John Chapter 6:1-40

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The Gospel Of John Chapter 6:1-40

I. Outline Of Chapter 6: I. Feeding The Five Thousand: 6:1-15 II. Jesus Walks On The Sea: 6:16-21 III. Jesus Challenges The Multitudes: 6:22-29 IV. Sermon On The Bread Of Life: 6:30-59 V. Certain Disciples Give Up: 6:60-71

II. Introductory Comments: ‘The Jews at Jerusalem rejected Jesus on the ground that, far from being the fulfillment of the Scriptures (in their mind) He disregarded them. The Galileans, on the other hand, whose unbelief is exposed in chapter 6, failed to see that He alone can satisfy men’s deepest needs, which are spiritual and not merely physical…They were, in consequence, very ready to accept Jesus as a political Christ, who would be a purveyor of cheap food and establish an economic Utopia.’ (Tasker pp. 92-93)

III. Commentary: John 6:1 ‘After these things Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias).’ ‘After these things’-After the events described in chapter 5. Since chapter 5 mentions a feast and this present chapter reveals that the ‘Passover..was at hand’ (6:4), somewhere between 6 months and a year have transpired since the events in chapter 5. During this time interval the following events have happened: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Controversies about the Sabbath In Capernaum Matt. 12; Mark 2; Luke 6 Sermon On the Mount: Matthew 5-7 Raising The Widow’s Son: Luke 7 Healing The Demon Possessed Man: Matt. 8; Mark 5; Luke 8 Second Visit To Nazareth: Matt. 13; Mark 6 Twelve Sent In Pairs To Preach: Matt. 10; Mark 6; Luke 9 Herod Desires To Have Jesus Visit him: Matt. 14; Mark 6; Luke 9 1

‘Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea’-The implication is that Jesus had been working for some time in Galilee. From other passages we learn: 1. This happened closely after Jesus had heard that John the Baptist was dead (Matt. 14:12-13). 2. Jesus wanted to get away with His disciples for awhile and be alone with them (Mark 6:30-32). Luke records that Jesus had come to a city called ‘Bethsaida’ (Luke 9:10). This city was located at the northeast corner of the Sea.

‘(or Tiberias)’-‘”Galilee” was probably the name by which it was known locally…But it was officially called “Tiberias” from the town on its shores named after the Emperor. This town was founded about A.D. 20…John then adds the name by which it was known when his Gospel was written.’ (Morris pp. 341-342) Once again, God is being very helpful to the non-Jewish reader or the person who didn’t live during that time or in that culture. In the O.T. this Sea was called ‘Chinnereth’ (Numbers 34:11). In the New Testament it is also called the ‘Lake of Gennesaret’ (Luke 5:1).

John 6:2 ‘And a great multitude was following Him, because they were seeking the signs which He was performing on those who were sick.’ ‘was following’-Consider the tenses in this verse. The multitude was continually following Jesus, because Jesus was continually healing the sick. It is obvious that since John 5, Jesus was been in Galilee and has been performing many miracles.

John 6:3 ‘And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples.’ ‘on the mountain’-Surrounding the Sea of Galilee there is an abundance of hillcountry. Hendriksen notes, ‘A little study of the territory around Bethsaida…On the northeastern shore of the sea, about a mile south of the town, there is a little plain…As it was spring-time when Jesus and his disciples landed here, we are not surprised to read that there was plenty of green grass here (John 6:10). A hill actually arises up just behind this plain, so that all the requirements of the account as found in the Gospels are fully met.’ (Hendriksen p. 218)

‘He sat with His disciples’-I am impressed that Jesus believed in getting away now and then, the importance of time spent with God alone in prayer and the importance of getting away now and then from the thick of the fight. There are times that we need to take a break and prepare ourselves for the next challenge. Lenski notes, ‘The view that Jesus failed to find this respite because the crowds followed him, is refuted by the imperfect “was sitting”, and it is also evident that the crowds, who had had to walk along the shoreline, arrived at the place to which Jesus had crossed by boat some hours later.’ (Lenski p. 429)


John 6:4 ‘Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand’ ‘The Passover occurred on April 16…It seems certain that John’s biography of Jesus was intended to be read by those not Jews in the day in which it was produced.’ (Woods p. 116)

