The whole chapter really records things resulting from the conflict recorded in the previous one. Having crossed the sea, Jesus first fed the multitude, and they, enamored of His ability, attempted to take Him by force, and make Him King. This He would not permit. Sending His disciples across the sea He retired to the mountain. Then followed the wonder -recorded also by Matthew and Mark--of His stilling of the storm. Thus it will be seen that He returned to where the conflict had occurred, and immediately, in a discourse, rebuked the people for having been attracted by the wonder in the realm of the material while they neglected the deep spiritual facts of life. Presently they asked Him for a sign. He answered their request by offering Himself to them as bread, the Bread of life.
These men were sense-bound. They did not apprehend His meaning. Continuing, He insisted on the supremacy of the spiritual, as, taking the manna for illustration, He declared, Your fathers did eat, and died," and, further, "This . . . a man may eat . . . and not die."
The Jews were more than ever mystified, and disputed among themselves. Confronted by this difficulty, our Lord went further still, and spoke in mystic language of the necessity for drinking His blood. The figure was suggestive of a way into life through death and sacrifice.
This fuller unfolding perplexed His own disciples, consequent upon which He inquired, Would ye also go away?" It was Peter who made the reply, "To whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life." Nevertheless, at this point some of His disciples broke with Jesus.
the Second Week after Epiphany