6 Feeding Five Thousand

(Matthew 14. 13-21; Mark 6. 30-44; Luke 9. 10-17)

Jesus crossed Lake Galilee, which was also known as Lake Tiberias. 2 A large crowd had seen him work miracles to heal the sick, and those people went with him. 3-4 It was almost time for the Jewish festival of Passover, and Jesus went up on a mountain with his disciples and sat down.(u) 5 When Jesus saw the large crowd coming towards him, he asked Philip. "Where will we get enough food to feed all these people?" 6 He said this to test Philip, since he already knew what he was going to do.

7 Philip answered, "Don't you know that it would take almost a year's wages(v) just to buy only a little bread for each of these people?"

8 Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the disciples. He spoke up and said, 9 "There is a boy here who has five small loaves(w) of barley bread and two fish. But what good is that with all these people?"

10 The ground was covered with grass, and Jesus told his disciples to have everyone sit down. About five thousand men were in the crowd. 11 Jesus took the bread in his hands and gave thanks to God. He then passed the bread to the people, and he did the same with the fish until everyone had plenty to eat.

12 The people ate all they wanted, and Jesus told his disciples to gather up the leftovers, so that nothing would be wasted. 13 The disciples gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with what was left over from the five barley loaves.

14 After the people had seen Jesus work this miracle,(x) they began saying, "This must be the Prophet(y) who is to come into the world!" 15 Jesus realised they would try and force him to be their king. So he went up on a mountain, where he could be alone.

(u) sat down: Possibly to teach. Teachers in the ancient world, including Jewish teachers, usually sat down to teach. (v) almost a year's wages: The Greek text has "two hundred silver coins." Each coin was worth the average day's wages for a worker. (w) small loaves: These would have been flat and round in the shape of a bun. (x) miracle: see note at 2. 11 (y) the Prophet: see note at 1. 21.

Jesus Walks on the Water

(Matthew 14. 22-27; Mark 6. 45-52)

16 That evening Jesus' disciples went down to the lake. 17 They got into a boat and started across for Capernaum. Later that evening Jesus had still not come to them, 18 and a strong wind was making the water rough.

19 When the disciples had rowed five or six kilometres, they saw Jesus walking on the water. He kept coming closer to the boat, and they were terrified. 20 But he said, "I am Jesus!(z) Don't be afraid!" 21 The disciples wanted to take him into the boat, but suddenly the boat reached the shore where they were headed.

(z) I am Jesus: The Greek text has "I am." See the note at 8. 24.

The Bread That Gives Life

22 The people who had stayed on the east side of the lake knew that only one boat had been there. They also knew that Jesus had not left in it with the disciples. But the next day 23 some boats from Tiberias sailed near the place where the crowd had eaten the bread for which the Lord had given thanks. 24 They saw that Jesus and his disciples had left. Then they got into boats and went to Capernaum to look for Jesus. 25 They found him on the west side of the lake and asked, "Rabbi, when did you get here?"

26 Jesus answered, "I tell you for certain that you are not looking for me because you saw miracles,(a) but because you ate all the food you wanted. 27 Don't work for food that spoils. Work for food that gives eternal life. The Son of Man will give you this food, because God the Father has given him the right to do so."

28 "What exactly does God want us to do?" the people asked.

29 Jesus answered, "God wants you to have faith in the one he sent."

30 They replied, "What miracle will you work, so that we can have faith in you? What will you do? 31 For example, when our ancestors were in the desert, they were given manna(b) to eat. It happened just as the Scriptures say, 'God gave them bread from heaven to eat.' "

32 Jesus then told them, "I tell you for certain that Moses was not the one who gave you bread from heaven. My Father is the one who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 And the bread that God gives is the one who came down from heaven to give life to the world."

34 The people said. "Lord give us this bread and don't ever stop!"

35 Jesus replied: I am the bread that gives life! No one who comes to me will ever be hungry. No one who has faith in me will ever be thirsty. 36 I have told you already that you have seen me and still do not have faith in me. 37 Everything and everyone that the Father has given me will come to me, and I won't turn any of them away. 38 I didn't come from heaven to do what I want! I came to do what the Father wants me to do. He sent me, 39 and he wants to make certain that none of the ones he has given me will be lost. Instead, he wants me to raise them to life on the last day.(c) 40 My Father wants everyone who sees the Son to have faith in him and to have eternal life. Then I will raise them to life on the last day.