John 6:5 ‘Jesus therefore lifting up His eyes, and seeing that a great multitude was coming to Him, said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, that these may eat?”’ ‘Jesus therefore lifting up His eyes’-Obviously the people had seen Jesus and His disciples get into the boat and depart. In addition, those in the area to which Jesus had come, recognized Him (Mark 6:33). Foster notes, ‘Such a multitude—men, women, children; young and old; sturdy, and sick or crippled—would be strung out for miles … The vigorous ones outran the boat; Jesus saw the situation and picked a natural amphitheater on the mountain side. By the time the weak stragglers arrived and the multitudes fully assembled, Jesus was seated with His disciples.’ (Butler p. 227)

‘said to Philip’-Jesus is testing the faith of Philip as well as the other disciples. Philip was from this region (John 1:44), and he would have the local knowledge.

“Where are we to buy bread that these may eat”?-Let us be impressed with the compassion that Jesus has for mankind, even people who have less than pure motives for following Him (Matthew 14:14). Be impressed that for the most part, this miracle would ‘be wasted on the multitudes’, that is, most wouldn’t develop the right kind of faith (6:26). And yet, God continues to do good and gracious things, even for sinful men---if only one soul would be impressed by this miracle, then it was well worth it.

John 6:6 ‘And this He was saying to test him; for He Himself knew what He was intending to do.’ ‘to test him’-Jesus isn’t being cruel or unfair. Rather, He is forcing His disciples to realize that there exists no human or natural remedy for the problem at hand. He wants them first to exhaust all the alternatives.

John 6:7 ‘Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, for everyone to receive a little.”’ “Two hundred denarri ….”-Philip’s answer is depressing. He had quickly calculated the cost. A denarii was the daily wage for a manual laborer. Obviously this sum of around 8 months pay was far beyond what Jesus and the disciples could afford. ‘Jesus, of


course, wants to bring out the hopelessness of buying food for all these people.’ (Lenski p. 433)

”to receive a little”-And 200 denarii would only buy the lowest possible amount. ‘Philip calculated that two thirds of a year’s wages would not buy enough bread to provide afternoon tea for the crowd, to say nothing of a meal.’ (Tenney p. 113) It is interesting that at this moment the disciples did not remember the miracles that Jesus had performed (raising the widow’s son, casting out the demons named legion, and especially, turning the water into wine.) ‘Could they not even remember these and suggest that Jesus exercise His miraculous prerogatives to provide food?’ (Butler p. 228) On this occasion we know that 5,000 men were present (6:10). And yet this doesn’t include the women and children. The disciples may have been staggered by the task of feeding in excess of 10-15 thousand very hungry people.

John 6:8 ‘One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him,’ John 6:9 “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?” In contrast to Philip, Andrew had made attempts to discover how much food was available. What a pitiful supply of food he found! Barclay notes, ‘Barley bread was the bread of the poor. The fishes would be no bigger than sardines..The boy had his little pickled fish to help to make the dry barley bread go down.’ (p. 204) ‘prepared fish was eaten with the thin, flat cakes of bread.’ (Lenski p. 435) ‘The bread spoken of was more nearly comparable to pancakes in size and shape; and the fish were not the main part of the meal, but were probably picked fish used as relish, much as sardines are used now…This small amount of food would scarcely make a satisfying lunch for one child to say nothing of five thousand men, besides women and children.’ (Tenney p. 112) Let us be impressed that Jesus allows the situation to grow seemingly hopeless before He acts. There isn’t enough money, even to buy a snack, it is late, they are away from town, all the food selling business are closed, and this sorry sack-lunch is the only food within miles! (Matthew 14:15)

John 6:10 ‘Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.’ John 6:11 ‘Jesus therefore took the loaves; and having given thanks, He distributed to those who were seated; likewise also of the fish as much as they wanted.’ ‘So the men sat down’-Mark adds, ‘to recline by groups on the green grass. And they reclined in companies of hundreds and of fifties.’ (6:39-40) Jesus probably had them sit down for the purpose of orderliness, and to prevent greediness, elbowing, riot and confusion. It probably also tested their faith, as they saw food being distributed to another


group---would that food last, would there be enough for everyone, what about the groups farthest away from where the food started?

‘He distributed’-this was done with the assistance of the disciples (Luke 9:16). Apparently Jesus kept multiplying what had been given Him (Luke 9:16). Imagine the amazement on the faces of the disciples as they kept coming back to Jesus—only to see more baskets of food to distribute!

