Jesus Feeds Five Thousand
1After this, Jesus crossed over to the far side of the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias. 2A huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miraculous signs as he healed the sick. 3Then Jesus climbed a hill and sat down with his disciples around him. 4(It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration.) 5Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” 6He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.
7Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money*6:7 Greek Two hundred denarii would not be enough. A denarius was equivalent to a laborer’s full day’s wage. to feed them!”
8Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. 9“There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”
10“Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) 11Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. 12After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.” 13So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves.
14When the people saw him*6:14a Some manuscripts read Jesus. do this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, “Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!”*6:14b See Deut 18:15, 18; Mal 4:5-6. 15When Jesus saw that they were ready to force him to be their king, he slipped away into the hills by himself.
Jesus Walks on Water
16That evening Jesus’ disciples went down to the shore to wait for him. 17But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn’t come back, they got into the boat and headed across the lake toward Capernaum. 18Soon a gale swept down upon them, and the sea grew very rough. 19They had rowed three or four miles*6:19 Greek 25 or 30 stadia [4.6 or 5.5 kilometers]. when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified, 20but he called out to them, “Don’t be afraid. I am here!*6:20 Or The ‘I Am’ is here; Greek reads I am. See Exod 3:14.” 21Then they were eager to let him in the boat, and immediately they arrived at their destination!
Jesus, the Bread of Life
22The 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. 23Several boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the Lord had blessed the bread and the people had eaten. 24So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went across to Capernaum to look for him. 25They found him on the other side of the lake and asked, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
26Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. 27But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man*6:27 “Son of Man” is a title Jesus used for himself. can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”
28They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”
29Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”
30They answered, “Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What can you do? 31After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.’*6:31 Exod 16:4; Ps 78:24.”
32Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. 33The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34“Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.”
35Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me. 37However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. 38For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. 39And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day. 40For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.”
41Then the people*6:41 Greek Jewish people; also in 6:52. began to murmur in disagreement because he had said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42They said, “Isn’t this Jesus, the son of Joseph? We know his father and mother. How can he say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”
43But Jesus replied, “Stop complaining about what I said. 44For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them up. 45As it is written in the Scriptures,*6:45 Greek in the prophets. Isa 54:13. ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. 46(Not that anyone has ever seen the Father; only I, who was sent from God, have seen him.)
47“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life. 48Yes, I am the bread of life! 49Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died. 50Anyone who eats the bread from heaven, however, will never die. 51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh.”
52Then the people began arguing with each other about what he meant. “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” they asked.
53So Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you. 54But anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise that person at the last day. 55For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57I live because of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, anyone who feeds on me will live because of me. 58I am the true bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will not die as your ancestors did (even though they ate the manna) but will live forever.”
59He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
Many Disciples Desert Jesus
60Many of his disciples said, “This is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?”
61Jesus was aware that his disciples were complaining, so he said to them, “Does this offend you? 62Then what will you think if you see the Son of Man ascend to heaven again? 63The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64But some of you do not believe me.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning which ones didn’t believe, and he knew who would betray him.) 65Then he said, “That is why I said that people can’t come to me unless the Father gives them to me.”
66At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. 67Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?”
68Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. 69We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.*6:69 Other manuscripts read you are the Christ, the Holy One of God; still others read you are the Christ, the Son of God; and still others read you are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
70Then Jesus said, “I chose the twelve of you, but one is a devil.” 71He was speaking of Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, one of the Twelve, who would later betray him.