What does John 6:22 mean?
ESV: On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone.
NIV: The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples, but that they had gone away alone.
NASB: The next day the crowd that stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other small boat there except one, and that Jesus had not gotten into the boat with His disciples, but that His disciples had departed alone.
CSB: The next day, the crowd that had stayed on the other side of the sea saw there had been only one boat. They also saw that Jesus had not boarded the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone off alone.
NLT: The next day the crowd that had stayed on the far shore saw that the disciples had taken the only boat, and they realized Jesus had not gone with them.
KJV: The 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;
NKJV: On the following day, when the people who were standing on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, except that one which His disciples had entered, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with His disciples, but His disciples had gone away alone—
Verse Commentary:
Crowds have been gathering around Jesus due to His healing miracles (John 6:2). On the previous day, Jesus performed His most public miracle, and the only one recorded in all four of the Gospels: feeding more than five thousand people with a tiny quantity of food (John 6:9–14). In the morning, the same group of people realize that Jesus was no longer on that side of the Sea of Galilee, even though He did not leave in the boat with the disciples.

What the crowd does not know is that Jesus walked across the water overnight. In the prior passage, Jesus approaches the boat struggling against high winds. The men were terrified at first, thinking Jesus was a ghost (John 6:19; Matthew 14:26). Peter, however, works up the courage to walk out on the water, and briefly succeeds (Matthew 14:28–31). Once Jesus is taken into the boat, it is "immediately" at the opposite shore, a miracle described almost as an afterthought.

This passage shows the dramatic plunge in Jesus' worldly popularity. According to the next verse, additional people are seeking Him as a result of His miraculous signs. Unfortunately, as soon as Jesus explains that His ministry is inherently spiritual, not material, most of these people will choose to abandon Him (John 6:66).
Verse Context:
John 6:22–40 describes the initial aftermath of Jesus' feeding of thousands the previous day. The crowd's actual desire is for another supernatural spectacle and more free food. In this passage, Christ begins to explain the true meaning behind His miracle and His ministry. This includes the first of seven ''I AM'' statements in the gospel of John—moments where Jesus declares His own divinity. Jesus clarifies that physical things such as bread are meant to be symbols of a spiritual truth. In the following segment, the crowd will stop seeking and start complaining.
Chapter Summary:
In chapter 6, Jesus feeds thousands of people who had been following Him. He does this by miraculously dividing the contents of a small lunch, leaving more left over than He had to begin with. At first, the crowd is amazed and they enthusiastically praise Jesus. After sending the disciples across the Sea of Galilee, and rescuing them from a storm by walking on the water, Jesus once again addresses the crowd. This time, He emphasizes the spiritual lesson behind His prior miracle. In response, most of those who had been praising Jesus turn away from Him in disappointment.
Chapter Context:
John chapter 6 occurs some months after the events of chapter 5, bringing the narrative to about one year prior to Jesus' crucifixion. As with the rest of the Gospel of John, the purpose is not to repeat information from the other three Gospels, but to focus on Jesus' status as God incarnate. This chapter continues to expand the list of Jesus' miraculous signs and the witnesses to His divine nature. Here, Jesus also gives the first of seven ''I AM'' statements found in this Gospel. Chapter 7 will once again skip ahead to a major public step in Jesus' path to the cross.
Book Summary:
The disciple John wrote the gospel of John decades after the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke were written. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls "signs"— to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
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