Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
1 After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias.
2 And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick.
3 Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples.
4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand.
5 Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?"
6 He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do.
7 Philip answered him, "Two hundred denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little."
8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him,
9 "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?"
10 Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number.
11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted.
12 And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, "Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost."
13 So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten.
14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, "This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!"
Jesus Walks on Water
15 Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea,
17 got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.
18 The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing.
19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened.
20 But he said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid."
21 Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.
I Am the Bread of Life
22 On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone.
23 Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks.
24 So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.
25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, "Rabbi, when did you come here?"
26 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.
27 Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal."
28 Then they said to him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?"
29 Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."
30 So they said to him, "Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform?
31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'"
32 Jesus then said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."
34 They said to him, "Sir, give us this bread always."
35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.
37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.
38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.
39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.
40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."
Many Christians say that they want "to know God's will." And sometimes they add, "for me." I find that a strange wish. It's as if such people think that God will somehow have something extra for them that differs from what he wants for everybody else. Especially, if people with such personal wishes don't really seek God's will that he has already stated in the Bible. Here Jesus states just one overriding will of God and links it to salvation. As far as salvation is concerned then, God's revealed will is ultimately the same for every Christian, and that is we believe in his son, our Lord Jesus. And lest we hastily say, "Be there, done that!" perhaps we should think about what "believing in Jesus" actually means. Would we be believing in Christ if we deny biblical doctrine for instance? Surely if we believe in Christ as our Lord and Saviour we would strive to believe what he taught, and more specifically, we would believe in what Christ himself believed. Yet, I have heard Christians say that Jesus was ignorant of certain things like science and evolution, and that today we Christians know better than he did. Therefore, they claim, we can disbelieve some of the things of which Jesus himself believed in error. Seriously? Jesus was in error about some of the things he believed in? That's blasphemy! Jesus is the living God. To think that he made human errors is to say that God is able to believe in falsehoods - NEVER! NEVER! NEVER! Whilst we affirm that Jesus was fully God and fully Man in a way that we can't fully grasp, nevertheless, we must not stray into heresy and deny Jesus's omniscience except for the one instance he chose not to know "the time or the hour" (Matthew 24:36, Mark 13:32) in obedience to the Father. Those who believe in evolution and claim that Jesus was ignorant of evolution because he was only a simple Jew of his time, or other such nonsense, need to examine themselves. They need to examine if they really are born-again Christians, who really do have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and that they don't fail the test (2Cor 13:5). For, "Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him (Rom 8:9)."
Rejected by His Own
41 So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven."
42 They said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, 'I have come down from heaven'?"
43 Jesus answered them, "Do not grumble among yourselves.
44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
Draws: ἑλκύσῃ helkysē; from G1670 ἑλκύω helkó (hel-koo'-o): to drag, draw, pull, persuade, unsheathe.
This is an interesting verse. We Christians like to think we voluntarily came to Christ, and in a sense that's true. Many argue that we have free wills and the decision to believe in God is 100% our own. But here, Jesus contradicts such opinions about spirtual rebirths. He says no one can come to him unless the Father first draws one. No one means... no one! We can't argue with that. But we can try and understand the word "draws". People debate the strength of God's drawing. Is it a gentle persuasion, like wooing, or is it more forecful than that? To think of God dragging people kicking and screaming to their salvation paints a rather ludicrous picture in our minds. But the Greek word for draw comes from helkó which can mean to drag. And it is used as drag in: Acts 16:19, Acts 21:30, James 2:6. John himself uses it for hauling in fishing nets in John 21:6, John 21:11. Given that, is the concept that God drags us into his grace so silly after all? And if you were unwilling to come to faith and God had to overcome your resistance in order for you to enjoy his mercy, grace,and sacrifice of his son on the cross, would you hold a grudge against God for doing that? Or would you rather be sent to Hell forever - since that is the only other alternative?
45 It is written in the Prophets, 'And they will all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me-
46 not that anyone has seen the Father except him who is from God; he has seen the Father.
47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.
48 I am the bread of life.
49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.
50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.
51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."
52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"
53 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.
56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.
57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me.
58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not as the fathers ate and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever."
59 Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.
The Words of Eternal Life
60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?"
61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, "Do you take offense at this?
62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is of no avail. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
64 But there are some of you who do not believe." (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.)
65 And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father."
66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.
At this point, "many" of Jesus's disciples rejected and left him. Jesus had many more than twelve disciples - hundreds more. We will see that after the resurrection when hundreds returned to him. Many, if not most, of the first Christians were probably these followers who desert the Lord here when they found his doctrine too tough to swallow. In his grace, he accepted them back and restored them to fellowship with himself, just as he did to Simon Peter (John 21:15). He appeared to 500 of them at once after the resurrection (1Corinthians 15:6).
67 So Jesus said to the Twelve, "Do you want to go away as well?"
68 Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,
69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God."
70 Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil."
71 He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the Twelve, was going to betray him.