‘as much as they wanted’-They could have as much fish as they wanted to go with the bread. Unlike Philip who could only think about providing a snack, Jesus was providing a whole meal, with seconds, thirds and so on. In view of this statement, and what was leftover (6:13) we must reject the argument made by unbelieving scholars that this wasn’t a miracle, but only something in which each person took a very small piece (like communion) of the bread and fish that were available.

John 6:12 ‘And when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments that nothing may be lost.” “Gather up the leftover fragments-‘Nevertheless, infinite resources are no excuse for waste.’ (Hendriksen p. 223) ‘He thus taught them and us a lesson in economy, prudence and preservation. Natural resources are gifts from his lavish hand. These, he permits us to use, but in the object lesson teaches us that it is inconsistent with his will to waste or abuse them.’ (Woods p. 119)

John 6:13 ‘And so they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets of fragments from the five barley loaves, which were left over by those who had eaten.’ ‘twelve baskets’-It was common for the Jewish people to carry baskets with them when traveling. ‘By carrying his own food along with him he (the average Jew) was not forced to shop in markets and touch (ceremonially) unclean persons and objects.’ (Butler p. 229) Possibly these leftovers were for Jesus and His disciples for meals in the following days. Point To Note: As usual, there will always exist people who claim to believe in what the Bible says and yet want to remove all the miraculous elements from it: ‘A Sunday School teacher was trying to convince her class of youngsters that there was no actual miracle performed by Jesus here at the Sea of Galilee. “Children,” she said, “you must realize that Jesus didn’t actually provide bread and fish for the people to eat. They were really filled by His teaching.” A small lad revealed heaven-sought faith when he said, “But what about the twelve baskets left over, Teacher?”’ (Butler p. 230)


John 6:14 ‘When therefore the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, “This is of a truth the Prophet who is to come into the world.”’ “This is of a truth the Prophet”-While they were right about Jesus being the ‘Prophet’ mentioned in Deut. 18:15, their ideas of what this Prophet would be like were wrong (next verse).

John 6:15 ‘Jesus therefore perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force, to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone.’ ‘perceiving’-Jesus knew the hearts and intentions of those in crowd (John 2:24-25). ‘Goaded by visions of temporal glory and prosperity, the multitude decided to seize Him by force, if necessary, and proceed triumphantly to Jerusalem and the Passover.’ (Butler p. 231) ‘Various ideas about the Messiah were current, and various prophets were expected, some being linked with nationalist, militaristic views…But to Jesus the prospect of an earthly kingdom was nothing else than a temptation of the devil, and He decisively rejected it.’ (Morris p. 346)

‘withdrew again to the mountain’-Jesus frustrates their plan. In the approaching darkness, which will make it harder for them to find Him, Jesus slips away alone. Point To Note: In view of this event, we must reject the Premillennial idea that Jesus came to this earth to establish an earthly empire and to reign for 1000 years. At this point in His ministry, the crowd was in the palm of His hand. The Jews didn’t reject Jesus from being their earthly king—rather Jesus rejected their offer. People in the crowd probably reasoned, ‘If this man can multiply food, think of what He could do for an army—an unlimited supply of weaponry and provisions, we can beat the Romans!’ In great contrast, Jesus came to establish a spiritual kingdom, whose citizens have experienced a spiritual birth (John 3:5; 18:36-37; Luke 17:20-21; Acts 2:29-36).

Jesus Walks On The Water: As with the above miracle, this miracle is also recorded in the other Gospels (Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 6:45-51). The two miracles in this chapter (besides the resurrection of Jesus) are the only miracles which John records which are recorded somewhere in one or more of the other Gospels.

John 6:16 ‘Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea’


‘evening’-somewhere between 6 p.m. and darkness. ‘His disciples went down to the sea’-According to Matthew 14:22, Jesus ‘made’ or ‘compelled’ the disciples to leave Him, indicating some reluctance on their part. In addition, Matthew and Mark record that Jesus took this time to be alone and used it for prayer (Mark 6:46).

John 6:17 ‘and after getting into a boat, they started to cross the sea to Capernaum. And it had already become dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.’ ‘to Capernaum’-The initial instruction from Jesus was to sail to Bethsaida (Mark 6:45). ‘but a wind, blowing strongly from the northeast, forced them back so that they traveled in a westerly direction toward Capernaum.’ (Woods p. 120) We should note that traveling on the Sea at night wasn’t anything usual, especially for such men as Peter, Andrew, James and John. The fishermen in this region often fished all night on the Lake.

