the solemn truth,’ he said. ‘You aren’t looking for me because you saw signs, but because you ate as much bread as you could. 27 You shouldn’t be working for perishable food, but for food that will last to the life of God’s coming age – the food which the son of man will give you, the person whom God the father has stamped with the seal of his approval.’
28 ‘What should we be doing,’ they asked him, ‘so that we can be doing the work God wants?’
29 ‘This is the work God wants of you,’ replied Jesus, ‘that you believe in the one he sent.’
30 ‘Well, then,’ they said to him, ‘what sign are you going to do, so that we can see it and believe you? What work are you doing? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; it says in the Bible that “he gave them bread from heaven to eat”.’
32 ‘I’m telling you the solemn truth,’ Jesus replied. ‘It wasn’t Moses who gave you the bread from heaven. It was my father who gave you the true bread from heaven. 33 God’s bread, you see, is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’
34 ‘Master,’ they said, ‘give us this bread – give it to us always!’
35 ‘I am the bread of life,’ replied Jesus. ‘Anyone who comes to me will never be hungry! Anyone who believes in me will never be thirsty!’
The Father’s Will
36 ‘But I told you’, Jesus continued, ‘that you have indeed seen me – and still you don’t believe! 37 All that the father gives me will come to me; and I won’t 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 lose nothing out of everything that he has given me, but that I should raise it up on the last day. 40 This is the will of my father, you see: that all who see the son and believe in him should have the life of God’s coming age; and I will raise them up on the last day.’
41 The Judaeans then grumbled about him because he had said, ‘I am the bread which came down from heaven.’
42 ‘Isn’t this Jesus, Joseph’s son?’ they said. ‘We know his father and mother, don’t we? So how can he say “I came down from heaven”?’
43 ‘Don’t grumble among yourselves,’ answered Jesus. 44 ‘No one can come to me unless the father who sent me draws them – and I will raise them up on the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, “They shall all be taught by God.” Everyone who listens to what comes from the father, and learns from it comes to me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the father except the one who is from God; he has seen the father.’
Eating and Drinking the Son of Man
47 ‘I’m telling you the solemn truth,’ Jesus went on. ‘Anyone who believes in me has the life of God’s coming age. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors in the wilderness ate the manna, and they died. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, so that people can eat it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats from this bread, they will live for ever. And the bread which I shall give is my flesh, given for the life of the world.’
52 This caused a squabble among the Judaeans.
‘How can this fellow give us his flesh to eat?’ they asked.
53 ‘I’m telling you the solemn truth,’ Jesus replied. ‘If you don’t eat the flesh of the son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in yourselves. 54 Anyone who feasts upon my flesh and drinks my blood has the life of God’s coming age, and I will raise them up on the last day. 55 My flesh is true food, you see, and my blood is true drink. 56 Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I remain in them. 57 Just as the living father sent me, and I live because of the father, so the one who eats me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven; it isn’t like the bread which the ancestors ate, and died. The one who eats this bread will share the life of God’s new age.’
59 He said this in the synagogue, while he was teaching in Capernaum.
Division among Jesus’ Followers
60 When they heard this, many of Jesus’ disciples said, ‘This is difficult stuff! Who can bear to listen to it?’
61 Jesus knew in himself that his disciples were grumbling about what he’d said.
‘Does this put you off?’ he said. 62 ‘What if you were to see the son of man ascending to where he was before? 63 It’s the spirit that gives life; the flesh is no help. The words that I have spoken to you – they are spirit, they are life. 64 But there are some of you who don’t believe.’
Jesus knew from the beginning, you see, those who didn’t believe, and the one who was going to betray him.
65 ‘That’s why I said’, he went on, ‘that no one can come to me unless it is given to them by the father.’
66 From that time on, several of his disciples drew back, and no longer went about with him.
67 Jesus turned to the Twelve.
‘You don’t want to go away too, do you?’ he asked.
68 Simon Peter spoke up.
‘Master,’ he said, ‘who can we go to? You’re the one who’s got the words of the life of the coming age! 69 We’ve come to believe it – we’ve come to know it! – that you are God’s holy one.’
70 ‘Well,’ replied Jesus, ‘I chose you twelve, didn’t I? And one of you is an accuser!’
71 He was referring to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. He was one of the Twelve, and he was going to betray him.
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