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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
John 6

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-15

The Feeding of the Five Thousand: The Testimony of Indoctrination by the Holy Spirit (Fourth Miracle) ( Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17) - In John 6:1-15 we find the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand. Jesus will later use this miracle to testify to His disciples and to the Jews in John 6:22-71 that He Himself is the true bread of life that comes from Heaven. This bread of life that Jesus offers refers to our daily need to partake of His Word. Therefore, this miracle testifies to the part of our spiritual journey called Indoctrination, which follows the previous section in John's Gospel ( John 5:1-47) emphasizing justification through faith in Jesus Christ.

Symbolic Meaning of the Bread- Notes these insightful words of Frances J. Roberts regarding the symbolic meaning of the bread:

"It is a joy to My heart when My children rely upon Me. I delight in working things out for thee, but I delight even more in thee thyself than in anything I do to help thee. Even Song of Solomon , I want you to delight in Me just for Myself, rather than in anything ye do for Me. Service is the salvage of love. It is like the twelve baskets of bread that were left over. The bread partaken of was like fellowship mutually given; and the excess and overflow was a symbol of service. I do not expect thee to give to others until ye have first thyself been a partaker. I will provide you with plentiful supply to give if ye first come to receive for thine own needs. This is in no way selfishness. It is the Law of Life. Can the stalk of corn produce the ear unless first it receive its own life from the parent seed? No more can ye produce fruit in thy ministry except ye be impregnated with divine life from its source in God Himself. It was from the hands of the Christ that the multitudes received bread. From His hands ye also must receive thy nurture, the Bread of Life to sustain thy health and thy life.

"Let Him fully satisfy thy soul-hunger, and then thou shalt go forth with a full basket on thine arm. Twelve baskets there were ( Matthew 14:20). One for each disciple. There will always be the multitudes to be fed, but the few called to minister. This is by My own arrangement. As the Scripture says: Do not many desire to be teachers, for thereby is attached more heavy responsibility ( James 3:1)." 169]

169] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 153-4.

Jesus' Touch- As Jesus touched the bread, it brought life to the loaves and they multiplied, much like the rod of Aaron's that budded when placed into the Ark of the Covenant.

The Ministry of Helps- The principle of the ministry of helps is seen in this story. The twelve disciples were helping Jesus to distribute the bread. As the blessing and anointing was flowing through Jesus Christ to break the bread, so was this anointing imparted unto the disciples as they took of this bread and broke it and saw it multiply by their hands also. Noting that this event took place late in the day, Jesus would not have had time to break enough bread himself to feed the five thousand. The disciples were clearly breaking the bread they had received from Jesus. This story teaches us that there is an anointing imparted as we serve in the ministry of helps.

The Divine Principle of Thankfulness- Today in Israel, tour guides will suggest that there were about 40 ,000 people present at this time that were feed miraculously. In this story, we see a divine principle that will work in our lives. Jesus took what small provision His Heavenly Father provided and gave God thanks for it. God was then able to bless what He had and cause it to multiply. Our Father will do the same for us. We are to be thankful for what we presently have and serve Him so that He can bless and multiply our provision.

John 6:1 After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias.

John 6:1Comments - The six feast sections of John's Gospel ( John 2:1 to John 11:54) have distinct transitional statements regarding Jesus journeying to a Jewish feast and retreating after manifesting Himself as the Son of God ( John 2:2; John 2:12; John 5:1; John 6:1; John 7:1-9; John 10:23). The seventh miracle of the Resurrection also begins with a similar statement of Jesus arriving at a feast ( John 11:55 to John 12:1).

Comments - The Sea of Galilee was called the Sea of Chinnereth (Chinneroth) in the Old Testament ( Numbers 34:11, Joshua 12:3; Joshua 13:27), and it probably took this name from the city of Chinnereth ( Deuteronomy 3:17, Joshua 11:2; Joshua 19:35). Thus, it is called the lake of Gennesaret in Luke 5:1.It is most often called the sea of Galilee by the Evangelists ( Matthew 4:18; Matthew 15:29; Mark 1:16; Mark 7:31; John 6:1), which name is found as far back as Joshua 20:7. It was also named the sea of Tiberias ( John 6:1; John 6:23; John 21:1) after a nearby city founded by Herod Antipas around A.D 17-18 in honor of his patron Tiberius. 170] Thus, the sea was known by all three names during the first century. Since John is the only one who refers to it as the sea of Tiberias, this name may have not been use until later the first century.

170] Josephus writes, "And now Herod the tetrarch, who was in great favor with Tiberius, built a city of the same name with him, and called it Tiberias. He built it in the best part of Galilee, at the lake of Gennesareth." (Antiquities 1823)

Some scholars believe Jesus travelled from the west side of the lake to the east side in John 6:1, and sat on the hillside in the region known today as the Golan Heights. 171]

171] Andreas Ksterberger, John , in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004), 199-200.

John 6:2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.

John 6:2Comments - The public ministry of Jesus Christ reached its peak of popularity during the miracle of Jesus feeding the five thousand, as the multitudes around Galilee followed Him. At the end of the narrative section in John 6:60-66 many disciples forsook Him. Jesus will be left standing in the synagogue of Capernaum asking His closest disciples if they will forsake Him also ( John 6:67-71). Jesus' miracles have brought attention to His message, but not commitment from His followers.

John 6:3 And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples.

John 6:3Comments - John 6:3 is similar to Jesus going on a mountain to teach the Sermon on the Mount to His disciples ( Matthew 5:1).

Matthew 5:1, "And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:"

Many of these disciples are about to forsake Jesus because of the declaration that He is the Bread of Life ( John 6:60-71). Throughout the Gospel of John , Jesus progressively reveals further aspects of His divinity that relate to man's redemption. These disciples accepted Jesus in His early ministry, believing Him to be the Messiah who was sent from God because of the many miracles He wrought. They believed in Him in order to please God; for many heard John the Baptist preaching and declaring Jesus as the Lamb of God who was sent by God. However, to accept the fact that a Jew's entrance into Heaven was dependent upon following Jesus was a bit too much to digest in their hearts and minds. There had never been a prophet in Jewish history upon whom their salvation was dependent. Many of these disciples felt they could be right with God apart from following this prophet sent from God. A commitment to follow Jesus the rest of their lives and serve Him was too much to make. These disciples were caught up in the popular consensus of following Jesus because of His miracles, but this was about to change. In the lengthy discourse contained in this narrative section, Jesus will call these disciples into a deeper commitment of faith in Him as the Son of God upon whom their eternal salvation and daily teachings will depend. A few will continue following Jesus, but many will depart.

