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Bible Commentaries
John 6

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Verse 1

Joh 6:1

John 6:1

After these things Jesus went away to the other side of the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias.—The Sea of Galilee is known as the Sea of Tiberias and the Sea of Chinneroth. Around this sea the Jews that lived in Galilee very greatly collected. Several towns or villages sprang up on its shores. The chief of these was Capernaum. Jesus, after he began his public ministry, seems to have made this his home so far as he had a home on earth. Capernaum was sit­uated on the western shore of this sea.

Verses 1-15

Joh 6:1-15

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand - John 6:1-15

Open It

1. *What is the most difficult situation in which you have ever found yourself?

2. In what exciting events have you recently participated? What made them exciting?

Explore It

3. Where did Jesus go? (John 6:1)

4. Why did the crowd of people follow Jesus? (John 6:2)

5. Where did Jesus and His disciples go? (John 6:3)

6. What Jewish feast was near? (John 6:4)

7. *What question did Jesus ask Philip? (John 6:5)

8. Why did Jesus ask Philip a question? (John 6:6)

9. How did Philip respond to Jesus’ question? (John 6:7)

10. Who was Andrew? (John 6:8)

11. What role did Andrew play in feeding the five thousand? (John 6:8-9)

12. What solution did Andrew propose to Jesus’ question? (John 6:8-9)

13. *What miracle did Jesus perform? (John 6:10-11)

14. How much bread was left over? (John 6:12-13)

15. *How did the crowd of people respond to Jesus’ miracle? (John 6:14)

16. What did the crowd of people intend to do? (John 6:15)

17. What was Jesus’ reaction to the crowd’s intention? (John 6:15)

Get It

18. For what reasons do people follow Jesus today?

19. What makes you want to follow Jesus?

20. What is your typical reaction to situations that seem to present no readily available solution?

21. *With what situations in life do you have a difficult time trusting God?

22. What does God provide for us on a daily basis?

23. In what ways do people attempt to use Jesus or His name inappropriately?

24. What misconceptions have you had about Jesus or His role in your life?

25. *How and when has God miraculously provided for your needs?

26. How can we trust God with our needs?

Apply It

27. What things do you need to thank God for providing?

28. *What tough situation do you need to trust God to work out in your life this week?

Verse 2

Joh 6:2

John 6:2

And a great multitude followed him,—The eastern shore was an uninhabited wilderness and to it Jesus frequently went and the people would follow him and in the quiet of the wilderness he would teach them.

because they beheld the signs which he did on them that were sick.—They followed him, attracted by the miracles he performed; and while they did not believe in him, they brought the sick and afflicted, and he healed them. So far as the record shows, Jesus never left a soul in suffering that appealed for help to him.

Verse 3

Joh 6:3

John 6:3

And Jesus went up into the mountain, and there he sat with his disciples.—This mountain was on the east side of the Sea of Galilee.

Verse 4

John 6:4

John 6:4

Now the passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand.—The feast of the Passover came on the fourteenth day of the month Abib or Nisan. If we count the feast mentioned in chapter 5:1 as a Passover feast, this is the third Passover since the baptism of Jesus. It shows that John recorded but little of what Jesus said or did in the earlier years of his public ministry. Only what is given in the fifth chapter is of what he did and taught during these years and yet Jesus was not idle.

Verse 5

Joh 6:5

John 6:5

Jesus therefore lifting up his eyes, and seeing that a great multitude cometh unto him, saith unto Philip, Whence are we to buy bread, that these may eat?—The country was dry, the temperature pleasant, and the people, accustomed to an outdoor and migratory life, followed Jesus without one idea as to how long they would remain and were detained by his teaching and became hungry. And Jesus saw fit to feed this multitude that had remained until hungry and weakened by the fasting.

Verse 6

Joh 6:6

John 6:6

And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.—He said this to try Philip and prepare him for what he intended to do.

Verse 7

Joh 6:7

John 6:7

Philip answered him, Two hundred shillings’ worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one may take a little.—Philip made a calculation of the number to be fed, of the amount they would eat, and of the cost. [Wisdom here for us in counting the cost before undertaking a thing. It equaled thirty dollars.]

Verse 8

Joh 6:8

John 6:8

One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him,—[Andrew’s answer to the question of Jesus is re­corded in Mark 6:38. He requested them to examine and report the amount of food they had.]

Verse 9

Joh 6:9

John 6:9

There is a lad here, who hath five barley loaves, and two fishes: but what are these among so many?—They were in the wilderness where food could not be obtained, and Andrew suggested that they had these few loaves and fishes as the only chance for bread of which he knew. [Barley was the food only of the lower classes. Probably this was the whole stock of food at the command of the disciples—no more than enough for them.]

Verse 10

Joh 6:10

John 6:10

Jesus said, Make the people sit down.—There is no doubt in the movement or purposes of Jesus. Without ostentation or boasting he proposed and effected the most stupendous and impossible things with all the assurance and composure that others undertake the most commonplace affairs of life. So he seated the multitude.

