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
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.
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
(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
(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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