John 6:4 And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh.

John 6:4Comments - The apostle John records three Passovers in his Gospel ( John 2:23; John 6:4; John 11:55), which tells us that the public ministry of Jesus Christ lasted around three years.

John 2:23, "Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did."

John 6:4, "And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh."

John 11:55, "And the Jews" passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves."

John 6:5 When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philippians , Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?

John 6:5 — "When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him" - Comments - Jesus was in a relatively open area and He saw the people coming towards Him and gathering into a crowd. John 6:5 describes a sudden event in Jesus' public ministry when He lifted up His eyes and saw. Probably at this moment, the Father gave Jesus a word of wisdom on how to handle the hungry crowd, so He turns to Philip to see if any of the twelve had faith to believe that God would meet this need.

"he saith unto Philippians , Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat" - Comments - At the time of the institution of the manna in the wilderness, Moses asks the Lord a similar question, saying, "Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat." ( Numbers 11:13)

John 6:6 And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.

John 6:6Comments - Only the Gospel of John tells us that Jesus knew what He was about to do because the Father had shown Him; thus, the emphasis upon the relationship of Jesus with the Father. Jesus Christ knew the story of the widow of Zarephath found in 1 Kings 17:8-16, how God supplied her food during the years of the famine, and that of Elisha feeding the one hundred men with an offering unto the Lord in 2 Kings 4:42-44. He knew of God's miraculous provision when a person took what little they had and offered thanks unto God. God the Father had given Jesus a word of wisdom on how to handle this situation. Jesus is simply doing what He has seen in His spirit from the Father ( John 5:19).

John 5:19, "Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise."

John 6:7 Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.

John 6:7Comments - One δηνά ριον (denarius) was considered a day's wages. 172] Therefore, two hundred denarii would have been over half of a year's wages.

172] Andreas J. Ksterberger, John , in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004), 201.

John 6:8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter"s brother, saith unto him,

John 6:9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?

John 6:9Comments - The Gospel of John tells us that there was a small boy in the crowd who has some food. He was willing to offer it unto Jesus and His disciples. We know that there were others who had brought some small portions of food with them, but had not offered it, probably because they did not think that it was enough to help the situation. God can take our smallest gifts and work mighty miracles with it if we will only be willing to offer it unto Him.

Note these insightful words from Sadhu Sundar Singh regarding the lad with the loaves and fishes.

"Sometimes when there is some great act of service to be done, I choose for My purpose those who are little esteemed in the eyes of the world, for they make no boast of their own power or Wisdom of Solomon , but putting their entire trust in Me, and accounting what little ability they possess as of no great value, they devote all they have and are to My work for men (1Cor. i 26-30). For instance, when I fed in the wilderness five thousand men with five loaves and two fishes, you will remember that I did not perform this miracle by the agency of My disciples, for they were full of doubt and perplexity and wished to send the multitude away hungry (John vi 9). My servant on that occasion was a little lad whom I had cured of the palsy. Filled with a desire to hear My words he determined to follow Me. His poor mother wrapped up in his clothes some barley cakes and dried fish, enough for two or three days journey, so when inquiry was made for food for the multitude this faithful little lad at once brought all that he had and laid it at the disciples' feet. Though there were wealthy people there who had with them much better food, such as wheaten cakes, they were not prepared to give them up; so it was from the barley cakes of this boy, My namesake, that by My blessing the multitude was fed with the choicest food." 173]

173] Sadhu Sundar Singh, At the Master's Feet, translated by Arthur Parker (London: Fleming H. Revell Co, 1922) [on-line], accessed 26 October 2008, available from http://www.ccel.org/ccel/singh/feet.html; Internet, "IV Service," section 2, part 6.

John 6:10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.

John 6:11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.

John 6:11Comments- The bread that Jesus fed the multitudes will be used by Him as an illustration of the teaching He gives to them the following day, as He tells them that He is the true Bread of Life, the Bread that comes from Heaven. Just as Jesus distributions the loaves of bread to His disciples, and they distribute it to the multitudes, Jesus gives the bread (His Word) to His disciples and His disciples teach men.

John 6:12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.

John 6:13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.

John 6:13Comments- These twelve baskets of bread served as physical evidence of the miracle of feeding five thousand. The small boy had given so little, yet the returns were enormous. It is the same way in our lives when we give to Jesus. Jesus may have offered these twelve baskets of bread to the little boy who first gave his food to Jesus.

John 6:14 Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.

John 6:14Comments (1) - The people marveled at the miracles of Jesus, just as He prophesied would happen in John 5:20. In the midst of these marvelous miracles that Jesus was doing among the people, they were reminded of the miracles that Moses performed and of his prophecy of a coming prophet who was coming like unto him ( Deuteronomy 18:15). Thus, the people called Jesus "that prophet that should come into the world" ( John 6:14), for Jesus met all of their criteria.

John 5:20, "For the Father loveth the Song of Solomon , and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel."

Deuteronomy 18:15, "The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;"

Comments (2) - Within each of the six feast sections is found a miracle that testifies of Jesus' deity. We find six of these miracles ending with a statement that many believed in Him because of these miracles ( John 2:11, John 4:53, John 5:15, John 6:14, John 9:38, John 11:45). The seventh miracle ends with a similar statement ( John 20:29).

John 6:15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

John 6:14-15Comments - How People Responded to Jesus- John 6:14-15 parallels John 2:23-25 in that both passages mention how people responded to Jesus' miracles by believing in Him, but because their motives were not proper, He did not entrust Himself to them.


Verses 1-71

The Fourth Miracle (Indoctrination) (Jesus Testifies that He is the Source of the True Doctrine of God) - During the time of the second Jewish Passover, Jesus performed His fourth miracle of feeding the five thousand, which provided Him the opportunity to reveal Himself to Israel as the "Bread of Life." During His explanation of the manna in the wilderness that fed the children of Israel for forty years, He revealed Himself as the true bread that comes from Heaven. From this Revelation , we understand the believer's need to daily partake of the Word of God in the phase of redemption called indoctrination ( John 6:1-71). As the children of Israel gathered manna each day, so are God's children asked to partake of God's Word for spiritual food and strength during their spiritual journey in this life. As a believer partakes of the Word of God during the phase of indoctrination, he grows in the knowledge of God's plan for his life.

