John 6: Feeding the Five Thousand

What did the huge crowd want from Jesus?

Author’s Thoughts
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John 6:1–2 Later, Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias.
A huge crowd followed because they had seen his miracles in healing the sick.
King James
John 6:1–2 After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.

What was the test Jesus gave Philip? Did he pass?

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John 6:3–7 Jesus went up on the hillside and sat there with his followers. It was almost time for the Jewish Passover feast. As Jesus looked over the multitude and saw how many there were, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” He already knew what he was going to do, but said this to test him.
Philip said, “Six months’ wages would not be enough to give everyone a few bites.”
King James
John 6:3–7 And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh. When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.

How much value did Andrew place upon five loaves and two fish?

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John 6:8–9 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said, There is one boy who brought five barley loaves and two fish, but what good are they for this crowd?”
King James
John 6:8–9 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him, There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?

How much food was needed to feed the large crowd?

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John 6:10 “Have the people sit down.” There was a lot of grass where they were, so the men sat down, about five thousand, plus women and children.”
King James
John 6:10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.

What did the disciples do in distributing the food? When and where did the multiplication take place?

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John 6:11 Jesus took the five loaves and gave thanks. He broke the loaves and fish and handed them to his disciples, who distributed the pieces to the people.
King James
John 6:11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.

What happened to the leftovers?

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John 6:12–13 When they all had eaten as much as they wanted, he said to his disciples, “Gather everything left over so no food is wasted.”
The disciples gathered twelve baskets full of leftover bread and fish.
King James
John 6:12–13 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.

Why did the people think Jesus was a prophet? Why did they want to make him king?

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John 6:14–15 People saw the miracle, how Jesus had fed the multitude with a few loaves and fish, and said, “Surely, this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.”
Jesus knew they were ready to force him to be their king, so he went high into the mountain to be alone.
King James
John 6:14–15 Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

How did Jesus keep the people from following him?

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John 6:15 Jesus knew they were ready to force him to be their king, so he went high into the mountain to be alone.
King James
John 6:15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

Why did the disciples leave without Jesus?

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John 6:16–17 In the evening, the disciples went down to the sea, got into their boat, and left for Capernaum.
It was dark, and Jesus had not returned.
King James
John 6:16–17 And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea, and entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them.

Why were the disciples terrified when they saw Jesus walking on the water?

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John 6:18–20 A strong wind came, making the seas rough. After they had rowed only three or four miles, they saw Jesus coming toward them, walking on the water. They were terrified, but Jesus said, “It’s all right. I am Jesus. You do not need to be afraid.”
King James
John 6:18–20 And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid.

What happened to cause the boat to immediately reach shore?

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John 6:21 They gladly welcomed him aboard. Immediately, the boat reached the shore where they were going.
King James
John 6:21 Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.

How much difficulty did people have in finding Jesus? What reasons did they have for finding him?

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John 6:22–26 The day after five thousand men were fed with a few loaves and fish, the crowd that had been left on the opposite shore near Bethsaida realized that the disciples had taken the one boat and Jesus had not gone with them. Other boats from Tiberias came ashore near where Jesus had given thanks and the people ate bread. Since Jesus and the disciples were obviously not on their side of the sea, they got into the boats and went to look for Jesus in Capernaum. When they found him, they said, “Teacher, when did you arrive here?”
“The truth is, you were not searching for me because of the miracles but because I filled your stomachs with bread.”
King James
John 6:22–26 The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one whereinto his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone; (Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks:) When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither? Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

What is the difference between physical and spiritual food?

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John 6:27 “Do not work for food that spoils. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. God the Father has sent me for this purpose.”
King James
John 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

For one who believes in Christ, how important are “works”? Why?

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John 6:28–29 They said, “What must we do to perform the works of God?”
“What God wants from you is to believe the one he has sent.”
King James
John 6:28–29 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

Why were people interested in the bread from above? How was their view different from what Jesus knew?

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John 6:31–32 “Our ancestors ate manna in the wilderness. Scripture says Moses gave them bread from above to eat.”
“Moses did not give you bread from above. Actually, my Father did.”
King James
John 6:31–32 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.