Now there was much grass in the place.—It was April, the time for grass and flowers.

So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.—[“About,” not exactly five thousand. Mark tells that they sat down in companies. About one loaf to every thousand men. Matthew states “besides women and children.” How many of these is not stated.]

Verse 11

Joh 6:11

John 6:11

Jesus therefore took the loaves; and having given thanks, he distributed to them that were set down; likewise also of the fishes as much as they would.—He gave thanks for all he received, and gave to his disciples, most probably his apostles, and they to the multitude. In the breaking it was increased and multiplied. [It is said that the Jews considered it was stealing from God to eat without first offering thanks. Jesus always offered thanks and so should all Christians.]

Verse 12

Joh 6:12

John 6:12

And when they were filled, he saith unto his disciples, Gather up the broken pieces which remain over, that nothing be lost.—Their hunger was satisfied, and as if to teach the sin of wastefulness he commands the disciples to gather up what remained. God in all the processes of nature avoids waste. What appears to be the waste of one creature is the life of another. One would think where things come ap­parently so easily there would be little use for saving [but God does not allow wastefulness at any time. Nature wastes nothing. Soil washed from the hills and mountains, God catches in the valleys and low places. It is the waste of man that brings want. It is by the waste of fragments that the great wastes occur. The waste of our nation is appalling. There is food enough for all if handled properly by man. God through nature will furnish it if man will use wisdom in producing and saving it. Christ bids us save; save the fragments.]

Verse 13

Joh 6:13

John 6:13

So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with broken pieces from the five barley loaves, which remained over unto them that had eaten.—This was a miracle mani­festing creative power. A miracle is the bestowing on others the power to do what God only can do. It is done to attest the presence and power of God in the person who performs the miracle to show that he acts and speaks for God, so in hearing him he hears God. There is no more power exerted in a miracle than is put forth in the ordinary provisions of nature. It did not require more power or wisdom to make this bread and these fishes than was used in devising and putting in force the processes of the material world by which men and animals have been fed through all the years of their existence. The difference is that this last is done in accord­ance with the fixed working, and points back to a wise Creator and Ruler, but does not definitely point out that Creator and Ruler. The miracle points out the person who repre­sents and speaks for the Creator and Ruler of all things. This and all the miracles or signs that Jesus wrought testify to the world that he spoke and acted by the authority of God. [Simply feeding five thousand was no miracle; for the reason God fed them and the rest of the world the day before and the day following and all the time through natural laws. The way in which God did it constituted a miracle.]

Joh 6:14

John 6:14

When therefore the people saw the sign which he did, they said, This is of a truth the prophet that cometh into the world.—The conclusion reached was that he was the prophet that it had been foretold would come into the world by Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15-19), and referred to by the delegation sent to visit John the Baptist (John 1:21). This prophet was to be the king of Israel, the head of the kingdom of God on earth. They acknowledged: “This is the Christ.”

Verse 15

Joh 6:15

John 6:15

Jesus therefore perceiving that they were about to come and take him by force, to make him king,—The Jews sup­posed that this prophet was to be a king that would deliver them from bondage, and they went about to make him a king. The faith of these Jews seems to have been impulsive and momentary. When they saw the manifestation of power they were aroused, but when cooled down their faith passed away. They went about to make him their king, hoping that he would deliver them from bondage to the Roman rulers. Jesus felt the human love of power, was flattered by the favor shown him, and felt the human temptation to yield. Paul says that he “hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15). He resisted the temptation, sent away his disciples (Matthew 14:22), and [he went into the mountain alone. Convinced that he was Christ, they sought to proclaim him king, to raise his standard, and estab­lish his government.]

withdrew again into the mountain himself alone.—For a season of prayer and communion with his Father. When Jesus was tempted and tried, overcome as a human being with labor, or had important work pressing on him, he sought the seclusion of the mountain and the coming of night for continued seasons of prayer to God. (Luke 6:12; Luke 9:28).

Verse 16

Joh 6:16

John 6:16

And when evening came, his disciples went down unto the sea;—[Matthew 14:22 says Jesus sent them away by boat, then sent the multitude away, and he withdrew into the mountain to pray.]

Verses 16-24

John 6:16-24

Jesus Walks on the Water - John 6:16-24

Open It

1. *What is the most frightening situation you have ever experienced?

2. What is something you feared as a child?

3.What is something you have diligently pursued in life?

Explore It

4. Where did Jesus’ disciples go? (John 6:16)

5. Who hadn’t joined the disciples yet? (John 6:17)

6. What happened to the water? (John 6:18)

7. *What miraculous feat did Jesus perform? (John 6:19)

8. *How did the disciples react to what they saw? (John 6:19)

9. What did Jesus do to calm His disciples’ fear? (John 6:20)

10. *What miraculous event took place once Jesus entered the boat? (John 6:21)

11. Where was the crowd? (John 6:22)

12. What did the crowd realize? (John 6:22)

13.What did the crowd do when they realized that neither Jesus nor His disciples were there? (John 6:24)

Get It

14. When and why have you ever been afraid for your life or personal safety?

15. *When do you feel alone and in need of God’s presence?