John 6:1-71 can be divided into four subsections. Jesus feeds the five thousand ( John 6:1-15), He walks on the water ( John 6:16-21), He testifies to the people that He is the Bread of Life ( John 6:22-59), then the disciples respond to His teaching ( John 6:60-71). The underlying emphasis in this passage of Scripture is the need to partake of God's Word on a daily basis as a part of the believer's fellowship and communion with Jesus Christ, hearing His voice that guides him daily, and spending time in His Word, which is the part of our spiritual journey that we call indoctrination.

Outline- Here is a suggested outline:

1. The Fourth Miracle (Feeding of the Five Thousand) — John 6:1-15

2. Jesus Walking on the Water — John 6:16-21

3. Jesus Testifies of His Deity (The Bread of Life) — John 6:22-59

4. The Response from the Disciples — John 6:60-71


Verses 16-21

Jesus Walking on the Water ( Matthew 14:22-33, Mark 6:45-52) - John 6:16-21 records the story of Jesus walking on the water to deliver the disciples in the midst of a storm. While this miracle is not numbered as one of the seven miracles, or signs, that shape the literary structure of the Gospel of John , 174] it does plays an important role in the overall narrative story in which it is embedded. This "interlude," as Ksterberger describes it, 175] is placed within the lengthy narrative section of John 6:1-71 in which Jesus feeds the five thousand, then reveals Himself as the Bread of Life. The story of Jesus walking on the water serves as a testimony of Jesus' love for them and how the faith of these few disciples becomes further anchored in Jesus as the Son of God in anticipation of the drama that unfolds the next day when many disciples are offended at Jesus and forsake Him. The disciples that were in the boat were going to have one of the most important decisions of their lives thrust upon them the next day, being forced to choose whether to abandon Jesus and follow the crowds, or to risk increasing persecutions by following Jesus and His teachings. While struggling to comprehend His new teaching as the Bread of Life, a message that offended many people, some of the disciples choose to follow their heart and continue with Him. Thus, the story of Jesus walking on the water prepares the readers for the narrative story of how many disciples forsook Jesus, while a few chose to follow Him. It was Jesus' demonstration of love for them that established their faith in Him, and not the miracles themselves. John the apostle acknowledges the love that Jesus had for this disciples when he writes, "having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end." ( John 13:1)

174] Andreas J. Ksterberger, John , in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004), 204.

175] Andreas J. Ksterberger, John , in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004), 196.

John 6:16 And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea,

John 6:17 And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them.

John 6:18 And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew.

John 6:19 So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid.

John 6:19 — "So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs" - Comments - H. Porter says one furlong equals about 606¾ English feet, or just under one eighth of a mile. 176] These men rowed a distance of about 25 to 375 miles. Andreas Kösterberger says Capernaum would have been about 5 or 6 miles from where Jesus fed the five thousand. 177]

176] H. Porter, "Furlong," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

177] Andreas J. Ksterberger, John , in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004), 205.

John 6:19Comments - The disciples were accustom to storms on the Sea of Galilee. The fear seems to be evoked not from the storm itself, but from beholding Jesus walking on the water, an event that caused the disciples great fear, which view is supported by Matthew 14:26 and Mark 6:49.

Matthew 14:26, "And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear."

Mark 6:49, "But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:"

John 6:20 But he saith unto them, It is I be not afraid.

John 6:20Comments - Jesus literally says, "I am. Do not be afraid. Jesus was identifying Himself to His disciples; but the "I Am" statement allows Jesus to also be declaring His deity.

John 6:21 Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.

John 6:21Illustration - One of the most amazing experiences I had as a Christian is similar to that which happened to the disciples when the boat immediately landed on the shore. In August of 1982 I was driving to Seminary with another student. We drove from Mobile, Alabama to Fort Worth, Texas, a trip that takes at least twelve hours. During the drive, we talked about God's Word and we felt the presence of the Lord with us during much of the drive. The amazing experience was when we arrived in Fort Worth. We felt as if we had just left Mobile and arrived quickly. We were as refreshed as one feels from a good night's sleep. We mentioned this experience to two each other but never really figured out what happened. I believe we stepped into eternity and embraced the presence of God during that drive.


Verses 22-59

Jesus Testifies of His Deity: The Bread of Life- In John 6:22-59 Jesus declares Himself to be the Bread of Life to a people who were hungry for physical bread ( John 6:26). He invites the people to partake of His flesh and blood as the Living Bread from Heaven. Jesus explains how the phrase "eating His flesh and drinking His blood" reflects the believer's role of partaking of Him as the Word of God. That Isaiah , we dwell and walk in His Word as He speaks to us daily through communion with Him. Jesus illustrates this divine truth by teaching the people about the manna in the wilderness, which the people gathered daily to sustain them during their forty-year journey through the wilderness. Jesus also referred to the manna in the wilderness during His temptation, saying, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." ( Matthew 4:4, Luke 4:4) The manna symbolized the daily Word that God gives every believer who seeks him; thus, the emphasis upon indoctrination in this section of John's Gospel. Our response to this fourth miracle is to abide in Him through daily communion and in His Word, which we are to believe and obey, as a result of our faith in Jesus Christ. If we believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, we will partake of His Word daily.

John 6:56, "He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him."

Matthew 4:4, "But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."

From a natural perspective, man's physical needs far outweigh his spiritual needs. However, Jesus is teaching that just the opposite is true. Man's most important needs are met in life, not by pursuing his physical and emotional needs, but by pursuing God first. It is difficult to refocus in life and turn loose of one's efforts to meet apparent physical needs and begin to use one's energy to reach out to God and spend time with Him in communion. Yet, this is what Jesus was asking His disciples to do by offering Himself as the Bread of Life, the source of man's communion with God. In John 6:22-59 Jesus asks the disciples to walk in daily communion with Him, to entrust one's physical care in this life to divine provision. Man must look beyond his own physical needs and reach out to God, who alone can meet his spiritual needs; then, every other aspect of a man's life will find its proper order and priority.

The Lord's Supper- During the Last Supper Jesus describes the bread and the wine as His body and blood by which He makes a new covenant for man's redemption ( Matthew 26:26-28, Mark 14:22-24, Luke 22:17-20). Paul the apostle uses this symbolism when discussing the Lord's Supper in his epistle to the Corinthians ( 1 Corinthians 11:23-26). However, in John 6:22-59 Jesus is not emphasizing the institution to Eucharist. 178] Rather, the context of John 6:22-59 is about Jesus offering Himself in the atonement so that His Words and doctrine become the source of man's eternal life and communion with God the Father.