John 6:18 ‘And the sea began to be stirred up because a strong wind was blowing.’ ‘The lake of Galilee was situated below sea level in a bowl of hills, and the defiles between the hills acted as chimneys which directed the concentrated blasts of wind down upon the water. In addition, because of the relatively shallow depth of the lake, it was subject to sudden violent storms.’ (Tenney p. 114) To this day such storms rush down upon the lake and force modern fishing vessels and sight-seeing vessels to return to port. See Luke 8:23. ‘not uncommon for that lake; cold air from the highlands often moved down the valleys and collided with the warm air above the lake, thus producing stormy winds and tempestuous seas where shortly before the waters were quiet and tranquil.’ (Woods p. 121)

John 6:19 ‘When therefore they had rowed about three or four miles, they beheld Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat; and they were frightened.’ ‘rowed about three or four miles’-Mark records that Jesus saw them from the mountain (6:48), that they were ‘straining at the oars’, and it was the fourth watch of the night, i.e. 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. In addition, they had been rowing into the wind. For some 9 ours these men had rowed strenuously and were some distance from the shore. Tired, cold, wet and exhausted, in the midst of a storm, the disciples are about to experience a major shock.


‘they beheld Jesus walking on the sea’-Being near the Passover season, the moon may have been full. ‘The toiling disciples looked up; and suddenly they saw Him; it was all so unexpected, they had been bent so long over their oars…Here is just the kind of story that a fisherman like John would have loved and cherished and remembered. Every time he thought of it he could feel that night again, the gray silver of the moonlight, the rough oar against his hand, the flapping sail, the shriek of the wind, and the sound of the surging water, the astonishingly unexpected appearance of Jesus, the sound of His voice across the waves, and the crunch of the boat as it reached the Galilean side.’ (Barclay p. 212) ‘They see one approaching the boat, walking on the water as on a paved street… was drawing near out of the eerie darkness of the stormy night to confront them.’ (Woods p. 121) ‘To see a figure approaching them, moving against the wind faster than the boat could travel, and rapidly overtaking them would be disconcerting if not unnerving.’ (Tenney p. 115) Mark records, that the disciples cried out with fear and thought they were being pursued by a ghost (6:49).

John 6:20 ‘But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.”’ What wonderful words! There are some wonderful lessons here. 1. Jesus watches over us. Even though He was on the mountain in prayer, He hadn’t forgotten about His disciples in the midst of the sea. 2. Jesus is also the answer to all our fears! (Hebrews 13:5-6). Though not mentioned by John, Matthew informs us that Peter, asked the Lord for permission to walk upon the water with Him (14:28-31).

John 6:21 ‘They were willing therefore to receive Him into the boat; and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.’ ‘immediately’-‘no sooner was Jesus in it until the vessel and its occupants were in Capernaum—immediately transported there by a miracle.’ (Woods p. 122) Points To Note: 1.

The feeding of the 5000 plus demonstrated Jesus’ power over matter and quantity. 2. The miracle on the lake demonstrated His power over nature and the forces of creation. To this day, with all his technology, man still finds himself helpless against the weather. Jesus could walk through a tornado, untouched. He would walk upstream on a raging, flood-swollen river, He would walk through a tidal wave, stand on top of the hot ash coming from Mount St. Helens—Jesus is stronger than any natural force upon this planet! 3. Butler notes, ‘It is worthy of note here to see the independence of the accounts of this miracle: Matthew alone mentions Peter’s attempt to walk on the water (Matt. 14:28-31). Mark alone mentions Jesus seeing their distress while still on the mountain (6:47-48). John alone mentions that it was dark (6:18) that they had rowed about 3-4 miles (6:19), and that the boat arrived “straightway” where they were going (6:21). The infidelic theories of the liberal and radical scholars claim the Gospel writers were not inspired to write independent accounts, but copied from one another. But the facts say differently—they wrote independently of one another.’ (pp. 233-234) 8

The Surprise Of The Multitudes: John 6:22 ‘The next day the multitude that stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other small boat there, except one, and that Jesus had not entered with His disciples into the boat, but that His disciples had gone away alone.’ ‘was no other small boat there’-Many apparently stayed in this region overnight, and in the morning they noticed: 1. The only boat that had left the previous evening, was only filled with the disciples. 2. Jesus was nowhere to be found. 3. He wasn’t in Bethsaida, He hadn’t taken another boat across the lake (none was available), if He had walked around the lake, someone should have seen Him. Of course, they never thought that He might have walked across the lake!

