-Jesus, some time later according to John’s remembrance through the Holy Spirit, went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (in the region of modern day Tiberias). A large crowd was following Him because they saw the signs and miracles He was performing on those who were sick. His popularity for peaking for obvious reasons. He went up on a mountain and sat down with His disciples. John gives more information on the timing of this event, which would’ve been spring time, with his comment about how “the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was near.” Jesus, seeing the crowd and its size, pressed Philip with an examination question knowing what He was about to do, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat?” Philip responded with an earthly reply, “Two hundred denarii (a day’s wage) worth of bread is not sufficient for them, for everyone to receive a little.” Andrew came up and let the Master know that there was a lad who had five barley loaves and two fish, but he certainly had his doubts that is could fed this enormous crowd. Jesus now had the folks sit down. There was much grass in that place, and soon 5,000 men were sitting down in preparation. Jesus simply took the loaves, gave the Father thanks, and began to distribute to all who were seated. He did the same with the fish. The people got all that they wanted. When they were filled, the Christ spoke to the disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments so that nothing will be lost.” Upon gathering up the scraps, they were able to fill 12 baskets from the five loaves. This miracle initiated a rapid response by the people, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Jesus quickly perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him their king, so He departed in withdrawal to the mountain to be alone by Himself (John 6:1-15).
-When evening came, His disciples went down to the sea. They got in a boat and started to cross over towards Capernaum, on the northern side of the sea. It had become dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them, though they knew where He was telling them to go (Mark 6:45-46). A storm came out of nowhere upon the disciples as they crossed the sea, which was not an anomaly for this region. This stirred the waves up, and when they had rowed about 3 or 4 miles, they perceived Jesus coming to them walking on the water. This freaked them out, naturally. But He spoke to them to calm their fears, “It is I; do not be afraid.” From another gospel, we see that this was the incidence when Peter also walked out on water briefly (Matthew 14:22-33). Immediately as the disciples were willing to receive Him into the boat they arrived at their destination (John 6:16-21).
-The next day, there was no small discussion about how Jesus had crossed over when there was only one small boat that had arrived. They wandered when He had gotten there and how. Jesus deflects the questions and controversy with this statement, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.” The crowd wanted to know what they needed to do to achieve these works of God. Jesus took this opportunity to express a blessed truth, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” A discussion ensued concerning bread and the manna that God gave His people in the wilderness for survival from out of Heaven. Jesus conferred the true spiritual bread out of Heaven, which was Himself and His Spirit. This was eternal life giving bread, and the people were hungry for it. Therefore, Jesus said to them, “I am the Bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst (reference back to Living Water, John 4:10-14; 7:38-39).” He maintained that there was still some unbelief in His audience, but then He made another important theological statement, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” He then reiterated previous comments that He had not come from Heaven to do His own will, but the will of God who sent Him. He promised that He would not lose anything that His Father gave Him, and that He would raise them up on the last day. This is resurrection power foretold. Then, He summed it all up, “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day (John 6:22-40).”
-*Application*- Jesus gives us miracles for sustenance sometimes, but His greater work is the spiritual Bread He gives us in providing our nourishment for eternal life. Are we hungry for the right kind of Bread today? If we have trusted solely in Him by His work on the cross, He is faithful and just to keep us and resurrect us in the eschaton. Praise the Lord!!!
-The Jews were grumbling about Jesus because of His comments about Him being the Bread that came out of Heaven. They knew His family, that He was the Son of Joseph and Mary, but their understanding was limited. Jesus, perceiving their thoughts and words, rebuked them for their attitudes. Then, He prophesied and taught on His Father’s drawing of people to Himself. He continued to defend His authority as being One with the Father and sent by Him. He never backed down, even when faced with a grumbling-complaining spirit. He maintained that the one who believes in Him would have eternal life and that He was indeed the Bread of Life. He began to talk of delivering up His flesh for this purpose, which caused an argument between the Jews. Then, Jesus gave them some more to think about, “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 yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the Living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. This is the Bread which came down out of Heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this Bread will live forever.” These things were all said in the synagogue, which still has foundation stones to this day, in Capernaum as He taught on the Kingdom of God (John 6:41-59).
-After hearing these intense spiritual words, even many of His disciples thought that these statements were too difficult and hard to grasp. However, Jesus, conscious of their grumblings at this, made a remark, “Does this cause you to stumble? What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” The God-Man knew from the beginning those who would accept Him and those who would not. He even knew who it was who would betray Him, referencing Judas Iscariot. The resulting consequence from all this as Jesus began to reveal Himself is that many of His disciples withdrew from Him and walked with Him no more. This necessitated a question to His twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter, being a leading spokesman full of faith, replied wisely, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” Jesus then reveals more of His submission to the Father by stating that it was not Him who chose the twelve, and then He explained that one in the group was a devil, again referring to Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, who would betray Him (John 6:60-79).
*Application*- The omniscience of Jesus startles us as we read these verses. He goes straight to the heart of the matter and dissects every intention. We see His unity with the Father and obedience that He never drifts from. This should be indicative of the Spirit-filled life of the believer. How perceptive are we in the face of adversity and speaking the truth even when we know it probably won’t be accepted and that we will lose favor with people, or popularity? Will we continue to speak the word from the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit in a difficult time? Whether people accept it or reject it, Jesus still has the words of eternal life.
Verses to Memorize: John 6:35, 63, 68