41 The people started grumbling because Jesus had said he was the bread that had come down from heaven. 42 They were asking each other, "Isn't Jesus the son of Joseph? Don't we know his father and mother? How can he say that he has come down from heaven?"

43 Jesus told them: Stop grumbling! 44 No one can come to me, unless the Father who sent me makes them want to come. But if they do come, I will raise them to life on the last day. 45 One of the prophets wrote, "God will teach all of them." And so everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him will come to me. 46 The only one who has seen the Father is the one who has come from him. No one else has ever seen the father. 47 I tell you for certain that everyone who has faith in me has eternal life.

48 I am the bread that gives life! 49 Your ancestors ate manna(d) in the desert, and later they died. 50 But the bread from heaven has come down, so that no one who eats it will ever die. 51 I am that bread from heaven! Everyone who eats it will live forever. My flesh is the life giving bread that I give to the people of this world. 52 They started arguing with each other and asked, "How can he give us his flesh to eat?"

53 Jesus answered: I tell you for certain you won't live unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man. 54 But if you do eat my flesh and drink my blood, you will have eternal life, and I will raise you to life on the last day. 55 My flesh is the true food, and my blood is the true drink. 56 If you eat my flesh and drink my blood , you are one with me, and I am one with you. 57 The living Father sent me, and I have life because of him. Now everyone who eats my flesh will live because of me. 58 The bread that comes down from heaven is not like what your ancestors ate. they died, but whoever eats this bread will live for ever.

59 Jesus was teaching in a Jewish place of worship when he said these things.

(a) miracles: The Greek text has "signs" here and "sign" in verse 30. See the note at 2. 11. (b) manna: When the people of Israel were wandering through the desert, the Lord gave them a special kind of food to eat. It tasted like a wafer and was called "manna," which in Hebrew means, "what is this?" (c) the last day: When God will judge all people. (d) manna: See note at 6. 31 (above)

The Words of Eternal Life

60 Many of Jesus' disciples heard him and said "This is too hard for anyone to understand." 61 Jesus knew that his disciples were grumbling. So he asked, "Does this bother you? 62 What if you should see the Son of Man go up to heaven where he came from? 63 The Spirit is the one who gives life! Human strength can do nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are from that life giving Spirit. 64 But some refuse to have faith in me." Jesus said this, because from the beginning he knew who would have faith in him. He also knew which one would betray him.

65 Then Jesus said, "You cannot come to me, unless the Father makes you want to come. That is why I have told these things to all of you."

66 Because of what Jesus said, many of his disciples turned their backs on him and stopped following him. 67 Jesus asked his twelve disciples if they were going to leave him. 68 Simon Peter answered, "Lord, there is no one else that we can go to! Your words give eternal life. 69 We have faith in you, and we are sure that you are God's Holy One."

70 Jesus told his disciples, "I chose all twelve of you, but one of you is a demon!" 71 Jesus was talking about Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.(e) He would later betray Jesus, even though he was one of the twelve disciples.

(e) Iscariot: See the note at 12. 4.

7 Jesus' Brothers Don't Have Faith In Him

Jesus decided to leave Judea and start going through Galilee because the Jewish leaders wanted to kill him. 2 It was almost time for the Festival of Shelters, 3 and Jesus' brothers said to him, "Why don't you go to Judea? Then your disciples can see what you are doing. 4 No one does anything in secret, if they want others to know about them. So let the world know what you are doing!" 5 Even Jesus' own brothers had not yet become his followers.

6 Jesus answered, "My time has not yet come,(f) but your time is always here. 7 The people of this world cannot hate you. They hate me because I tell them they do evil things. 8 Go on to the festival. My time has not yet come, and I am not going." 9 Jesus said this and stayed on in Galilee.

(f) My time has not yet come: See the note at 2. 4.

Jesus at the Festival of Shelters

10 After Jesus' brothers had gone to the festival, he decided to go, and went secretly, without telling anyone. 11 During the festival the Jewish leaders looked for Jesus and asked "Where is he?" 12 The crowds even got into an argument about him. Some were saying, "Jesus is a good man," while others were saying, "He is lying to everyone." 13 But the people were afraid of their leaders, and none of them talked publicly about him.