178] Andreas J. Ksterberger says, "In their original context, Jesus' words refer not to the Eucharist but to Jesus' identity as God's messenger () and the blessing of eternal life available through him." See Andreas J. Ksterberger, John , in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004), 207.

Matthew 26:26-28, "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."

The Torah as the Bread of Life - Andreas J. Ksterberger notes that the symbolism of bread and water were used in ancient Jewish literature to represent the Torah (the Law) (Midrash Rabbah, Genesis 541; 701and Canticles 123). 179]

179] Andreas J. Ksterberger, John , in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004), 209.

"R. Aha observed: Is there a greater despoiler than he [the Tempter] ? And of him Solomon said: If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat, etc. (Prov. xxv, 21): [resist him] with the bread of the Torah, as you read, Come, eat of my bread (ib. ix, 5)*; And if he be thirsty, give him water to drink (ib 25) the water of the Torah, as in the verse, Hosea , everyone that thirsteth, come ye for water (Isa. Leviticus , i)." (Midrash Rabbah, Genesis 541) 180]

180] H. Freedman and Maurice Simon, eds, Genesis , vol 1, in Midrash Rabbah, trans. H. Freedman (London: Soncino Press, c 1939, 1961), 475-476.

This symbolism is also seen in the Old Testament Scriptures, as wisdom offers to mankind its "bread" and "wine."

Proverbs 9:5, "Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled."

Thus, in John 6:22-59 Jesus is offering them the Word of God as the Bread of Life as a concept that was not new to them; however, Jesus offered this Bread as the living Word that speaks to men's hearts through the sacred Scriptures and as the Holy Spirit speaks to every child of God in whom He dwells.

John 6:22 The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one whereinto his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone;

John 6:22 — "The day following" - Comments - The phrase "the day following" refers to the day after Jesus fed the five thousand people.

"when the people which stood on the other side of the sea" - Comments - The phrase "which stood on the other side of the sea" reflects the previous verse in which Jesus and His disciples are now in Capernaum. Thus, the people whom He had fed the previous day are now standing "on the other side," that Isaiah , the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee.

"saw that there was none other boat there, save that one whereinto his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone" - Comments - The people knew that Jesus had not embarked in the boat with His disciples. Yet, they could not find Him the next morning. This puzzled the people. They wanted to find Him. Perhaps He would feed them again, as Jesus implies in John 6:25-26.

John 6:23 (Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks:)

John 6:23Comments - Tiberius was a major city in this region located on the west side of the lake. 181] Apparently, the news was spreading everyday across the countryside to cities and villages concerning the public ministry of Jesus Christ, the Prophet sent from God, the Messiah who would soon deliver Israel. Each day the crowds grew. The visitors from Tiberius would have passed by Capernaum when returning to their city; thus, they were significant in that they could have transported passengers to see Jesus.

181] Andreas J. Ksterberger, John , in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004), 206.

John 6:24 When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus.

John 6:24Comments- Jesus was now living in Capernaum ( Matthew 4:13). The people must have known about His residence there.

Matthew 4:13, "And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:"

John 6:25 And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither?

John 6:25 — "And when they had found him on the other side of the sea" - Comments- They found him in the synagogue in Capernaum according to John 6:59, "These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum."

"they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither" - Comments - The manner in which Jesus made His way to Capernaum the next day, as recorded in the previous passage of Scripture ( John 6:16-21), serves as the explanation of why the people ask Jesus how He arrived there. Thus, the author of John's Gospel has prepared the reader for this question from the people by giving them the answer in the previous verses.

John 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

John 6:26 — "Verily, verily, I say unto you" - Comments - The disciples have just called Jesus by the title of "Rabbi" in John 6:25, and they found Him in the synagogue teaching ( John 6:59), which means Jesus was standing in the role of the Jewish rabbis who taught in the synagogues. The tradition of teaching the Scriptures in the synagogues required that a rabbi cite rabbinic authority along with his interpretation. A good example of this practice is seen in the Babylonian Talmud, which records the ancient rabbinical traditions regarding the Law. For this reason, Jesus replies with divine authority in the words, "Verily, verily, I say unto you…" Jesus responses with a divine truth, not based upon rabbinic authority, but based upon the spiritual gifts of the word of knowledge and word of Wisdom of Solomon , speaking by divine inspiration and authority.

John 6:59, "These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum."

Comments - This discourse takes place in the synagogue at Capernaum (see John 6:59). Jesus does not answer their questions directly. Rather, He draws attention to their heart and motive for coming to Him. Jesus knew that the multitudes followed Him in order to receive comfort and that few of them were willing to serve Him. Therefore, Jesus begins to reveal their hearts so that they will see their evil and turn to the Lord. He was not impressed with drawing a large crowd, but rather with the attitude of the hearts.

Jesus replies and tells them that they are not following Him because they saw the miracle yesterday and have believe in Him and are now true disciples; rather, they are following Him because their fleshly, carnal appetites were satisfied and they want to gratify their physical needs again today.

John 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

John 6:27 — "Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life" - Comments - It is man's tendency to focus upon his physical needs in life because, from a natural perspective, man's physical needs far outweigh his spiritual needs. However, Jesus is teaching that just the opposite is true. Man's most important needs are met in life, not by pursuing his physical and emotional needs, but by pursuing God first. It is difficult to refocus in life and turn loose of one's efforts to meet apparent physical needs and begin to use one's energy to reach out to God and spend time with Him in communion. Jesus is going to offer Himself in behalf of man's atonement so that we may have communion with God as the source of eternal life. Jesus will later define eternal life as knowing God and Jesus Himself ( John 17:3). When one comes to know Him through the Word of God, all of his physical and emotional needs will be satisfied. Thus, one will never hunger again ( John 6:35).

John 17:3, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."

John 6:35, "And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."

The prophet Isaiah makes a statement similar to Johnn John 6:27, saying, "Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness." ( Isaiah 55:2 )

Scripture References- Note other reference verses:

Matthew 4:4, "But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."

Matthew 5:6, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled."

Matthew 6:31-33, "Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

John 4:13-14, "Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."