16. When do you tend to leave Jesus behind and out of the picture in your life?

17. *What fears has Jesus calmed in your life?

18. Under what circumstances are you often unwilling to allow Jesus to enter your problems or troubling situations?

19. What circumstances or events have caused you to search for Jesus?

Apply It

20. *How will you depend on God the next time a threatening situation confronts you?

21. What specific fears do you need to ask God to calm in your life?

Verse 17

Joh 6:17

John 6:17

and they entered into a boat, and were going over the sea unto Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.—[It was a small fishing boat, but large enough to carry at least twelve. It was propelled by oars. Mark says to Bethsaida, but this was on the way to Caper­naum. Mark specifies the first landing place and John the end of the journey.]

Verse 18

Joh 6:18

John 6:18

And the sea was rising by reason of a great wind that blew.—The Sea of Galilee, a comparatively small body of water, about six miles wide, could be quickly thrown into high waves by the winds that would come down from the surrounding mountains.

Verse 19

Joh 6:19

John 6:19

When therefore they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs,—There are eight furlongs in a mile. Had they gone in a straight course they would have been about the center of the sea. Owing to the winds and waves they were doubtless thrown out of their course. Some think they drifted along the east shore from which they started.

they behold Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the boat:—After they had gone this far they saw Jesus coming. Matthew 14:25 says it was in the fourth watch, or between three o’clock and day. He walked on the sea while it was agitated by the winds and the waves rolled. Mat­thew 14:26 says they thought it was “a ghost,” a disem­bodied spirit. It is a new work in which to see Jesus.

and they were afraid.—[Mark reports that they cried out in fright.]

Verse 20

Joh 6:20

John 6:20

But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid.—They were familiar with the tone of his voice and his speech allayed their fears.

Verse 21

Joh 6:21

John 6:21

They were willing therefore to receive him into the boat: and straightway the boat was at the land whither they were going.—Matthew 14:28-33 tells of Peter’s request to come to Jesus on the water, his attempt, Jesus entering into the boat, the allaying of the storm, and their landing whither they were going. [Christ was their salvation. He can also calm the troubled soul and carry it safely to heaven.]

Verse 22

Joh 6:22

John 6:22

On the morrow the multitude that stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, save one, and that Jesus entered not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples went away alone—Some of the people seem to have been at the same place the next day. They had seen the apostles leave without Jesus, and had known of no way of his leaving, so expected to find him at the place they had left him.

Verse 23

Joh 6:23

John 6:23

(howbeit there came boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks):—The other boats that came later were those still there, and in which the people in some of them crossed over to the other side.

Verse 24

Joh 6:24

John 6:24

when the multitude therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they themselves got into the boats, and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.—The people, know­ing that Jesus did not go with the disciples and having no other means of going, took the boats that were there and came to Capernaum seeking him.

Verse 25

Joh 6:25

John 6:25

And when they found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither?—Their curiosity to know how he crossed the sea was uppermost in their minds. The multitudes that he had fed sought him on the east side of the Sea of Galilee, where he had fed them, and not finding him they crossed over to Capernaum and found him on the west side of the sea—the other side from where they had eaten. They did not understand how he came, as they knew he did not come with his disciples, so asked the question how he came over. They addressed him as “Rabbi.” This means “teacher” or master in the sense of teacher. It was applied by the Jews to their teachers, and frequently to Jesus as a recognition of his wisdom and superiority as a teacher. As applied to Jesus, it was a recognition that he was a teacher sent from God. Jesus did not answer their question but responded:

Verses 25-59

Joh 6:25-59

Jesus the Bread of Life - John 6:25-59

Open It

1. What kind of bread do you like most?

2. *How do people attempt to satisfy their need to feel secure and significant in life?

3. What needs do you spend the majority of your time trying to satisfy?

Explore It

4. *Why did the crowd seek Jesus? (John 6:26)

5. What did Jesus say the Son of Man would give to these people? (John 6:27)

6. What did Jesus say was the work of God? (John 6:28-29)

7. What did the crowd ask Jesus to do? (John 6:30-31)

8. Who did Jesus say was the true bread of life? (John 6:32-33)

9. *What did Jesus say would be the result of coming to Him? (John 6:35)

10. What did Jesus say He would never do to those who came to Him? (John 6:37)

11. Why did Jesus come down from heaven? (John 6:38)

12. What did Jesus say is the Father’s will? (John 6:39-40)

13. Why did the Jews begin to grumble? (John 6:41-42)

14. Who did Jesus say could come to Him? (John 6:43-44)

15. What did Jesus say would be the result of believing? (John 6:47)

16. *What contrast does Jesus make between manna and the bread of life? (John 6:48-51; John 6:58)

17. What did Jesus say about His flesh and His blood? (John 6:53-57)

Get It

18. *What things do we seek from Jesus?

19. In what ways do you have a demanding attitude toward God?

20. When and why did you come to Jesus?

21. *In what way has Jesus satisfied your hunger and thirst for acceptance and meaning in life?