14 When the festival was about half over, Jesus stood up and started teaching in the temple. 15 The leaders were surprised and said, "How does this man know so much? He has never been taught!"

16 Jesus replied: I am not teaching something that I thought up. What I teach comes from the one who sent me. 17 If you really want to obey God, you will know if what I teach comes from God or comes from me. 18 If I wanted to bring honour to myself, I would speak for myself. But I want to honour the one who sent me. That is why I tell the truth and not a lie. 19 Didn't Moses give you the Law? Yet none of you obey it! So why do you want to kill me?

20 the crowd replied, "You're crazy! What makes you think someone wants to kill you?"

21 Jesus Answered: I worked one miracle,(g) and it amazed you. 22 Moses commanded you circumcise your sons. But it wasn't really Moses who gave you this command. It was your ancestors, and even on a Sabbath you circumcise your sons 23 in order to obey the Law of Moses. Why are you angry with me for making someone completely well on the Sabbath? 24 Don't judge by appearances. Judge by what is right.

25 Some of the people from Jerusalem were saying, Isn't this the man they want to kill? 26 Yet here he is, speaking for everyone to hear. And no one is arguing with him. Do you suppose the authorities know that he is the Messiah? 27 But how could that be? No one knows where the Messiah will come from, but we know where this man comes from."

28 As Jesus was teaching in the temple, he shouted, "Do you really think you know where I come from? I didn't come on my own! The one who sent me I truthful, and you don't know him. 29 But I know the one who sent me, because I came from him."

30 Some people wanted to arrest Jesus right then. But no one even laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come. (h) 31 A lot of people in the crowd put their faith in him and said, "When the Messiah comes, he surely won't perform more miracles(i) than this man has done!"

(g) one miracle: The healing of the lame man (5. 1-18). See the note at 2. 11. (h) his time had not yet come: See the note at 2. 4. (i) miracles: See the note at 2. 11.

Officers Sent to Arrest Jesus

32 When Pharisees heard the crowd arguing about Jesus, they got together with the chief priests and sent some temple police to arrest him. 33 But Jesus told them, "I will be with you a little while longer, and then I will return to the one who sent me. 34 You will look for me, but you won't find me. You cannon go where I am going."

25 The Jewish leaders asked each other, "Where can he go to keep us from finding him? Is he going to some foreign country where our people live? Is he going there to teach the Greeks?(j) 36 What did he mean by saying that we will look for him, but won't find him? Why can't we go where he is going?"

(j) Greeks: Perhaps Gentiles or Jews who followed Greek customs.

Streams of Life-Giving Water

37 On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and shouted, "if you are thirsty, come to me and drink! 38 Have faith in me, and you will have life-giving water flowing from deep inside you, Just as the Scriptures say." 39 Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit, who would be given to everyone that had faith in him. The Spirit had not yet been given to anyone, since Jesus had not yet been given his full glory.(k)

(k) had not yet been given his full glory: In the Gospel of John, Jesus is given his full glory both when he is nailed to the cross and when he is raised from death to sit beside his Father in heaven.

The People Take Sides

40 When the crowd heard Jesus say this, some of them said, "He must be a Prophet!"(l) 41 Others said, "He is the Messiah!" Others even said, "Can the Messiah come from Galilee?" 42 The Scriptures say that the Messiah will come from the family of King David. Doesn't this mean that he will be born in David's home town of Bethlehem?" 43 The people started taking sides against each other because of Jesus. 44 Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him.

(l) the Prophet: See the note at 1. 21.

The Jewish Leaders Refuse to Have Faith in Jesus

45 When the temple police returned to the chief priests and Pharisees, they were asked, "Why didn't you bring Jesus here?"

46 "They answered, "No one has ever spoken like that man!" 47 The Pharisees said to them, "Have you also been fooled? 48 Not one of the chief priests or the Pharisees has faith in him. 49 And these people who don't know the Law are under God's curse anyway."

50 Nicodemus was there at the time. He was the same one who had earlier gone to see Jesus.(m) Nicodemus was a member of the Jewish council and said, 51 "Our Law doesn't let us condemn people before we hear what they have to say. We cannot judge them before we know what they have done."

52 Then they said, "Nicodemus, you must be from Galilee! Read the Scriptures, and you will find that no prophet is to come from Galilee."

(m) who had earlier come to see Jesus: See 3. 1-21.

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