John 6:23 ‘There came other small boats from Tiberias near to the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks.’ ‘from Tiberias’-‘Tiberias had been built on the southwest shore of the lake by Herod Antipas, the murderer of John the Baptist, and was named in honor of the emperor Tiberias.’ (Lenski p. 448) Some commentators feel that these boats had broken loose and drifted across the lake. But it seems more reasonable that the individuals who owned these boats had come across in the morning, for they knew that many in the multitude would want passage to other cities

‘the Lord’-This is the first time in this Gospel that the writer calls Jesus, ‘the Lord’. John 6:24 ‘When the multitude therefore saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they themselves got into the small boats, and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.’ ‘came to Capernaum’-A very natural place for them to continue their search, for Jesus had made this His base of operations, and the city was centrally located as far as the passengers were concerned.

‘seeking’-Evidently, they still had ideas of making Jesus to be their King, and they weren’t about to lose their “meal-ticket”.

John 6:25 ‘And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You get here?”’


John 6:26 ‘Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves, and were filled.”’ “not because you saw signs”-Instead of answering their question, Jesus immediately seeks to correct their motives. ‘They saw the miracles, but they did not see them as signs of His deity and the spiritual nature of His kingdom. They saw in the miracles, rather, an era of sensory prosperity---“easy street” for Israel.’ (Butler pp. 236-237)

“were filled”-the word here literally means, ‘to give fodder to animals’. They were following Jesus, not because of spiritual need, rather, they were only thinking of their stomachs. They were walking by taste and not by faith. Points To Note: 1.

Nothing has really changed. Today, millions of people are spending their entire lives in search for purely physical rewards and goals (Matthew 6:32). 2. There will always be people who show an interest in Jesus, because they think of Jesus as a good-luck charm, or as a way to get ahead, someone who is going to bring greater physical blessings into their life. Woods notes, ‘Far too few people seek Jesus because he is the Lord and is thus deserving of being honored. It is difficult for the best of us to avoid being influenced by the desire for personal benefit alone…They were not interested in Jesus as a Saviour; they were concerned largely with their own material and worldly benefits. They sought not him, but his.’ (p. 124) 3. In view of this tendency among people, it would be a grave mistake to use physical things or rewards to draw people to Jesus. Notice that Jesus didn’t have the attitude that at least these people were coming and hearing good teaching. Jesus isn’t interested in listeners (the world is full of them), Jesus wants committed followers! (Luke 14:26ff)

John 6:27 ‘”Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man shall give to you, for on Him the Father, even God, has set His seal.”’ “Do not work for the food which perishes”-Obviously, we need to work so we can eat (1 Timothy 5:8; 2 Thess. 3:10). Rather, working for our daily bread must never become the chief aim of our lives. Woods notes, ‘Such labor should be only for the purpose of enabling us to live so that we may reach for higher and better things.’ (p. 124) I like that comment. Our jobs and careers are not our lives, rather they are the means by which we make enough to feed our families, give to those in need, and so we have resources and strength to do the really important work, i.e. spreading the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33). This statement is much like that found in Isaiah 55:2 ‘Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy?’ Notice how Jesus rebukes the people, but quickly offers them an alternative. ‘As stern as is the rebuke, so strong is the renewed call.’ (Lenski p. 451)


“but for the food which endures to eternal life”-More of our efforts need to be expended towards things of an eternal nature. The verse infers that living the Christian life will involve work (1 Cor. 15:58).

“which the Son of Man shall give”-Jesus can give them something far more valuable and necessary than a free lunch. But how many people, even professed Christians, still make a poor use of Jesus! Too many people are satisfied when their encounter with the Gospel merely improves something in their life. ‘Well, I learned selfcontrol’, or, ‘I am more patient now’.

“on Him the Father, even God, has set His seal”-Like our modern ‘signature’, in the Near East, it was the ‘seal’ which authenticated documents or guaranteed the contents of a sack or crate. The Father had placed His ‘seal’ or stamp of authenticity/approval on the Son by direct testimony (Matthew 3:17), by the miracles that Jesus was performing (John 3:2; Acts 2:22), and finally, by His resurrection from the dead (Romans 1:4).