22. In what ways do you still feel empty?

23. What situations cause you to feel insecure?

24. When do you feel secure in your relationship with God? Why?

25. How has the Christian life turned out to be different from what you expected?

26. In what way is Jesus an example for us to follow?

Apply It

27. *What can you do today to rely on God, rather than on things or people, to satisfy your needs?

28. What demanding attitudes do you need to ask God to help you change?

Verse 26

Joh 6:26

John 6:26

Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw signs, but because ye ate of the loaves, and were filled.—Instead of gratifying their curiosity he sought to reprove them for seeking him for the food he gave them. While not answering their question, he tells them a truth that laid bare their hearts—that is, that they were not interested in the miracles he performed as manifestations of divine presence, but because they ate of the food and were filled. They were not interested in the great truths as was teaching as affecting their spiritual and eternal interests and God’s glory and honor. That class of people exists yet and in our country. Have a meeting at which food is abundantly provided and many will attend who take no interest in the preaching, but are attracted by the dinner pro­vided. They are not specially vicious people, but fleshly people, who are satisfied with enough to fill the belly.

Verse 27

Joh 6:27

John 6:27

Work not for the food which perisheth, but for the food which abideth unto eternal life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him the Father, even God, hath sealed.—He diverted their minds to the great spiritual truths that he would give them as meat that would endure unto eternal life. The Father owned and confessed him as his prophet to teach the world. He makes use of this occurrence to impress the importance of seeking spiritual good that will result in eternal or imperishable blessings. The material food they ate perishes; the body sustained by this food perishes, but the spirit lives forever, and the food which sustains and promotes its well-being is spiritual food that perishes not. Jesus was drawing the distinction and contrast between the body and the spirit, and between the food that sustains the vigor of the body and that which promotes the well-being of the soul.

Verse 28

Joh 6:28

John 6:28

They said therefore unto him, What must we do, that we may work the works of God?—They recognized that when he said, “Work not for the food which perisheth, but for the food which abideth unto eternal life,” he began to tell them to do the work of God that they may have life. They recognized that God’s work would endure forever, and to do the work of God was to labor for the meat that will endure forever, so they asked what they should do in order that they may do that work. They understood, too, that to do what God required them to do was to do the work of God. The meaning then was: what does God require us to do that we may inherit everlasting life?

Verse 29

Joh 6:29

John 6:29

Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.—The work that God requires of them is to believe in Jesus Christ whom God hath sent to represent him. Believing in Christ is the work of God because appointed by God. It is to be done by man, for man must believe. This is a work performed by the inner, spiritual man. A careful study of this truth will help to solve several difficulties that give trouble in the re­ligious world. The question of salvation by works has trou­bled the world. A clear understanding of the different senses in which the term works is used would help to settle this dif­ficulty. It is used in two distinct senses—the works of God and the works of man. Salvation is often attributed to the former; never to the latter. The works of God are those works ordained by God for man to do, not works which God himself does. The works of man are those devised by man. A work ordained by God for one dispensation or for one class of persons, taken from this and transferred to another class, becomes in this latter a work of man. The verse illustrates the truth that the works of God are works ordained by God to be performed by man.

Verse 30

Joh 6:30

John 6:30

They said therefore unto him, What then doest thou for a sign, that we may see, and believe thee? what workest thou?—They understood that he meant they were to believe in him as the Son of God. “If we are to believe on you, what sign, or miracle, do you give as evidence on which our faith in you may rest?” It was rather singular to ask this ques­tion when they had just seen the loaves and the fishes in­creased to feed the thousands and they had eaten of it. They ask again, “What workest thou?” What miracle, or sign, do you work that we may believe on you? This was demand­ing testimony while refusing to believe that already given.

Verse 31

Joh 6:31

John 6:31

Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is writ­ten, He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.—They follow up this request by referring to the manna that God gave to the fathers in the wilderness. This was a work, or sign, given the fathers that they might believe on God. Now what kind of work do you do that we may believe on you? It is prob­able that they expected him to feed them, without labor on their part, through life as a sign.

Verse 32

Joh 6:32

John 6:32

Jesus therefore said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, It was not Moses that gave you the bread out of heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread out of heaven.—Jesus seizes this reference to the manna to show that this manna was not real spiritual bread sent down from God. He again emphasizes the truth he tells them. “It was not Moses that gave you the bread out of heaven.” The bread Moses gave you came not from heaven. It was material (earthly) bread for the support of the body. “My Father giveth you the true bread.” The true bread that God gave from heaven was spiritual, and will bring spiritual life. In verse 49 he tells them, “Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.” Hence, it could not be the spiritual bread that comes from heaven. Verse 50: “This is the bread which cometh down out of heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.” In verse 51 he says: “I am the living bread which came down out of heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever.” The manna that Moses gave the fathers was an earthly (perishable) food—a type of the true bread that comes from heaven in the person of Jesus Christ that brought eternal life to man.

