1 After these things happened Jesus went across to the east side of Lake Galilee, also called Lake Tiberias. [Note: This lake also bore a name honoring the Roman Emperor Tiberias]. 2 And a large crowd followed Him because they had seen the [miraculous] signs He had performed on sick people. 3 Then Jesus went up to a high plateau [Note: This place, northeast of Lake Galilee, is called "The Golan Heights," today] and sat down there with His disciples.
4 Now the time for the Jewish Passover Festival was getting close. 5 So Jesus, looking up and seeing a large crowd coming to Him, said to Philip [Note: He was one of the apostles, whose home town was at nearby Bethsaida. See 1:44], "Where are we going to buy [enough] bread, so that this crowd can eat?" 6 Now He said this to test Philip, for He [already] knew what He was going to do.
7 Philip answered Him, "Not even two hundred coins' worth of bread would be enough to feed them if everyone ate only a little bit." [Note: The amount here indicated was two hundred days of a farm laborer's pay, or about $14,000 in 1994].
8 [Then] one of His disciples, named Andrew, [who was] Simon Peter's brother, said to Him, 9 "There is a little boy here who has five [small] loaves of barley bread and two [probably smoked] fish. But what is this amount for [feeding] so many people?"
10 Jesus answered, "Have these people recline [on the ground]." Now there was a lot of grass in that place. So, the men, numbering about five thousand, reclined [on the grass]. 11 Then Jesus took the loaves of bread, and [after] giving thanks [to God], He distributed [pieces] to those who were reclining. He did the same thing with the fish, [giving them] as much as they wanted.
12 And when the people were [all] full, Jesus said to His disciples, "Gather up the broken pieces that are left over so that nothing is wasted." 13 So, they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with broken pieces left over from the five loaves of barley bread which they had eaten.
14 So, when the people saw the [miraculous] sign that Jesus had performed [i.e., the feeding of the large crowd with such a small amount of food], they said, "Truly, this is the prophet who was to come into the world." [Note: This was probably a reference to the promise made in Deut. 18:15-19]. 15 So, [when] Jesus knew that the people were about to come and forcibly take Him and make Him [their] king, He left there again and went to the high plateau [to be] alone [i.e., to pray. See Mark 6:46].
16 Then when evening came, His disciples went down to the lake 17 and got into their boat, and were crossing over [i.e., to the west side of] the lake toward Capernaum. It was dark by now and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18 Then the water became choppy because of a strong wind that had begun to blow. 19 And when the disciples had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the [surface of the] water. They became afraid as Jesus got closer to their boat.
20 But He said to them, "Do not be afraid; it is I." 21 So, they eagerly took Him into their boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading [i.e., to Capernaum, on the northwest side of the lake].
22 On the next day the crowd that had stayed on the other [i.e., east] side of the lake realized that there had been only one boat there. They [also] knew that Jesus was not aboard the boat when it left with the disciples in it, but that they had left without Him. 23 (However, meanwhile, some other [small] boats had come from Tiberias [i.e., a small town on the west side of the lake] near where they had eaten bread after the Lord had given thanks). 24 So, when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor His disciples were there [i.e., on the east side] they got into the [small] boats and sailed [west] to Capernaum, looking for Jesus.
25 And when they found Him on the other [i.e., west] side, they said to Him, "Rabbi, how did you get here?"
26 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I tell you, you people are looking for me because you got to eat the loaves of bread and were satisfied and not because you saw [miraculous] signs. [See verse 14]. 27 Do not work for the [kind of] food that spoils, but for the kind that lasts until never ending life. The Son of man will give you this [kind of food], for God the Father has placed His seal [of approval] on Him."
28 Then the people said to Jesus, "What must we do in order to perform the deeds that God requires?"
29 Jesus answered them, "This is the deed that God requires: You should believe in Him whom God has sent [i.e., in Jesus]."
30 And they said to Him, "What kind of a [miraculous] sign will you perform so that we can see it and [then] believe [in] you? What [kind of] deed will you perform? 31 Our forefathers ate the [supernatural] 'manna' in the desert, as it is written [Neh. 9:15], 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'"
32 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I tell you, it was not [really] Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who is [now] giving you the real bread from heaven. 33 For the bread God gives is the One [see verse 35] who comes down from heaven, and [He] gives [spiritual] life to the world."
