John 6:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 6:3, NIV: "Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples."

John 6:3, ESV: "Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples."

John 6:3, KJV: "And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples."

John 6:3, NASB: "But Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples."

John 6:3, NLT: "Then Jesus climbed a hill and sat down with his disciples around him."

John 6:3, CSB: "Jesus went up a mountain and sat down there with his disciples."

What does John 6:3 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In this part of the gospel of John, Jesus' miracles have attracted a great deal of attention. This has caused a large crowd to follow Him, specifically because of His supernatural healings. What happens next will whip these admirers into a frenzy, but not for long. The vast majority will misunderstand the purpose behind Jesus' miraculous feeding of thousands of people (John 6:9–14; 6:26). As soon as Christ attempts to explain the spiritual truth behind His ministry, the "large crowd" will all but disappear.

The region described here is near the shores of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias. This can lead to some confusion regarding the English word "mountain." The Greek term oros can mean a rise, a hill, a mountain, or a mount. Culture and geography greatly influence what any particular person defines as a "mountain." Those living on the western shores of South America or in Nepal, might not consider the landscape of Galilee to contain any mountains. A native of the North American plains, on the other hand, certainly would.

The "mountain" Jesus stops at here is not a rocky, sheer cliff, but rather a steep hill. This would have been a natural place to address a crowd, much as with the Sermon on the Mount.