Verse 33

Joh 6:33

John 6:33

For the bread of God is that which cometh down out of heaven, and giveth life unto the world.—He follows up this thought by the assurance that he was the true bread from God and he came to give life to the world. The bread that would strengthen their souls and give to them eternal life was Jesus Christ, which came down from heaven, and who giveth life to the world. Jesus Christ “brought life and im­mortality to light through the gospel.” (2 Timothy 1:10). “I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6). Jesus came to earth to make known to man the life—the immortal life at the right hand of the Father, and to guide men into this life. He alone can give life to man.

Verse 34

Joh 6:34

John 6:34

They said therefore unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.—When they heard such great good would come from it they asked for this bread that they might not die, but live the fleshly life forever. This is the same effect it had upon the woman at the well in Samaria. She asked for the water that she might have to draw no more, for the well was deep. These people desired the bread that would per­petuate life without labor, but they had no conception that it meant to give up all the fleshly enjoyments and to deny self and live the life of holiness that Jesus lived. “Upon this many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” (Verse 66). The desertion was so general that Jesus asked of his apostles, “Would ye also go away?” Simon Peter answered. “To whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” The meaning is, these people were willing to eat the food he provided, and to enjoy the blessings he bestowed, but when they saw that his teaching meant a denial of self to serve and honor him—a walk with Jesus in a life of humility and self-denial—they forsook him. It is yet true that the great masses of mankind are willing to enjoy the blessings of God, but not to obey him. They are willing to reign with him, but not to suffer with him. But none may reign with him unless they are willing to suffer with him. None can enjoy the blessings unless they are willing to serve him here.

Verse 35

Joh 6:35

John 6:35

Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall not hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.—Jesus is the spiritual bread and will give spiritual and eternal life to all who obey him. They, like the woman of Samaria, found it difficult to rise above the thoughts of their fleshly body and its appetites and desires. This is an explanation of what is meant. Jesus himself was the bread of life. To believe on him with an earnest, living faith was to eat his flesh and drink his blood. So he that came to him by faith and submission to him would never hunger, and he that believed on him should never thirst—that is, he who comes to Jesus trusts in him, is led by him, does his will, as did the Father’s will, shall have all the wants of the soul satisfied. This was an important lesson and brought the requirements of self-denial home to his followers so that all fair-weather followers forsook him and followed him no more.

Verse 36

Joh 6:36

John 6:36

But I said unto you, that ye have seen me, and yet be­lieve not.—The reason they could not receive that life was that he had shown himself in his teachings and many works he had done in their presence, yet they refused to believe in him so refused to do the work of God.

Verse 37

Joh 6:37

John 6:37

All that which the Father giveth me shall come unto me;—There is a recognition in the scripture that certain classes of persons with honest hearts desirous to know and do the right are God’s people, and will do what God desires them to do. That class is here represented as given to Christ by God. In the tenth chapter Christ speaks of having sheep not of the flock then with him, referring to the Gentiles who would receive him when he was preached to them. Again, at Corinth God told Paul, “I have much people in this city” (Acts 18:9-10) before any of them had confessed him. Cer­tain persons fitted in character to receive God’s word are called his people before they confess him. This explains the calling and predestination of the Bible. God has called and predestinated to eternal life all willing to receive him.

and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.—All that class Jesus receives. Some who are not of this class receive him temporarily, but lack depth of character and under temptation fall away. Judas was an example of this character of people.

Verse 38

Joh 6:38

John 6:38

For I am come down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.—The end of all God’s dealings with men is to bring them to do the will of God. Jesus came from heaven to earth to lead men in this way. He had no will of his own apart from the will of God. To do that will was the supreme and only object of Jesus and should be of his followers.

Verse 39

Joh 6:39

John 6:39

And this is the will of him that sent me, that of all that which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.—God’s will was that Jesus should save all who would believe and follow him. This he does. That some start out to follow, turn back, walk with him no more, and are lost does not disprove this truth.

Verse 40

Joh 6:40

John 6:40

For this is the will of my Father, that every one that beholdeth the Son, and believeth on him, should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.—It is God’s will that all who will obey Jesus should have eternal life. These Jesus will raise up at the last day. They have the faculties to see and believe that God desires them to use them in believing the truths he presents them. If they refuse they damn themselves.

Verse 41

Joh 6:41

John 6:41

The Jews therefore murmured concerning him, because he said, I am the bread which came down out of heaven.—The Jews did not understand his meaning or see how he could be the bread of life. They looked at it all from a materialistic standpoint.

Verse 42

Joh 6:42

John 6:42

And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how doth he now say, I am come down out of heaven?—They knew his earthly origin, his reputed father and mother, and how could the claim be made? It seemed impossible and absurd to them.

Verse 43

Joh 6:43

John 6:43

Jesus answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.—[This is a rebuke. They were not honest in­quirers, but cavilers.]