34 Then they said to Him, "Sir, [please] give us this bread all the time."
35 Jesus replied, "I am the bread who gives [spiritual] life; the person who comes to me will never get hungry [again], and the one who believes in me will never get thirsty [again]. 36 But I have told you this: You have seen me and yet do not believe [in me]. 37 Every person [Note: The Greek says, "every thing"] whom the Father gives me will [eventually] come to me [i.e., for salvation]; and I will never turn away that person who comes to me. 38 For I have come down from heaven to do what God, who sent me, wants me to do, not what I want to do. 39 And this is what God, who sent me, wants: That I should not lose any of those persons whom He has given me, but should raise them up [from the dead] on the last day [i.e., the judgment day]. 40 And this is what [else] my Father wants: That every person who sees the Son [i.e., with the eye of faith] and believes in Him should have never ending life, and I will raise him up [from the dead] on the last day."
41 So the Jews, [who were assembled in the synagogue. See verse 59] began complaining about Jesus because He had said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven." 42 And they said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph? Do we not know his father and mother? Then how can he say, 'I have come down from heaven'?"
43 Jesus answered them, "Stop complaining among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father, who sent me, attracts him to me. [See verse 65]. And I will raise him up [from the dead] on the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets [Isa. 54:13], 'And they will all be taught by God.' [So], every person who has heard the Father and learned [from Him] will come to me. 46 [I am] not [saying] that anyone has [ever] seen the Father, except the One who is from God [i.e., Jesus] has seen Him.
47 Truly, truly, I tell you, the person who believes [in me] has never ending life. [See note on 5:24]. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your forefathers ate the 'manna' in the desert and died. 50 [But] this is the bread that has come down from heaven [i.e., Jesus is referring to Himself], so that a person who eats of it [i.e., believes in Jesus] will not die [spiritually]. 51 I am the living bread who came down from heaven; if anyone eats this bread, he will live forever. Yes, and the bread that I will give [him] is my physical body, [so] that the world can have [never ending] life."
52 Then the Jews [who were assembled in the synagogue. See verse 59] began arguing bitterly with one another, saying, "How can this man give us his physical body to eat?"
53 So, Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I tell you, unless you eat the physical body of the Son of man and drink His blood, you do not have [spiritual] life in yourselves [Note: The references to "body" and "blood" throughout this section allude to taking Jesus' life and teaching into one's heart. See verse 56]. 54 The person who eats my physical body and drinks my blood has never ending life [See note on 5:24], and I will raise him up [from the dead] on the last day [i.e., the judgment day]. 55 For my physical body is real food and my blood is [the] real drink. 56 The person who eats my physical body and drinks my blood lives in me and I [live] in him. 57 Just as the living Father has sent me, and I have [physical and spiritual] life because of the Father, so the person who eats me will also have [physical ? and spiritual] life because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven [i.e., Jesus is referring to Himself]. [It is] not like [the bread] our forefathers ate and [then] died. The person who eats this bread will live forever."
59 Jesus said these things in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.
60 So, when they heard [these things], many of Jesus' disciples said, "This is difficult teaching. Who can listen to it [i.e., and accept it]?"
61 But Jesus, knowing within Himself that His disciples were complaining about His teaching, said to them, "Does this [teaching] bother you? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of man going up [i.e., to heaven] where He was before? 63 It is the Holy Spirit who [Note: The Greek word here is "that" instead of "who"] gives life [i.e., understanding the spiritual nature of Jesus' teaching can produce spiritual life]; the flesh is of no value [i.e., understanding Jesus' teaching only in a physical sense makes it worthless]. The words I have spoken to you are [from the] Holy Spirit and [they give] life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe [in me]." For Jesus knew from the beginning which ones would not believe [in Him] and which one would turn Him over [i.e., to the Jewish authorities]. 65 Then He said, "This is the reason I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father gives him [the opportunity. See verse 44]."
66 Upon [hearing] this, many of Jesus' disciples turned back and refused to accompany Him anymore. [Note: They deserted Jesus physically as well as spiritually]. 67 Therefore, Jesus said to the twelve apostles, "Do you not want to go [with me] either?"
68 Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, who [else] could we go to? You have the message about never ending life. 69 And we apostles have believed [in you] and know that you are God's Holy One."
70 Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose [all] twelve of you, and one of you is a devil?" [Note: The word "devil" means "adversary" or "opponent"]. 71 Now He was speaking about Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, for he was the one, out of the twelve, who was [soon] going to turn Jesus over [to the Jewish authorities].