What did people think when Jesus claimed to be God’s bread from above?

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John 6:33–36 “God’s bread is the one who came down from Heaven to give life to the world.”
“Sir, give us that bread every day.”
“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry. Whoever believes in me will never thirst. You have seen me, but you have not believed me.”
6:41–42 The Jews criticized Jesus because he said he was the bread from above. They said to one another, “Isn’t this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he say, ‘I have come from Heaven’?”
King James
John 6:33–36 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.
6:41–42 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?

What determines who will come to Christ and who will not?

Author’s Thoughts
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John 6:37 “Everyone the Father gives to me will come, and I will never reject one who comes to me.”
King James
John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

What is the difference between the will of the Father and the will of the Son?

Author’s Thoughts
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John 6:38 “I came from Heaven, not to do my will, but to do the will of the one who sent me.”
King James
John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

Does God always get what he wants? Why?

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John 6:39–40 “This is the will of my Father, who sent me: I will not lose any of those he has given me but will raise them up on the last day. This is the will of my Father, who sent me: all who see the Son and believe will have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day.”
6:43–44 “Do not complain among yourselves,” Jesus said. “People cannot come to me unless the Father draws them, and I will raise them up on the last day.”
King James
John 6:39–40 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
6:43–44 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

How do people “hear and understand the Father”? How many have the opportunity to hear?

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John 6:45 “In the prophets, it is written, All your children will be taught by God. Everyone who hears and understands the Father will come to me.”
King James
John 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

Who can see God? Why?

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John 6:46 “Except for the one who is from God, no man has ever seen the Father.”
King James
John 6:46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.

What does “believe in Christ” mean? Why does that result in eternal life?

Author’s Thoughts
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John 6:47 “I guarantee, everyone who believes in me will have eternal life.”
King James
John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

How can a person eat Jesus’ flesh and drink his blood?

Author’s Thoughts
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John 6:48–57 “I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, and they all died. Let me tell you about the bread from above that a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread from Heaven. Those who eat this bread will live forever. This bread is my body that I willingly give for the life of the world.”
The Jews argued among themselves. “How can he give us his flesh to eat?”
“I am telling you exactly the way it is,” Jesus said. “Unless you commit your whole being to the Son of Man, as one who would eat his flesh and drink his blood, you cannot live. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood will have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day. My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I abide in them. I live because of the living Father, who sent me. Therefore, anyone who feeds on me will live because I live.”
King James
John 6:48–57 I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.

What is the difference between the “bread of Moses” and the “bread of Jesus”?

Author’s Thoughts
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John 6:58 “I am not like the bread your ancestors ate. They died. I am the true bread from heaven that people may eat and live forever.”
King James
John 6:58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

Why was Jesus’ teaching in the synagogue difficult to understand? How well did his disciples understand? Why?

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John 6:59–63 He said all these things while teaching in the Capernaum synagogue.
Many of his followers said, “This teaching is difficult to understand. Who can figure it out?”
Aware of the murmuring among his disciples, Jesus said, “Is what I said bothering you? What if you saw the Son of Man ascend to where he was before? It is the Spirit, not the flesh, that gives life. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”
King James
John 6:59–63 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

If Jesus knew that Judas would betray him, why was he called?

Author’s Thoughts
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John 6:64–65 “Yet some of you do not believe me.” From the beginning, Jesus knew who the nonbelievers were and who would betray him. “That is why I said, ‘Everyone the Father gives to me will come.'”
6:70–71 “I chose all twelve of you,” Jesus said. “Yet one of you is a devil.” He was referring to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, because he knew which one would betray him.
King James
John 6:64–65 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
6:70–71 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

Why did some of Jesus’ followers leave? Why did others not leave?

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John 6:66–69 After hearing this, many of his followers walked away and did not follow him anymore.
Jesus turned to the twelve. “Are you going to leave too?”
Simon Peter said, “Sir, where would we go? You alone have the words that give eternal life. We are fully confident that you are the Anointed One, the Son of the living God.”
King James
John 6:66–69 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.