Verse 44

Joh 6:44

John 6:44

No man can come to me, except the Father that sent me draw him: and I will raise him up in the last day.—None could come to Jesus unless taught and drawn by the Father. [Two elements are concerned in coming to Christ. Namely, the man’s will and the divine drawing. No man comes unless he wills to come. “Ye will not come to me, that ye may have life.” (John 5:40). Jesus said to Jerusalem, “How often would I have gathered thy children . . . and ye would not." Man can refuse to come and God does not compel, but he says “he that will, let him take the water of life freely.” This is the human side. On the divine side God “draws,” not so as to force man’s will, but to induce the desire to come. The gospel “is the power of God unto salvation.” It is the drawing power. It draws by its manifestation of the love of God, by its revelation of the crucified Savior, and his adaptation to the needs of the soul. If mail’s will consents, and he yields to the drawing power, he comes. If he “will not,” and refuses to be drawn, he does not come. God will not force him. No one comes to Jesus unless he yields his own will and is drawn by the love of the Father manifested in the gospel. He draws men to Christ by the gospel, then Christ takes up the work and will raise them from the dead “in the last day.”]

Verse 45

Joh 6:45

John 6:45

It is written in the prophets, And they shall all be taught of God.—God through all the ages of the past had been trying and making ready a people to receive the Christ when he came. None could receive him save those who had been taught and prepared by God. [Jesus is more explicit how the Father draws men to Christ. It is by teaching men. All taught of God, who have heard and learned of the Father, come to Christ.]

Every one that hath heard from the Father, and hath learned, cometh unto me.—This means the same, “If ye believed Moses, ye would believe me; for he wrote of me.” (John 5:46). Those who had in faith received the teachings of Moses and the prophets were prepared to receive Jesus. God drew them by the teachings he gave them. And those who had received these teachings of God received Jesus when he came. [It is what one learns from the teaching that makes him willing to come.]

Verse 46

Joh 6:46

John 6:46

Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he that is from God, he hath seen the Father.—The drawing of God was through his servants, the prophets, and teachers he had sent into the world. [We do not learn of God by seeing and hear­ing him personally, but we learn of his will from Jesus.]

Verse 47

Joh 6:47

John 6:47

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth hath eternal life.—Jesus came into the world to give eternal life to those who believe in him. They have it in promise, and the germs of eternal life are implanted in the heart through faith in Christ Jesus. These germs need to be treasured and culti­vated that they may bear fruit in the resurrection. [Jesus affirms that faith in him is the source of life.]

Verse 48

Joh 6:48

John 6:48

I am the bread of life.—Jesus is the means and source of spiritual and eternal life as bread is the source and support of material life.

Verse 49

Joh 6:49

John 6:49

Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.—The manna was the bread given them to support them through the journey to the earthly Canaan, as Jesus was to support them in the journey to the heavenly Canaan. But the manna was not life giving, for those who ate of it died.

Verse 50

Joh 6:50

John 6:50

This is the bread which cometh down out of heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.—Those who partook of the true bread of heaven should never die.

Verse 51

Joh 6:51

John 6:51

I am the living bread which came down out of heaven:—Jesus himself possessed life and could impart it to others. His life was spiritual and eternal.

if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; yea and the bread which I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world.—To make his will our will and to live according to his will is to eat of his flesh and drink of his blood—make his life our life. To do this is to eat his flesh and drink his blood and his life he gave for the life of the world.

Verse 52

Joh 6:52

John 6:52

The Jews therefore strove one with another, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?—The Jews in the grossness of their nature could not perceive the spiritual truths and so murmured over the impossibility of the truths.

Verse 53

Joh 6:53

John 6:53

Jesus therefore said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, ye have not life in yourselves.—Insisted on the truth he had told them and that unless they made his life their life they would have no life—the life he gave—in them.

Verse 54

Joh 6:54

John 6:54

He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.—He who makes the life of Jesus his life hath eternal life and Jesus will raise him up to the enjoyment of eternal life at the last day.

Verse 55

Joh 6:55

John 6:55

For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.—The making of the life of Jesus one’s life indeed or true spiritual life.

Verse 56

Joh 6:56

John 6:56

He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood abideth in me, and I in him.—He who makes the life of Jesus his life abides in Jesus and Jesus is in him.

Verse 57

Joh 6:57

John 6:57

As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father;—The Father has eternal life. He “only hath immor­tality,” and Jesus receives life from him and lives by or through him.

so he that eateth me, he also shall live because of me.—As Jesus receives life from the Father and lives by him, so the disciples were to receive life from Christ and live by or from him. As Jesus made the Father’s will his will and so lived by the Father, so we make the will of Jesus our will and live by him.

Verse 58

Joh 6:58

John 6:58

This is the bread which came down out of heaven: not as the fathers ate, and died; he that eateth this bread shall live for ever.—He as the bread from heaven possesses the eternal life and those who receive this life from him will never die, but with him live forever. [The food the fathers ate in the wilderness sustained temporary life for a season, but could not impart it, for it was dead food. The bread from heaven is endued with life, and therefore gives eternal life.]

Verse 59

Joh 6:59

John 6:59

These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.—Capernaum was now the home of Jesus and these things were taught in the synagogue there.