John 6:28 ‘They said therefore to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”’ “What shall we do”-They respond to the challenge Jesus gave them in 6:27 ‘but for the food which endures to eternal life.’ Be impressed that Jesus doesn’t say, ‘Well, there is nothing you can do, salvation of the individual is completely and solely based on the grace of God, without any role played by the person being saved. And neither does Jesus say, ‘There is nothing you can do, seeing that the Father has predestined who will be saved and who will be lost, and such a determination overrules any choice that you could or would make in this life.’

John 6:29 ‘Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”’ “that you believe”-This verse completely shatters popular denominational theology concerning ‘faith and works’. Woods notes, ‘to exclude all work from the plan of salvation is to exclude faith which is by our Lord affirmed to be a work. Jesus joined faith and work here; denominational theologians seek to separate them…the disposition to question the validity of some commands of the Lord and to classify them as non-essential is not genuine belief.’ (p. 125) Points To Note: 1.

As in all crowds, some of the people apparently were sincere and took Jesus’ rebuke to heart. 2. The Bible talks of different ‘works’. Various ‘works’ do not save us, obviously works of the flesh don’t save (Galatians 5:19-21). The ‘works’ that are so often put in contrast to faith, are works of human invention, thing which people


devise in the attempt to earn their salvation, something of which a person could boast (Ephesians 2:9; Titus 3:5). Or works of the Law of Moses (Romans 4:2). But faith isn’t contrary to obeying the will of Jesus Christ (how could it be?) (Matthew 7:21ff). 3. Now some argue that ‘faith’ (mere mental acceptance of Jesus) is the ONLY work that is a work of God. But that doesn’t make any sense. Is confession a work of God? (Romans 10:9-10) How about godly sorrow that moves a person to repent? (Acts 17:30; 2 Cor. 7:10). And Paul clearly labels baptism as a work of God (Colossians 2:12-13).

John 6:30 ‘They said therefore to Him, “What then do You do for a sign, that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform?”’ “What then do You do for a sign that we may see, and believe You?”-The events of the previous day had been completely wasted on them. They seem to be casting blame upon Jesus, ‘If he would do more, they would respond with more..If Jesus wants them to do more, he himself will have to do more in the way of a sign.’ (Lenski p. 457)

John 6:31 ‘”Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.’”’ “Our fathers ate the manna”-Their attitude seems to be, ‘You have feed 5000 plus, but Moses fed a whole nation with manna for forty years. We will believe in You, when you do something greater than Moses!’ The passage they are quoting is Psalm 78:24. See Exodus 16 concerning more information on the manna.

“out of heaven”-‘Moses gave us bread direct from heaven---if You are greater than Moses, show us a sign directly from heaven.’ (Butler pp. 240-241) ‘Could Jesus produce anything equally convincing? Surely if Moses could feed the people with heavenly food, Jesus must do likewise if He were to have a place of authority equal to that of Moses.’ (Tenney p. 118) Note: The account about the manna—really happened! Jesus will place His stamp of approval upon that O.T. event.

John 6:32 ‘Jesus therefore said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven.”’ “it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven”-In the first place, Moses hadn’t given the bread, God did that! In and of himself, Moses had no miraculous power, such power didn’t inherently reside within Moses.

“the true bread out of heaven”-the manna wasn’t the true bread, but was only a type of it. And in a sense the manna was never really ‘in heaven’, it was something


physical and appeared on the ground. ‘it was not the true “bread from heaven”, but an earthly, material type of that bread.’ (Morris p. 364)

John 6:33 ‘”For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.”’ “gives life to the world”-In contrast, the manna fed only the Jewish nation, and for only a limited time. The true bread of God feeds everyone who comes to Jesus for all eternity.

John 6:34 ‘They said therefore to Him, “Lord, evermore give us this bread.”’ “evermore give us this bread”-Just like the Samaritan woman, this audience can only think in terms of physical nourishment (John 4:15). ‘Like the Samaritan woman they thought he alluded to some miraculous method by which to provide daily needs.’ (Woods p. 126)

John 6:35 ‘Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”’ “I am the bread of life”Points To Note: 1.

