Ferrar Fenton Bible: John 6

The Gospel as Recorded by St. John

Feeding the Five Thousand

After this, Jesus went beyond the lake of Galilee, near Tiberias. And a large crowd was following Him, because they saw the wonders which He effected upon the sick people. And Jesus climbed up the mountain, and there sat down along with His disciples. At that time the Judean festival of the Passover was near. Jesus then looking up and seeing that a large crowd came towards Him, remarked to Philip:

“Where shall we buy bread, so that all these may eat?”

He said this to test him, for He Himself knew what He was about to do.

“Twenty pounds worth of bread,” Philip answered Him, “would not be sufficient to satisfy them, even if each of them only took a little.”

One of the disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, observed to Him:

“There is a little lad here who has five barley loaves and two fishes; but what are they among so many?”

“Make them sit down,” said Jesus; for there was plenty of grass at that spot. So the men sat down, to the number of about five thousand. Jesus then took the loaves, and having given thanks, He distributed to those reclining; and in the same manner, as much of the fish as they wished. Then, when they were satisfied, He said to His disciples:

“Collect now the broken pieces which are left, so that nothing may be lost.”

They accordingly collected them, and filled twelve bags with the broken pieces of the five barley loaves which the eaters had to spare. Then when the people saw the evidence which He had produced, they exclaimed:

“This must certainly be the Prophet Who was to come into the world.”

Walking on the Water

Jesus, perceiving then that they were about to come and seize Him, for the purpose of making Him king, again withdrew Himself to the mountain alone. And when dusk arrived, His disciples went down to the lake, in the direction of Capernaum. But darkness had now arrived, Jesus had not yet come to them. The water was also getting rough, on account of the violent wind then blowing. When, however, they had rowed about two miles, they observed Jesus walking upon the water, and approaching the boast; and they were terrified. But He said to them:

“I AM; be not afraid.”

They, therefore, very willingly took Him into the boat; and the boat went straight towards the land they steered for.

Christ the Bread of Life

On the following day, the crowd upon the other side of the lake, knowing that there had been no boat there except the one in which the disciples had embarked; and that Jesus did not embark in the boat along with His disciples, who had departed by themselves (although other boats had come from Tiberias, near to the spot where they had eaten bread, after the Lord had given thanks); so when the crowd saw that neither Jesus was there, nor yet His disciples, they themselves embarked in the boats, and came to Capernaum, searching for Jesus. And finding Him across the lake, they asked:

“When, Teacher, did you come here?”

“I tell you most assuredly,” Jesus answered them, “you search for Me, not because you have seen evidences; but because you have eaten of the bread, and have been satisfied. Strive not only for this perishable food; but also for that lasting into eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you; for Him has God the Father marked out.”

They therefore asked Him: “What, then, must we do, in order that we may carry out the purposes of God?”

“This is the purpose of God,” Jesus answered them, “that you believe in Him Whom He sent.”

They therefore asked Him: “What evidence, then, do You produce, so that we may see it, and confide in you? What can You do? Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert, as it is written: HE GAVE THEM BREAD TO EAT FROM OUT OF HEAVEN.”1

Jesus, however, said to them:

“I tell you assuredly, Moses did not himself give you that bread from heaven; but My Father will give you the real bread from heaven: for the bread of God is He Who descends from heaven, and gives life to the world.”

They, therefore, said to Him: “Give us, Sir, this bread always.”

Jesus answered them:

“I am the Bread of Life: the one who comes to Me will never hunger; and the one who believes in Me will never thirst. I have also told you that although you have seen, yet you have not believed. Every one whom the Father gives to Me will come to Me; and whoever comes to Me I will not cast out; for I descended from heaven not to carry out My own intention, but the intention of My Sender. And this is the intention of My Sender, that of all which he has entrusted to Me, I should lose nothing, but should restore it at the last day. This, also, is the intention of My Father, that everyone who sees the Son, and confides in Him, should possess eternal life; and I will restore him at the last day.”

The Judeans then muttered concerning Him, because He said, “I am the Bread which descended from heaven”; and they said:

“Is not this fellow Jesus, the son of Joseph, Whose father and mother we know? How then can He now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”

Jesus replied, and said to them:

“Do not mutter to one another. No one is able to come to Me, unless the Father Who sent Me draws him; and I will restore him at the last day. It is written in the prophets: AND THY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT FROM GOD.2

“Everyone who has listened to the Father, and learnt, comes to Me. Not that any one has seen the Father, except He Who was with God; that One has seen the Father. I tell you most decisively that the believer possesses eternal life. I am the Bread of Life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, and died. This is the Bread coming down from heaven, so that any one may eat of it, and not die. I am the Living Bread, which descended from out of heaven: if any one should eat of this Bread, he will live forever; and the Bread is also My body, which I will give for the life of the world!”

The Judeans then discussed with one another, asking,

“How can this Man give us His body to eat?”

Jesus therefore said to them:

“I tell you most certainly that unless you eat the body of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you do not possess life in yourselves. Whoever eats My body, and drinks My blood, has eternal life; and I will restore him at the last day; for My body is a true food, and My blood is a true drink. Whoever eats of My body, and drinks of My blood, abides with Me, and I with him. As the living Father sent Me, I also live through the Father; so that the one who eats Me, shall also live through Me. This is the Bread descending from heaven; not such as that of which your forefathers ate and died. Whoever eats of this Bread shall live forever.”

He spoke this in a synagogue, as He was teaching in Capernaum.

The Effect of the Discourse

Many even among the disciples, however, on hearing this declaration, remarked:

“This is an extraordinary declaration! Who can listen to it?”

But Jesus perceiving in Himself that His disciples complained about it, He said to them:

“Does this make you stumble? Then what if you should see the Son of Man ascending to where He was at first? The Spirit is the life-giver; the body is worth nothing. The ideas which I have expressed to you are spirit and are life. There are some among you, however, who do not believe.” [Because Jesus knew from the first who the unbelievers were, and who it was that would betray Him.]

Continuing, He said: “For this reason I forewarned you that none come to Me, unless it be given to him from the Father.”

Disaffected Disciples

Many of His disciples hereupon turned back and accompanied Him no longer. Jesus, therefore, said to the twelve:

“Do you also not desire to go away?”

Simon Peter answered Him,

“To whom, Master, can we go? You have the ideals of eternal life. And we are confident and satisfied that You are the Holy One of God.”

Jesus answered them,

“Have I not chosen you, the twelve, and one of you is a Traitor?” He here referred to Judas Simon Iscariot; for that man who was one of the twelve, was about to betray Him.

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  1. Psalms 78:24
  2. Isa. 54:13

Transcribed by JT Atkinson on 02-15-2015