After this, Jesus left to go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (also known as the Sea of Tiberias). A large crowd was following him, for they'd seen his miracles of healing. Jesus went up a hill and sat down there with his disciples. The time for the Jewish festival of the Passover was approaching. When Jesus looked up, and saw a large crowd coming towards him, he asked Philip, “Where can we buy enough bread to feed all these people?” He only asked this to see how Philip would respond, because Jesus already knew what he was going to do.
Two hundred silver coins* wouldn't buy enough bread to give everyone even just a little,” Philip replied.
One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up. “There's a boy here who has five barley loaves and a couple of fish, but what good is that when there are so many people?”
10 Have everybody sit down,” Jesus said. There was plenty of grass there, so they all sat down, the men numbering around five thousand. 11 Jesus took the bread, gave thanks, and had it handed out to the people as they sat there. Then he did the same with the fishes, making sure the people had as much as they wanted. 12 Once they were all full, he said to his disciples, “Collect what's left over so nothing is wasted.” 13 So they collected and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves the people had eaten. 14 When the people saw this miracle, they said, “Surely this is the Prophet who was to come into the world.” 15 Jesus realized that they were about to force him to become their king, so he left them and went up into the hills to be by himself.
16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, 17 climbed into a boat, and headed across the water towards Capernaum. By now it was night and Jesus had not joined them yet. 18 A strong wind began blowing and the sea grew rough. 19 When they had rowed three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea, coming towards the boat. They were very frightened. 20 “Don't be afraid!” he told them. “It's me.” 21 Then they gladly took him into the boat, and immediately they reached the shore where they were going.
22 The next day the crowd that had stayed on the other side of the sea noticed that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not got into the boat with his disciples, but they had left without him. 23 Then other boats arrived from Tiberias, landing near to the place where they'd eaten the bread once the Lord had blessed it. 24 Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went over to Capernaum, looking for Jesus. 25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
26 I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “you're looking for me because you ate as much bread as you wanted, not because you understood the miracles. 27 Don't be preoccupied about food that doesn't last, but concentrate on the lasting food of eternal life which the Son of man will give you, for God the Father has placed his seal of approval on him.”
28 So they asked him, “What do we have to do in order to do what God wants?”
29 Jesus replied, “What God wants you to do is to trust in the one he sent.”
30 What miracle are you going to perform for us to see so we can trust you? What are you able to do?” they asked. 31 Our forefathers ate manna in the desert in fulfillment of the Scripture that says, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ”
32 I tell you the truth, it wasn't Moses who gave you bread from heaven,” Jesus replied. “It's my Father who gives you the true bread of heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the one who comes from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34 Lord, please give us this kind of bread all the time!” they said.
35 I am the bread of life,” Jesus replied. “Anyone who comes to me will never be hungry again, and anyone who trusts in me will never be thirsty again. 36 But as I explained to you before, you have seen me,§ but you still don't trust me. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and I won't reject any of them. 38 For I came down from heaven not to do what I want, but to do what the one who sent me wants. 39 What he wants is for me not to lose anyone he has given to me, but for me to raise them up at the last day.* 40 What my Father wants is for everyone who sees the Son and trusts in him to have eternal life, and for me to raise them up at the last day.”
41 Then the Jews began to grumble about him because he had said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Isn't this Jesus, the son of Joseph? We know his father and his mother. So how can he now tell us, ‘I came down from heaven’?”
43 Stop grumbling to each other,” Jesus said. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me attracts them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 As is written in Scripture by the prophets, ‘Everyone will be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to and learns from the Father comes to me. 46 Not that anyone has seen God, except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 I tell you the truth: anyone who trusts in him has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your forefathers ate manna in the desert but they still died. 50 But this is the bread that comes down from heaven, and anyone who eats it won't ever die. 51 I am the life-giving bread from heaven, and anyone who eats this bread will live forever. The bread is my flesh that I give so that the world may live.”
52 Then the Jews argued heatedly among themselves. “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” they asked.
53 Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you cannot truly live. 54 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood remain in me, and I remain in them. 57 Just as the life-giving Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so anyone who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 Now this is the bread that came down from heaven, not the kind your forefathers ate and still died. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever.”
59 Jesus explained this while he was teaching in a synagogue at Capernaum. 60 Many of his disciples when they heard it said, “This is hard to accept! Who can follow it?”
61 Jesus saw that his disciples were complaining about this, so he asked them, “Are you offended by this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son ascend to where he was before? 63 The Spirit gives life; the physical body doesn't do anything.§ The words I've told you are spirit and life! 64 Yet there are some of you who don't trust me.” (Jesus had known from the very beginning who didn't trust him, and who would betray him.)
65 Jesus added, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is made possible* by the Father.”
66 From this time on many of Jesus' disciples gave up and no longer followed him. 67 Then Jesus asked the twelve disciples, “What about you? Do you want to leave as well?”
68 Simon Peter answered, “Lord, who would we follow? You're the one who has the words of eternal life. 69 We trust in you, and we're convinced that you are God's Holy One.”
70 Jesus replied, “Didn't I choose you, the twelve disciples? Yet one of you is a devil.” 71 (Jesus was referring to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. He was the one of the twelve disciples who would betray Jesus.)
* 6:7 Literally, denarius. One denarius was worth a day's wage. 6:25 An oblique question for they were really wondering how he got there… 6:31 Quoting Psalms 78:24 referring to Exodus 16:4. § 6:36 Referring to all that Jesus had done, not just seeing his person. In fact the word “me” is not in all ancient manuscripts. * 6:39 “Last day,” referring to the day of judgment. Also verses 40, 44, and 54. 6:45 Quoting Isaiah 54:13. 6:60 “Follow” not only in the sense of “understand,” but also “observe” or “agree with.” § 6:63 Or “counts for nothing.” * 6:65 Or “granted.”