Much like Jesus’ words to the woman at the well, Jesus draws a line in the sand, He is the only true nourishment for the spiritual needs of mankind. Buddha isn’t the bread of life, and neither is Mohammed or Joseph Smith. 2. The verse infers that a person can only come to Jesus and profit from it when they realize or acknowledge their spiritual poverty (Matthew 5:3-6; Luke 18:14). Our coming to Jesus must be motivated by spiritual hunger! Coming to Jesus from the motive of curiosity, a little self-improvement, or ‘I think I will try this for awhile’ will not do! 3. The man or woman who views themselves as self-sufficient, will never see a need for the bread of life. 4. Barclay notes, ‘bread sustains life…Bread is that without which life cannot go on.’ (p. 221) 5. ‘Becoming a Christian may be described in various ways. Here Jesus speaks of coming to Him, which stresses the movement away from the old life which its beggarly famine and its total inability to satisfy.’ (Morris p. 366)

“shall never thirst”-‘This does not exclude a further desire for spiritual things, but it rules out for ever the possibility of that unsatisfied hunger for it knows not what that is typical of the world even at its best.’ (Morris p. 366) This statement reveals something very important about the Christian who is longing for the old life! Or the Christian who is depressed, dissatisfied, or unfulfilled. This isn’t merely a statement of fact, Jesus is doing everything He can to motivate people to believe in Him. He claims that He will meet all


the spiritual needs, all the true needs and all the deepest needs of any person who will place their complete confidence in Him.

John 6:36 ‘”But I said to you, that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe.”’ “and yet do not believe”-Jesus reminds them that they had seen His power, and yet had refused to accept who He is. Clearly the blame for their current unbelief is placed upon their own heads. Jesus views these people as being fully responsible for their actions. Jesus doesn’t say, ‘I know you can’t believe, no matter how sincerely you try.’

John 6:37 ‘”All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.”’ “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me”-In this very context we are told how the Father brings men and women to Jesus. The Father draws people to His Son through the Scriptures, through teaching (6:44-45). In fact, right now the Father was trying to draw these people to Jesus. The statement in 6:36, ‘yet do not believe’ clearly demonstrates that the Father doesn’t violate the freewill of man in this process. The above verse cannot mean that the Father predestined certain individuals for salvation and others for damnation, apart from their own choices. For God is on record as wanting all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4-6; 2 Peter 3:9), and the Gospel message is for all (Mark 16:15).

“I will certainly not cast out”-This isn’t teaching once-saved-always-saved. Rather, if a Christian is going to be cast out, they must reject Jesus first! I must become unfaithful, I must move away from Jesus, if I am going to lose my salvation (2 Tim. 2:1113; Hebrews 10:26ff; 2 Peter 2:20-22). ‘Jesus will never refuse or reject any who come to Him and abide in Him (John 15:1-10). Man’s rejection by God is caused by man’s rejection of God.’ (Butler p. 242)

John 6:38 ‘”For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”’ “come down from heaven”-He is the true bread of life (6:32). Jesus knew exactly where He had come from (John 17:3-5). ‘Not to be overlooked here is the clear indication of definite consciousness Jesus had of his former abode with the Father in heaven.’ (Woods p. 128) No one who comes to Jesus should be fearful of being cast out, for the very reason that Jesus came to do the will of the Father, which is to save people!


John 6:39 ‘”And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.”’ “I lose nothing”-Those who continue to remain faithful to Jesus can be assured of inheriting eternal life (John 5:24; Revelation 2:10; 3:11).

“raise it up on the last day”-Jesus places the resurrection of all the faithful at the last day. And yet the Premillennialists have Christians being resurrected 1007 years before the last day. In their theory, all Christians, living and dead are removed from the earth, then 7 years of tremendous tribulation, the resurrection of all the righteous people in the Old Testament then an 1000 year earthly reign of Christ upon the earth, and then the last day, which includes the resurrection of the wicked. Jesus doesn’t agree. Everyone, good and evil are resurrected at the same time (John 5:28-29).

John 6:40 ‘”For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”’ “this is the will of My Father”-The following are the type of people that the Father gives to Jesus.

“everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him”-The words “beholds” and “believes” are in the present tense. This is in sharp contrast to the attitude of the people that were listening to Him (6:36). To “behold” the Son is to regard Jesus as the Son of God. “Believes in Him” means a constant obedience and trust in Jesus. The person who will end up saved, is the person who continues to believe in Him (2 Tim. 2:12 ‘If we endure, we shall also reign with Him’.)

“I Myself”-John 5:21, 28-29.


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