"which the Son of man shall give unto you" - Comments - Anyone who partakes of Jesus as the Bread of Life, and abides in His Word and in fellowship with Him, will be satisfied. This is the divine law that God has instituted under the new covenant. From the moment we are born again, our hearts are drawn to His Word, to feed upon it as our spiritual food ( 1 Peter 2:2). Our abundant life is found through growing in the knowledge of His Word ( 2 Peter 1:3). This abundant life is available to anyone who will seek God's Word; for He freely gives it to us to satisfy man's hunger and thirst in this weary life on earth ( Isaiah 55:1). There is no other way to be truly satisfied in this life.

1 Peter 2:2, "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:"

2 Peter 1:3, "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:"

Isaiah 55:1, " Hosea , every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price."

"for him hath God the Father sealed" - Word Study on "sealed" - Strong says the Greek word σφραγίζω (G 4972) means, "to stamp (with a signet or private mark)." Zodhiates says it literally means, "to seal, close up and make fast with a seal signet such as letters or books so that they may not be read," and more generally, it means, "to set a seal or mark upon a thing as a token of its authenticity or approvedness."

Comments- God the Father "sealed" Jesus Christ by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to prove His authenticity as the Son of God who was sent from the Father. God also seals us with His Holy Spirit as genuine sons of God ( Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 4:30). Jesus was filled with the Spirit of God without measure, and performed signs and wonders among the people. These "works of God" are then mentioned in the next verse, which are the "seal" that Jesus has been sent from God.

Ephesians 1:13, "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,"

Ephesians 4:30, "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."

John 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

John 6:28Comments - Jesus has just told the people that they were working to meet their temporal, physical needs, and instead, they should put their efforts into their eternal needs. Thus, they asked what to do in order to accomplish the great works that Jesus Himself was doing, not understanding that He was God.

John 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

John 6:29Comments - Jesus responds by telling them that they are not to pursue great works; but rather, they are to pursue Him, the person of Jesus Christ. As they believe in Him and follow Him in fellowship, and obey the Word of God, these works of God will be done, as seen in the book of Acts. Their work is simply to believe God's Word as they partake of it, and their lives will be transformed, and God will begin working in and through them. Mankind is laboring to change the circumstances around him. Jesus is saying that if we will partake of His Word, and follow His Word, a change will first take place on the inside that will naturally bring change to our circumstances.

Scripture References- Note other reference verses:

Genesis 22:16, "And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy Song of Solomon , thine only son:"

Psalm 127:1, "Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."

Luke 8:50, "But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole."

John 7:38, "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."

John 6:28-29Comments - Our Work is to Believe in Jesus - Man is always striving to perform good works in order to please God. He believes that if he can perform enough good works that God will be pleased with him and favor him above others. However, Isaiah 64:6 says, "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…" Our works fall short of God's standard of righteousness. When the people found Jesus ( John 6:24-25), they were expecting Him to feed them again. They sought Him not because they loved Him or believed in Him to be the Son of God, but because they wanted to fulfill their fleshly appetites. His reply to them was one of correction, exposing their hearts and telling them to seek first eternal life through faith in the Son of God rather than temporal satisfaction. They replied to Him by asking what they must do to please God, and He told them that their work, that Isaiah , their labour and efforts, should be in believing in Him, the Word of God and the Bread of Life, God's Word, in order to meet first their spiritual needs, then their physical needs would naturally be met. Frances Roberts describes our need for holy communion with the Father while ceasing from our own works by saying:

"Thou shouldst have but one ambition - to love Me and to be near Me…This is My Father's work. I do not require and have not requested thy work. Nay, but ye become a hindrance when ye set about to work for me thus. Set thy heart to be near Me. Live close to My heart." 182]

182] Frances J. Roberts, Dialogues With God (Uhrichsville, Ohio: Barbour Publishing, Inc, c 1968), 23.

John 6:30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?

John 6:30Comments - The Jews believed that a sign from heaven was the authentication of God's intervention in the people of Israel ( John 2:18, 1 Corinthians 1:22). Jesus has already performed many signs and miracles before the Jews, and they still do not believe in Him as the Son of God. If Jesus were to work another miracle in front of them, this would not guarantee their loyalty and commitment to Him.

John 2:18, "Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?"

1 Corinthians 1:22, "For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:"

John 6:31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.

John 6:31Comments - There are a number of possible placed in the Old Testament that the Jews were quoting ( Exodus 16:4; Exodus 16:15, Psalm 78:24), but most likely, they quoting from Psalm 78:24, "And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven." The people knew the stories of the Old Testament. Therefore, they gave Jesus an example of a sign from Heaven that showed the people that Moses was sent by God to lead them. They were in a sense asking Jesus if He was a great as Moses.

In addition, the Revelation -occurrence of the manna was believed to be a part of Messianic prophecy from the second century B.C. (Sibylline Oracles ) and into first century Judaism (2Baruch 29:8). In fact, John the apostles refers to "hidden manna" as a Messianic fulfillment in his Apocalypse ( Revelation 2:17).Thus, the Jews may have been asking Jesus if He were the Prophet that Moses said was to come ( Deuteronomy 18:15; Deuteronomy 18:18), a Messianic fulfillment that the people were anxiously anticipating and talking about during Jesus' public ministry ( John 6:14; John 7:40).

"(46) But they who honour the true and everlasting God (47) inherit life, throughout the aeonian time (48) dwelling in the fertile garden of Paradise, (49) feasting on sweet bread from the starry heaven." (Sibylline Oracles ) 183]

183] Sibylline Oracles, trans. R. H. Charles, in The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English With Introductions and Critical and Explanatory Notes to the Several Books, vol 2, ed. R. H. Charles, 368-406 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), 368, 378.

"And it shall come to pass at that self-same time that the treasury of manna shall again descend from on high, and they will eat of it in those years, because these are they who have come to the consummation of time." (2Baruch ) 184]

184] 2Baruch, trans. R. H. Charles, in The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English With Introductions and Critical and Explanatory Notes to the Several Books, vol 2, ed. R. H. Charles, 470-526 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), 470, 498.

Revelation 2:17, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it."

Deuteronomy 18:15, "The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;"

John 6:14, "Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world."

John 7:40, "Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet."

Old Testament Quotes in the New Testament - This is a quote from either Exodus 16:4; Exodus 16:15 or Psalm 78:24.

Exodus 16:4, "Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.

Exodus 16:15, "And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat."

Psalm 78:24, "And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven."

This is the only time when this Old Testament passage is quoted in the New Testament.

