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John 6:62

ESV Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
NIV Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before!
NASB What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?
CSB Then what if you were to observe the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
NLT Then what will you think if you see the Son of Man ascend to heaven again?
KJV What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?

What does John 6:62 mean?

Scholars see two possible meanings behind this statement. Jesus led into this verse by pointing out the reaction some of His students had to His recent teachings.

Some of Jesus' followers are taken aback at His claims about the Bread of Life and what it means (John 6:41, 52). Even though they have been following and learning from Jesus, the teachings He has just explained are challenging (John 6:60). They contradict many traditional Jewish interpretations and many worldly perspectives. In the prior verse, Jesus has asked these men, directly, if the teaching they have heard offends them. The Greek term describing this is skandalizo, which means something that causes a stumble or deep offense.

Here Jesus makes a reference to the ascension of Christ back into heaven (Luke 24:50–53). Whether literally or just in general, Jesus is comparing the reaction His followers have to His words with their possible response to seeing future events. This is what leads scholars into two possible interpretations for Jesus' question here.

The first possibility is that Jesus is asking whether or not these people will also be offended when they see Christ taken back into glory. In other words, "if this teaching offends you, are you still going to be offended when you see me return to heaven?" The question is whether or not seeing future events will change their minds, or just deepen their resentment. The other possible meaning is a suggestion that if this offends them, the ascension will offend them even more. Under this interpretation, Jesus seems to be saying, "if you don't like this, just wait until you see what's coming next."
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