What does John 6:47 mean?
ESV: Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.
NIV: Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.
NASB: Truly, truly, I say to you, the one who believes has eternal life.
CSB: "Truly I tell you, anyone who believes has eternal life.
NLT: I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life.
KJV: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
Repetition, especially in ancient literature, was meant to signal certainty or importance. Jesus uses the Greek word amēn here. Amen was originally an Aramaic word kept intact in Greek, Latin, and many other languages. It literally means, "faithful," or "believe," and is most simply translated as "truly." This is why the term is often used at the end of a prayer or other statement. Putting it at the end of a phrase suggests—or hopes—that what was said is true or sure. Putting the word amen at the beginning of a statement is a way of claiming that this is the speaker's own personal declaration. Jesus is claiming that His statement is absolutely true and that He has absolute, direct, personal knowledge of its truth.
Jesus has been explaining the true source of eternal life, which is belief in the One sent by God. Specifically, this is Jesus Christ Himself, who is the "Bread of Life." In the prior verse, Jesus explained that He alone has come from heaven, and so His assurance that eternal life is for those who believe can be underscored with "truly, truly."
John 6:41–51 uncovers the true motivation of the crowd following Jesus: selfishness. This passage is part of a long dialogue where Christ clarifies the meaning of His miracles. Jesus has just explained that He, Himself, is the ''Bread of Life'' which people are meant to seek. In response, the people complain amongst themselves. Jesus will give further explanation of what He means by claiming to be the ''Bread of Life.'' This, as is turns out, will make the crowd even more agitated, as the people move from seeking, to complaining, to outright argument.
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.
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.
The gospel of John was written by the disciple John, decades later than the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. 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”—in order to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in all of 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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