John 6:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 6:23, NIV: "Then some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks."

John 6:23, ESV: "Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks."

John 6:23, KJV: "(Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks:)"

John 6:23, NASB: "Other small boats came from Tiberias near to the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks."

John 6:23, NLT: "Several boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the Lord had blessed the bread and the people had eaten."

John 6:23, CSB: "Some boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks."

What does John 6:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Crowds were already following Jesus as a result of His healing miracles (John 6:2). Now, thanks to His public feeding of thousands (John 6:9–14), even more have come to seek Him out. To some extent, this was the purpose behind the supernatural works Jesus performed. These are signs, according to John, which are meant to explain some particular message or meaning. The people are right to respond, but the upcoming verses will show that their motivations are wrong. Their real interest is in free food, and entertainment, not spiritual truth (John 6:26).

This verse is also interesting for making a specific reference to Jesus giving thanks to God prior to His miracle (John 6:11). At least for John, the meaning of that miracle is not lost: it is God's power, not ours, which actually gets results. Jesus' feeding of more than five thousand people was accomplished by appealing to God's will, and God's provision, before using human efforts to solve the problem. Those earthly efforts are still necessary, but they're also secondary. For John, the writer of this gospel, the fact that Jesus appealed to heaven prior to the miracle is a central fact.