Verse 60

Joh 6:60

John 6:60

Many therefore of his disciples, when they heard this, said, This is a hard saying; who can hear it?—Many who claimed to be his disciples and after a kind believed in him when they heard these things were dissatisfied and turned back and no more followed him. These people really believed in him with the power of faith they possessed; but lacked depth of character or strength of character to withstand the fleshly desires and so turned back.

Verses 60-71

Joh 6:60-71

Many Disciples Desert Jesus - John 6:60-71

Open It

1. *What is something that you enthusiastically started but were later tempted to quit?

2. For what causes have people willingly suffered and even died?

Explore It

3. *How did many of Jesus’ disciples respond to His teaching? (John 6:60)

4. What did Jesus ask the grumbling disciples? (John 6:31)

5. What kind of words did Jesus speak to His audience? (John 6:63)

6. *What did Jesus know? (John 6:64)

7. Who did Jesus say could come to Him? (John 6:65)

8. What did many of Jesus’ disciples do after Jesus spoke these words? (John 6:66)

9. What question did Jesus ask His twelve disciples? (John 6:67)

10. *What was Peter’s reply to Jesus’ question? (John 6:68-69)

11. What did Jesus say about His disciples? (John 6:70)

12. Whom did Jesus call a devil? (John 6:71)

Get It

13. *What teachings of Jesus have you found difficult to understand or accept?

14. What makes some of Jesus’ teachings difficult to understand and follow?

15. What might cause someone to stop following Jesus?

16. When have you ever felt like turning away from following Jesus?

17. *What has kept you from turning away from Christ?

18. What makes you believe that Jesus is the Son of God?

Apply It

19. *What difficult teaching of Jesus will you ask God to help you understand and apply to your life?

20. What struggling Christian could use your encouragement this week as he or she continues to follow Jesus?

Verse 61

Joh 6:61

John 6:61

But Jesus knowing in himself that his disciples mur­mured at this, said unto them, Doth this cause you to stumble?—Jesus’ knowledge of their fleshly appetites called out this question. [The disciples could not take in what had just been said. They expected an earthly king, not a crucified Savior. Hence, they murmured and were offended.]

Verse 62

Joh 6:62

John 6:62

What then if ye should behold the Son of man ascending where he was before?—Jesus knowing he would return to the Father from whom he had come asked this question to inti­mate that they would see or know this, and what would they think if they should see him do it?

Verse 63

Joh 6:63

John 6:63

It is the spirit that giveth life;—The trouble was in getting these people to see and understand that he was telling them great spiritual truths and not material and fleshly. The spirit in man is the permanent and abiding principle of his being. God’s spirit quickens this spirit of man, giving life to it—eternal life. The flesh and fleshly relations are tem­poral and will pass away.

the flesh profiteth nothing:—The flesh gives no real profit. The fleshly relation to Abraham on which they relied was no profit.

the words that I have spoken unto you are spirit, and are life.—The words of Jesus were the teachings of the Spirit and would bring life to them who received them. In Christ Jesus the Spirit of God dwells. He is the ever-present rep­resentative of the Godhead dwelling in his body here on earth. (Ephesians 2:2). After man sinned and the world was sin-defiled, God found no true dwelling place on earth among men until the spiritual temple was built. Then, through the Spirit, he dwelt in that temple with his children on earth. There was a material, typical building, the earthly temple; but this was only a shadow of the heavenly power or essence. His word is full of spirit and imbued with life-giving power. “The word of God is the seed of the kingdom." In the seed the germinal, or life principle, dwells. (James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23). The germinal principle of life dwells in the seed, and the word of God is an incorruptible seed; it never can be despoiled of its life principle. The Spirit of God dwells in and works through the laws he has given. (Romans 8:2). The quickening principle dwells dormant in the seed until it comes into favorable surroundings, then it germinates or is quick­ened into a new being. The word of God, as the seed, is received into the heart and it germinates into life. The Spirit of God not only quickens into life, but promotes the growth of the life imparted.

Verse 64

Joh 6:64

John 6:64

But there are some of you that believe not.—Notwith­standing all the works and words of Jesus to the Jews, there were many that disbelieved, and he explains it directly to the disciples and the chosen twelve.

For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who it was that should betray him.—Jesus knew who was lacking in that strength of character that would cause him, when the temptation came, to betray him.

Verse 65

Joh 6:65

John 6:65

And he said, For this cause have I said unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it be given unto him of the Father.—Because many would forsake him, and Judas would betray him, he gave them this warning that none could come except the Father draw him. This class was not drawn by the Father in that they had not hearkened to his teachings. God had given them to him. See verses 44 and 45.

Verse 66

Joh 6:66

John 6:66

Upon this many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.—Many who were his disciples followed him, learning of him and believing in him, but could not en­dure the difficulties presented. Their faith was not strong enough to lead them to endure the teaching he presented and turned back from following him.

Verse 67

Joh 6:67

John 6:67

Jesus said therefore unto the twelve, Would ye also go away?—A feeling of depression and temporary despondency seems to have crept over the soul of Jesus when he asked this question of the twelve. It would indicate that the great number of his other disciples had left him and gone away.