John 6:30-31Comments - The Multitudes Want Additional Proof- The multitudes asked Jesus for another sign to prove His statements of divinity, having taken lightly yesterday's miracle of feeding the five thousand. The people that Jesus miraculously fed in Galilee the day before likened this event to Moses feeding the children of Israel in the wilderness for forty years. In a sense, they asked Jesus if He could work a greater miracle than Moses by supplying bread daily for forty years. They wanted Jesus to something really big today that would absolutely convince them of His deity.

In a similar way, the rich man in Luke 16:19-31 thought that his brothers would surely repent and believe if God would send Lazarus back from the dead to testify to them. Abraham responded by telling the rich man that if his brothers would not believe the testimony of Moses and the prophets, then they would not be persuaded with a miracle of one raised from the dead. Jesus had been testifying to the people that Moses and the prophets spoke of His coming. John the Baptist came proclaiming Jesus as the Lamb of God. The miracles that Jesus performed testified of Him. None of these witnesses are able to convince a darkened heart.

John 6:32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.

John 6:32Comments - The immediate reply from Jesus is to tell the multitudes that the manna was not something that Moses had the power to bring down from heaven. God had instructed Moses regarding the miracle of the manna, and Moses was obeying these divine instructions on how the people were to gather it.

The fact that Jesus begins with "verily, verily" suggests that He was addressing a theological idea handed down through rabbinical tradition, that of the Messianic prophecy of the Revelation -occurrence of manna from heaven (2Baruch ).

John 6:33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

John 6:33Comments- Jesus is the bread of life that feeds our soul. He is the water that refreshes our spirits. He gives abundant life and eternal life to those who eat this bread.

The eternal life that Jesus offers to mankind is first introduced in John 1:4, and further developed in the Gospel.

John 1:4, "In him was life; and the life was the light of men."

Scripture References- Note other verses where Jesus says that He is the bread of life:

John 6:35, "And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."

John 6:48, "I am that bread of life."

John 6:34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.

John 6:34Comments - The Samaritan woman made a similar statement, saying, " Sirach , give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw." ( John 4:15) The people ask Jesus to continually offer them this bread. In other words, they are asking Him to provide their daily needs as God did with the manna in the wilderness. He will respond by telling them that those who believe in Him will continually and forever be satisfied.

John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

John 6:35 — "And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life" - Illustration- As a young Christian in 1980, the Lord gave me a dream in which I saw an old, wooden, screen door with the familiar, metal sign "Colonial is Good Bread" fastened to the center of this door. This sign became famous across the United States because it was found on the wooden screen doors of so many country grocery stores. The makers of Colonial Bread invested in an advertising campaign using these signs because they wanted everyone to buy a loaf of their bread when they entered the grocery store. This metal sign was not just fastened in the center of the screen door as a push plate to prevent damaging the screen; the message on this sign became embedded into the mind of every customer that entered the store to buy groceries. The Colonial Bread Company wanted everyone to partake of their bread. The unique aspect of this dream I was given in 1980 is that the metal sign on this old, wooden screen door did not read, "Colonial is Good Bread," but rather, "The Bread of Life." As a young Christian I interpreted this dream to mean that the Lord wanted me to enter this door in my spiritual journey and partake of that bread that comes from heaven. He wanted me to read and study His Holy Word diligently, and on a daily basis. I had this dream about thirty-two years ago, just before enrolling in Seminary, and I have been partaking of the Bread of Life every day since then. I still remember the spiritual hunger that I had as a young believer to read God's Word. The Word of God stirred my soul like nothing else. When I read the Bible, it ministered to my inner man like nothing else. I desired God's Word enough that I searched how I could stop being busy with many concerns of this life and find more time in the day to read His Word. I fell in love with the Word of God. As I laid aside the busy cares of life and spent time in His Word, I found that God began to speak to me more clearly; I sensed His presence with me in a greater way than before. The Lord would quicken a Bible verse to me during the course of the day that helped me in a particular situation, or to make a particular decision.

John 6:35 — "he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst" - Comments - Eating a meal creates thirst, but drinking does not create hunger; rather, it can reduce hunger. The natural order of events is for a person to become thirsty while eating, which is what happened to those who ate of the fish and loaves of bread that Jesus blessed. Jesus tells them that He fully satisfies a person's hunger and subsequent thirst. Thus, Jesus describes hunger before thirst.

In John 6:35 Jesus describes spiritual hunger and thirst; for Paul the apostle experienced natural hunger and thirst during him missionary journeys ( 2 Corinthians 11:27).

2 Corinthians 11:27, "In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness."

The Messianic call to have one's hunger and thirst satisfied is given in Isaiah 55:1, " Hosea , every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." These words of Jesus may have stirred the memory of the Jews on this Old Testament passage. 185]

185] Andreas J. Ksterberger, John , in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004), 210.

John 6:35Comments - Our lives are filled with interesting pursuits that never fully satisfy, despite their promising allurements. Therefore, men find hobbies and activities that last for only a while; then interest is lost and new engagements are sought. People become bored with their lives, blaming others, blaming circumstances, looking for something better. People marry hoping this will meet their needs, only to find that marriage has its own challenges if one is to obtain happiness. Others pursue fine jobs and money, only to realize at the end that they neglected the more important aspects of life. The only true fulfillment is found in pursuing God's Word and His presence and communion with us. It has been my experience that His Word fully satisfies my hunger. When I am in His Word, I feel satisfied, with all other desires waning to unimportant in comparison to feeding upon His Word.

John 6:36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.

John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

John 6:37 — "him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out" - Comments- This promise refers not only to salvation, but also to healing, to provision, and to answered prayers.

John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

John 6:39 And this is the Father"s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

John 6:39Comments - The divine truth that God the Father has given certain disciples to Jesus Christ, and Jesus has kept them from falling away is mentioned a number of times in the Gospel of John ( John 6:39; John 10:29; John 17:2; John 18:9). 186] In His divine foreknowledge, God knows the beginning from the end, and He revealed to Jesus Christ those who are genuinely His, and those who will betray Him, such as Judas Iscariot ( John 6:64; John 13:18; John 17:12). Although some scholars, such as Andreas Kösterberger, interpret such passages to mean that "even faith (or lack thereof!) is sovereignly assigned by God," 187] the fact remains that God has given mankind a free will to choose between good and evil, to have faith in His Word or to reject it. Thus, divine foreknowledge is expressed in these verses rather than the predestined salvation of particular souls and the damnation of others. In fact, Jesus is about to declare unlimited atonement by saying, "and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." ( John 6:51) Also, Jesus will say later in this teaching, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him…" ( John 6:44) The concept of God "drawing" a man to Himself reflects a man's free will to accept or reject this tug on a man's heart by the office and ministry of the Holy Spirit convicting men of sin, righteousness, and judgment ( John 16:8).

