John 6:41 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 6:41, NIV: "At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, 'I am the bread that came down from heaven.'"

John 6:41, ESV: "So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”"

John 6:41, KJV: "The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven."

John 6:41, NASB: "So then the Jews were complaining about Him because He said, 'I am the bread that came down out of heaven.'"

John 6:41, NLT: "Then the people began to murmur in disagreement because he had said, 'I am the bread that came down from heaven.'"

John 6:41, CSB: "Therefore the Jews started grumbling about him because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven.""

What does John 6:41 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

According to the early verses of this chapter, the crowd seeking Jesus found Him in Capernaum (John 6:24). Most likely, this means out in the streets near the harbor. In the latter verses of this passage, Jesus is explicitly said to be speaking in a synagogue (John 6:59). At some point, then, the conversation seems to have moved from an open, public forum to a more personal debate. This verse suggests one reason the conversation might have shifted to a smaller more private environment.

Jesus' claims are all controversial--that good works cannot save, that only belief in the Son of Man results in eternal life, and that He has come down from heaven. The Greek term describing the people's reaction is egongyzon, which means "to mutter, to complain, or to grumble." This is not a new activity for the people of Israel, who have a long history of "grumbling" when God does not follow their preferred plan (Exodus 15:24; Numbers 14:2).

After driving His political popularity to enormous levels, Jesus' recent teaching is beginning to grate on the people. This, of course, only goes to prove the point Christ made when the crowds first arrived in Capernaum: their interest is not in truth, but in entertainment and handouts (John 6:26).