Verse 68

Joh 6:68

John 6:68

Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go?—Peter with his accustomed boldness and frankness responds. He knew of none other who could bring eternal life. That is the only thing worth living for in this world. This indi­cates the depth of his thoughts and his appreciation of the teaching of Jesus.

thou hast the words of eternal life.—Only the words of Jesus can give us the words of eternal life. [The world may well ask this question. If it turns from Christ, to whom shall it go? He only has the words of eternal life.] Many followed for a time, especially when the loaves and the fishes abounded, but when self-denial was required the multitudes turned back and “walked no more with him.” A feeling of discouragement seems to have crept over Jesus and he turned to his disciples and asked, “Would ye also go away?” Of the multitudes that were taught by him during his mission on earth, only a few were with him at his betrayal and death. A multitude welcomed him to Jerusalem when he came to the Passover feast with shouts of “Hosanna to the King!” In a few days the multitude cried, “Crucify him, crucify him!” One of his chosen twelve betrayed him, another de­nied him, and all forsook him.

Verse 69

Joh 6:69

John 6:69

And we have believed and know that thou art the Holy One of God.—He here gives his full appreciation of Jesus and his mission of guiding to eternal life.

Verse 70

Joh 6:70

John 6:70

Jesus answered them, Did not I choose you the twelve, and one of you is a devil?—As Peter had confessed Christ and had given assurance of the confidence of the twelve in him, he in turn assures them he had chosen the twelve as his followers and his disciples and they had the promise of the life that he gave; but that one of the number would fail and be lost. [The shadow of sorrow is still upon his heart.]

Verse 71

Joh 6:71

John 6:71

Now he spake of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.—It was not yet known among the disciples or even Judas that he would betray him. The apostle John writing this years afterward told that Judas was the man whom Jesus knew from the beginning possessed a demon and would betray him.

[Peter having made this confession for himself and the rest of the apostles that they would not depart from Jesus whom they believed to be the true Messiah, the Son of the living God; Christ intimates to Peter that his charity was something too large in promising so much for them all; for there was one traitor among them whose heart was as open to Christ as his face was to them. He meant it of Judas, of whose treach­ery he gave them warning at this time. Jesus knew Judas was a hypocrite at this time, but did not rebuke Peter for having a better opinion of him than he deserved.]

Questions on John Chapter Six

E.M. Zerr

1. State another name for Galilee.

2. What attracted the multitude to Jesus?

3. To what place did he take his disciples?

4. What national event was approaching?

5. Whom did Jesus observe coming to him?

6. How did he test Philip?

7. What supplies did they have on hand?

8. State the orderly arrangement Jesus directed.

9. Tell what use he made of his diseiples.

10. What service preceded the eating?

11. How many were fed?

12. What indicates lhey were satisfied?

13. Why were lhe fragments galhered up?

14. How did this miracle affect the people?

15. What did Jesus now perceive?

16. How did he avoid it?

17. Why did he avoid it?

18. To what city did the disciples sail?

19. What condition came upon them?

20. Sta:e what surprised them with fear.

21. What calmed them?

22. Had Jcsus started with them on this voyage?

23. Who had observed this?

24. What else had they observed?

25. Upon this what did they do?

26. Slate their question to Jesus.

27. What rebuke did he give them?

28. And what admonition did he give them?

29. Hepeat their inquiry of him.

30. And his answer.

31. What furthcr evidcnce did they request?

32. What historical fact suggested this request?

33. Who had given them the manna?

34. State what bread he had not given them.

35. To what bread did Jesus refer?

36. Did they yet understand him?

37. Hepcat their request.

38. Upon this what information did he give them?

39. How does this bread differ from other?

40. What act of the mind is necessary?

41. Who will come to Jesus?

42. Tcll the asurance he has for thcm.

43. For what did Jesus come down from heaven?

44. When will he finally accomplish this purpose?

45. What caused the Jews to murmur?

46. What family history confused them?

47. Explain their confusion.

48. Who only can come to Jesus?

49. How had the prophets written of this?

50. Who only had seen God?

51. How must everlasting life be obtained?

52. What is the bread of life?

53. How did it differ from manna of the fathers?

54. What must Jesus give to produce this bread?

55. Tell the mistake the Jews again made.

56. How did Jesus increase their perplexity?

57. Why would such words add to their confusion?

58. How will the new bread affect life?

59. Where was Jesus doing his teaching?

60. Who were confused besides the Jews?

61. By what prediction did he increase their confusion?

62. Why would it have such effect?

63. State the key to the whole misunderstanding.

64. How was the literal flesh related to this?

65. Who is meant in 64th verse?

66. Why cauld he not come to Jesus?

67. Tell who was responsible for the situation.

68. What did many disciples now do?

69. Repeat Jesus question to the twelve.

70. And the answer of Peter.

71. Of what did he say they were sure?

72. What did Jesus call Judas?

73. Tell what he was going to do.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on John 6". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/john-6.html.
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