186] Andreas J. Ksterberger, John , in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004), 211.

187] Andreas J. Ksterberger, John , in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004), 220.

John 6:39, "And this is the Father"s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day."

John 10:29, "My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father"s hand."

John 17:2, "As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him."

John 18:9, "That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none."

John 6:64, "But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him."

John 13:18, "I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me."

John 17:12, "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled."

John 16:8, "And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:"

John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Song of Solomon , and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 6:40Comments- We learn in Romans 10:14-15 that someone cannot believe in Jesus unless God's servants reveal Him through the preaching of the Gospel.

Romans 10:14-15, "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!"

John 6:41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.

John 6:42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?

John 6:42Comments- The reason that these Jews knew Jesus so well is that he was teaching in a synagogue in Capernaum, a place where He was well known.

John 6:59, "These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum."

John 6:43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.

John 6:43Comments - We can hear several individuals in the crowd quietly talking among themselves, mumbling while Jesus addresses the crowd. He will now turn to those who are murmuring and speak directly to them.

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 6:44Comments - This drawing to God is a work of the Holy Spirit ( John 16:8-11). Mankind must first hunger for God, and see himself as a sinner in need of repentance. The carnal mind tries to reject this. God must show the need of salvation in the heart of a sinner by the work of the Holy Spirit convicting him of sin, righteousness, and judgment. However, God has given every man a free will whether to yield to this divine drawing, or to reject it.

John 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

John 6:45Comments - The references to God's people being taught of God reflects the theme of indoctrination emphasized in this subsection of John's Gospel ( John 6:1-71).

Old Testament Quotes in the New Testament - In John 6:45 Jesus quotes from Isaiah 54:13, the only time this verse is cited in the New Testament.

Isaiah 54:13, "And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children."

John 6:51Comments - John 6:51 testifies to the truth of unlimited atonement that Jesus paid on Calvary. His blood pay for the sins of all of mankind, and His atonement is now available to everyone. There are many other Scriptures supporting Christ's unlimited atonement.

Matthew 11:28, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

John 1:29, "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Song of Solomon , that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Romans 5:6, "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."

2 Corinthians 5:19, "To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation."

1 Timothy 2:5-6, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."

1 Timothy 4:10, "For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe."

Hebrews 2:9, "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man."

2 Peter 2:1, "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."

1 John 2:2, "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."

1 John 4:14, "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world."

John 6:52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?

John 6:52Comments - Nicodemus made a similar statement in John 3:4, "Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother"s womb, and be born?"

John 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Prayer of Manasseh , and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

John 6:53Comments - In John 6:53-58 Jesus emphasizes the atonement that He will offer the world through His crucifixion so that every man may have the opportunity to partake of Him as the bread of life. Those who believe in Him as the Son of God will have His life in them continually. This life is the new creation that every believer becomes when they are born from heaven. The child of God has eternal life abiding in him, and the Word of God becomes his spiritual food that maintains him daily.

John 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 6:55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

John 6:56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

John 6:57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.

John 6:57 "so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me" - Scripture Reference- Note:

Deuteronomy 8:3, "And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live."


Verses 60-71

The Response from the Disciples - In John 6:60-71 the disciples of Jesus respond to His teaching. They had listened to Him teach in the synagogue in Capernaum and had dialogued with Him about His declaration that He was the Bread of Life. Most of these disciples were offended at these words, not being able to accept the fact that Jesus was God manifested in the flesh.

The disciples who helped to distribute the loaves and fishes to the five thousand felt proud that day as they embarked into the boat to return to Capernaum. The popularity of Jesus had been growing as the people saw the miracles that He performed. The multitudes began to follow Him and listen to His teachings. However, popularity is a shallow foundation upon which to build one's loyalty and God the Father saw that it was necessary to shatter this unhealthy foundation for the benefit of the disciples, causing many of them to depart forever, but leaving a few devoted ones to receive greater revelations of His deity while mixed with persecutions. Although many disciples were about to stumble at Jesus' declaration of His divinity, a few disciples remained whom God could now lead into a deeper commitment, a deeper level of faith and trust in Him. As the multitudes abandoned Jesus and His teachings following the popular consensus, a few followed their heart and stood with Jesus. What made the difference between these two types of disciples was not the miracle of feeding the five thousand, but of Jesus coming to rescue them in the midst of the storm ( John 6:16-21), of seeing how much He truly loved and cared for them in their greatest need. It is this type of God that men will serve, a God who cares for them. Only His closest disciples were rescued by Jesus walking on the water. The day after this miracle, these particular disciples would be standing alone with Jesus in the synagogue in Capernaum, watching many others walk away, disillusioned by this new revelation of Jesus' divinity. These few disciples stood by the one who genuinely loved them. It was necessary for their faith to become firmly established in the love of Jesus to order to face the life of a true disciple of Christ. Thus, the miracle of Jesus walking on the water ( John 6:16-21) served to anchor their soul in their growing faith and devotion to Jesus Christ as the Son of God, thus, preparing them for a deeper walk with Jesus.

John 6:60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?

John 6:60Comments - The teaching of Jesus about eating His flesh and drinking His blood was described as σκληρό ς (hard, harsh) by the disciples. It was not hard in the sense of understanding, but rather, unpleasant (BDAG) and offensive (Kösterberger) to those listening. 188] His claim as the Bread of Life, and source of eternal life revealed His deity, setting Him above any other Old Testament prophet, even Moses, and this offended many of the Jews. Their response of "Who can hear?" means, "Who can accept it and continue to follow Him after what He has just said?"

188] Andreas J. Ksterberger, John , in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004), 218.

John 6:61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?

John 6:61Comments - The fact that Jesus "knew in Himself" means that He knew supernaturally. The author of John's Gospel makes numerous references to Jesus operating in the spiritual gift of the word of knowledge.

Andreas J. Ksterberger notes that the murmuring of the Jews begins in John 6:41 and reflects the tone of the disciples during a large portion of Jesus' discourse in the synagogue in Capernaum. He also notes that it reflects the same behavior of the children of Israel in the wilderness ( 1 Corinthians 10:10), a story that was a part of this same discourse. 189]

189] Andreas J. Ksterberger, John , in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004), 213.

1 Corinthians 10:10, "Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer."

John 6:62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?

