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John chapter 6

English Standard Version

New International Version

New American Standard Bible

1After these things Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee ( or Tiberias). 2A large crowd was following Him, because they were watching the signs which He was performing on those who were sick. 3But Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples. 4Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was near. 5So Jesus, after raising His eyes and seeing that a large crowd was coming to Him, *said to Philip, 'Where are we to buy bread so that these people may eat?' 6But He was saying this only to test him, for He Himself knew what He intended to do. 7Philip answered Him, 'Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not enough for them, for each to receive just a little!' 8One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, *said to Him, 9There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are these for so many people?' 10Jesus said, 'Have the people recline to eat.' Now there was plenty of grass in the place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. 11Jesus then took the loaves, and after giving thanks He distributed them to those who were reclining; likewise also of the fish, as much as they wanted. 12And when they had eaten their fill, He *said to His disciples, 'Gather up the leftover pieces so that nothing will be lost.' 13So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with pieces from the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. 14Therefore when the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, 'This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.'
Christian Standard Bible

New Living Translation

King James Version

1After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. 2And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased. 3And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. 4And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh. 5When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? 6And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. 7Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. 8One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him, 9There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? 10And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. 12When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. 13Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. 14Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. 15When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.
22The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one whereinto his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone; 23(Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks: ) 24When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. 25And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither? 26Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. 27Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. 28Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. 30They said therefore unto him, What sign showest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? 31Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. 32Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
New King James Version

What does John chapter 6 mean?

John chapter 6 packs several crucial moments into one narrative. The passage states that the events occur "after" the narrative of chapter 5, which turns out to be several months later. This chapter describes the high point of Jesus' worldly popularity. He disrupts this almost immediately by telling the crowd something they do not want to hear. This passage also includes the fourth and fifth of John's seven miraculous signs, the third of John's seven witnesses to Jesus' divinity, and the first of John's seven "I AM" statements ascribed to Jesus.

The gospel of John also skips over a great deal of material which is covered in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Based on the events described, somewhere between 5 and 6 months have passed since the events described in chapter 5. John sticks to his primary purpose, which is explaining how Jesus Christ is, in fact, God incarnate. For this reason, and because he assumes the reader is already familiar with the other Gospels, John skips over both the Sermon on the Mount and Jesus' many parables about the Kingdom. Instead, the opening phrase "after this" brings us to a moment about one year prior to Jesus' trial and crucifixion.

The primary event of this chapter is Jesus' feeding thousands of people with the contents of a boy's small lunch (John 6:9–13). This was the most public of all the miracles Jesus performed, and the one which garnered Him the most immediate worldly acclaim. Each gospel records several miracles performed by Jesus, but this is the only miracle included in all four accounts. The crowd's need for food provokes different reactions from the disciples. Some just want the problem to go away. Some are concerned with money. Some simply bring whatever they can find to Jesus, trusting Him to do the rest.

This practical, generous expression of power is first met with amazement and praise. However, Jesus recognizes that there is a flaw in the crowd's reaction. Rather than seeing the miracle as a sign, the people are merely pleased with the idea of getting a divine handout. This incident not only allows Jesus to teach important truths about Himself, it also demonstrates some of the spiritual barriers which keep us from properly seeking God. In response to His miracle, the people regress from seeking, to complaining, to bickering, and finally to abandonment.

After sending the disciples to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (John 6:16), Jesus will immediately wipe away the applause of the crowd. Over the course of a long dialogue, moving from the seashore into the synagogue, Jesus attempts to clarify the spiritual meaning behind His recent miracles. This passage is one of the better examples of the concept of ipsissima vox, which simply means that some dialogues in the Bible are recorded as summaries, not word-for-word transcripts. Since this discussion changes locations between verses 25 and 59, it almost certainly involved a longer, more extensive conversation.

The day after feeding thousands and hearing their praises, Jesus tells people that He, Himself, is the Bread from Heaven (John 6:51). By explaining that His ministry is essentially spiritual, not material, Jesus alienates most of those who had been eager to follow Him. This, of course, only goes to prove Jesus' accusation: that the people were not there to learn or to receive truth, but rather to once again be given free food (John 6:26).

In between these two moments of public preaching, John chapter 6 includes the fifth of his seven miraculous signs, as well as a "bonus" miracle. Jesus is seen walking on the water after the disciples' boat encounters a storm (John 6:19). The hidden miracle is the one mentioned in an almost off-handed way: when He is taken into the boat, it is "immediately" at its destination (John 6:21).

The end of chapter 6 features the third of seven instances where someone in the gospel of John professes belief in Jesus' divinity. Here, Peter will refer to Jesus as the "Holy One of God" (John 6:68–69).
What is the Gospel?
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