John 6:62Comments - If the words of Jesus offended these Jews, how much more would the claim of His Resurrection and Ascension become more offensive.

John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

John 6:63 — "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing" - Comments - There are many benefits in this life to a strong, healthy physical body and a sound mind. However, in regards to man's spiritual needs of communion with God and having eternal life, it is the spirit of man that God must reach out to. Man serves God from his spirit, his heart, while his fleshly make up is against the things of God. Paul the apostle writes, "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." ( Romans 8:5-8)

"the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" - Comments - God has ordained His Word, the Holy Bible, to be the instrument He uses to transform mankind into the image of Christ, into a lifestyle of godliness, so that man can life an abundant life in this world. An academic education on the Holy Bible is a great foundation when an individual allows the Holy Spirit to guide Him into the Word of God daily for his spiritual guidance. Jesus is telling the Jews that the Word is spiritual food for man's spiritual make-up, for his inner Prayer of Manasseh , the heart. For this reason, Jesus next says, "But there are some of you that believe not." ( John 6:64) The decision to accept the Holy Scriptures as God speaking to us is a decision of the heart, and not of the educated mind.

John 6:62-63Comments - The Sending of the Holy Spirit - Jesus knew that these disciples were trying to understand His words in their minds rather than following their heart. They were being carnal minded rather than spiritually minded. Thus, Jesus addresses the spirit of Prayer of Manasseh , the inner man. Jesus will soon ascend to the right hand of the Father following His resurrection ( John 6:62); He will send the Holy Spirit to impart eternal life in those who believe ( John 6:63). The indwelling Holy Spirit will enlighten God's children into His Word and impart abundant life to them in the form of peace and fellowship with God the Father.

John 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.

John 6:64 — "But there are some of you that believe not" - Comments - Jesus reveals the heart of those who have voiced their offense towards His teachings by telling them that they are refusing to believe in Him. It is an issue of the spirit of man rather than his mental understanding.

"For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him" - Comments - Jesus is about to mention His betrayal in this same discourse ( John 6:70-71).

John 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

John 6:65Comments - A person is not born again into the kingdom of Heaven through an understanding of the Bible in his mind. The experience of salvation is a deep work within a man's heart, his spirit, having been convicted of his sinful nature by the Holy Spirit sent from Heaven into this world for just this task ( John 16:7-11). Man must experience a spiritual rebirth in order to come to Jesus and have fellowship with Him ( John 3:3), and this rebirth is a work of the Holy Spirit sent by God the Father.

John 6:66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

John 6:66Comments - Many of these disciples were offended and went away because Jesus did not offer them what they were looking for from a natural perspective. There were many other attractive groups for them to follow. A few of them would find someone else to follow, such as another rabbi, the Essenes who had retreated to the deserts, or even a Jewish zealot who was inciting rebellion against Roman domination. However, God does not want us to be followers of men, but followers of Jesus Christ alone. Yet, man's tendency is to follow a Prayer of Manasseh , someone who could lead them in earthly pursuits. Paul corrected the Corinthians because they became sectarian and began to follow certain Church leaders ( 1 Corinthians 3:4). In fact, Paul qualified himself as one to follow only as he was following Christ ( 1 Corinthians 11:1). This is how denominations and religious sects are formed, when men become discouraged with one another and break away to form a new group. In contrast, Jesus asks us for our complete loyalty to Him and no other man.

1 Corinthians 3:4, "For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?"

1 Corinthians 11:1, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ."

Illustration - I have met individuals who have been born again, then drifted away from Church because of disappointment in a pastor of other Church leader. I have met other new believers who have read many of the latest devotional books, or listened to radio and television ministries; yet, they were disappointed with the progress in their own lives. When a believer focuses his eyes upon a person instead of embracing God's Word as his source of life and strength and direction, he risks disappointment because of the failure of men. Jesus, as our source of life and strength, will never disappoint us.

John 6:67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

John 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

John 6:68Comments - Eternal life is more than waiting until we die in order to enter into the bliss of Heaven. Jesus tells the disciples that eternal life is "knowing God" ( John 17:3). We come to know God through His Word, through the Holy Scriptures. The more we apply God's Word to our lives, the more abundant our lives become today, and the more our present lives partake of that aspect of life that will reach its fullness in Heaven. We can receive a taste of Heaven in this life by embracing the Words of eternal life.

John 17:3, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."

Illustration- Thirty-two years ago, as a young Christian, I will never forget the decision I had to make in response to this statement by Jesus that He is the Bread of Life. I was offered a good job out of college, a job that would have given me a comfortable career. Yet, I had no desire for this job. I made a decision to stop spending all of my energy on my physical, earthly needs, making a high salary, and I begin to spend more time ministering to my spirit, my inner man. I stopped seeking entertainment, and started getting involved in my local church. For a season, I stopped listening to radio and television as a source of entertainment, and stopped reading newspapers for my source of information, and I went to my room, into my bed room, and I spend hours each day reading the Word of God. I read the entire Bible through six times in those early years. In fact, I hungered so much for God's Word that I enrolled in Bible school and left my Job , trusting the Lord would meet my financial needs while in school. I did not have the money to go to school, but I just hungered that much for God's eternal Word, for the Bread of Life. His Word fed my soul. I was not called to Bible school by a divine word from the Lord. No, I went to Bible school because I hungered for God's Word. After three years in Bible school, studying God's Word, in class or doing homework many hours a day, I looked around and my needs were met. I did not lack anything. I did not want all of these earthly luxuries anymore. My church and family would send me money and give me financial support. They purchased my clothes and took care of many personal needs. I had food, I had clothing, and I was so very content in life because I had the Word of God coming alive within me; and God would speak to me; He would quicken verses to me.

John 6:69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

John 6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?

John 6:71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

John 6:71 — "He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon" - Comments- C. M. Kerr says the name "Iscariot" literally means, "man of Kerioth." This would mean that Judas was a native of Kerioth or Karioth, a city listed in Joshua 15:21-32 as one of the twenty-nine outlying cities of Judah, near Edom. Kerr says it is identified with the ruins of el Karjetein. 190]

190] C. M. Kerr, "Judas Iscariot," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

"for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve" - Comments - The Greek reads, "for he was the one who was about to betray Him," which emphasizes the certainty of this event. 191] Jesus fed the five thousand during the second Passover, so it will be another year before His betrayal and crucifixion during the third Passover.

191] Andreas J. Ksterberger, John , in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004), 222.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on John 6:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/john-6.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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