John 6: This chapter covers three main events in the life of Yeshua:
1. The feeding of the five thousand. This miracle is recorded in all four of the Gospels.
2. Yeshua walks on the water.
3. Yeshua gives His discourse on the Bread of Life.
John doesn’t record many miracles in his Gospel, but when he does, he refers to them as signs. Signs are always there for a reason (John 20:30-31).
(John 6:1 NASB) After these things Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias).
John 6:1: It says “after these things..” That means after those things in chapter 5. These events take place after Yeshua healed the man in Bethesda and after He told the religious leaders that He is a manifestation of the Father.
Actually, this was probably 6 months to a year after those things. The events in this chapter take place a bout a year before His death. We know that because John ties the travels of Yeshua to the feasts of Elohim (John 6:4 – not shown).
(John 6:2 NASB) And a great multitude was following Him, because they were seeing the signs which He was performing on those who were sick.
John 6:2: The people were interested in His miracles or His signs. Most of the people were following Yeshua to either get healed or to see a sideshow.
(John 6:3 NASB) And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples.
John 6:3: These aren’t exactly mountains, they are really hills. They do not meet the modern definition of mountains, since they are not tall enough. The area is known as the Golan Heights today.
(John 6:4 NASB) Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand.
(John 6:5 NASB) 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?”
(John 6:6 NASB) And this He was saying to test him; for He Himself knew what He was intending to do.
John 6:6: This was a test for Philip. Philip was looking at a vast hillside of people and scratching his head.
Yeshua asked Philip this question to perhaps make them think of Moses. Moses asked almost the same question when he asked how he was going to feed the 600,000 Israelites in the wilderness (Num. 11:21-23).
(John 6:7 NASB) Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, for everyone to receive a little.”
John 6:7: A denarii is about a days wages for a laboring man. This meant they have about seven or eight months wages. Philip had his eyes transfixed on the pocketbook. That is not what Yeshua had in mind for him. He probably wanted Philip and others to think of Moses as He provides for them.
The other Gospel writers tell us that the disciples wanted to tell everyone to go home (Luke 9:12-15). They were expressing the doubt and frustration that Moses expressed in the wilderness. The disciples had appointed themselves as the board of directors and were going to tell Yeshua what He should do at this point. Yeshua is going to take this board of directors and turn them into waiters and servants.
The job of Yeshua’s disciples is not to turn people away, but to feed them. Specifically to feed them His Word.
(John 6:8 NASB) One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him,
(John 6:9 NASB) “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?”
John 6:9: The lad had five barley loaves and two fishes. These seven items will add up to completely feeding the five thousand men plus their families. This is more proof that Yeshua is a manifestation of Elohim (Psalm 78:18-20).
(John 6:10 NASB) 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 6:10: We are told in the book of Mark that Yeshua told them to sit down according to companies, or neighborhoods (Mark 6:39-41). Each neighborhood would have been dressed in similar colors. That is how they bought things back then. They didn’t go to the local Dillard’s and buy the fashionable trendy clothes. They bought and made what was available in that area. So the neighborhoods would have been dressed in similar clothes and would have been grouped together in that way. The huge hillside would have looked like a big patchwork quilt.
Notice that there were about five thousand men. When we include the women and children that were undoubtedly present, we come up with at least 15,000 people, and maybe much more than that. We do not know exactly how many were there. We just know that they different areas and towns from all over.
(John 6:11 NASB) 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.
(John 6:12 NASB) And when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments that nothing may be lost.”
(John 6:13 NASB) And so they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, which were left over by those who had eaten.
John 6:13: The twelve baskets remaining did not refer to crumbs of food that fell out of people’s mouths. It refers to food that people didn’t even touch since there was so much of it. Keep in mind that this wasn’t a well-to-do crowd. This was a crowds of folk who worked for a living and the men made about a penny a day for their labors. There were many in this crowd who may never have had a full stomach. They were filled on this day however.
There were twelve baskets of food left over. Twelve is the number of Israel. It appears that Yeshua is showing that Elohim will provide in abundance for all of Israel.
Yeshua wanted all the leftovers gathered up because He did not want any food wasted. However, when a man was possessed by demons and had an opportunity to get rid of them, Yeshua sent them into 2000 pigs who were then “wasted” into the sea (Mark 5:12-13). The pigs were wasted because they should not have been raised as food to begin with.
The numbers used here are very interesting. I have read many commentaries trying to make sense of the five loaves of bread, the two fish, and the twelve full baskets. I think they were all grasping and trying to make something out of nothing. But those numbers used in this way are significant. We saw earlier in John that “food” is a reference to being obedient to the will of the Father (John 4:32-34). The five loaves represent the five books of Torah. The two fish represent the establishment of the matter through two witnesses (Deut. 19:15, Luke 10:1-2). Plus the fact that He was going to make them fishers of men (Matt. 4:18-20). We find that after the Torah was spread throughout the cities and neighborhoods that they gathered twelve (which always represents Israel) baskets “filled.”
This miracle is about the feeding and gathering of Israel (John 6:11-13). That is why it is recorded in all four Gospels.
(John 6:14 NASB) 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.”
John 6:14: The people got the message. They were saying that Yeshua is the Prophet spoken of by Moses (Deut. 18:15-19). It was also prophesied in Genesis that Messiah would require the obedience of the people (Gen. 49:10).
(John 6:15 NASB) 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.
John 6:15: The Father works according to His own timetable. He does not work according to the timetable that you and I say He should use. We are told to wait on Him and His schedule (Zeph. 3:8).
(John 6:16 NASB) Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea,
(John 6:17 NASB) 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.
(John 6:18 NASB) And the sea began to be stirred up because a strong wind was blowing.
John 6:18: The hills surrounding this sea are up to about 3000 feet high and storms could suddenly appear without warning.
(John 6:19 NASB) 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.
John 6:19: The boat was a little more than halfway across the lake when this happened. They were in the middle of this huge body of water that is about miles across at the shortest width and they were in big trouble. Keep in mind that John, a fisherman who fished those waters many time, tells us they were miles out into the water.
(John 6:20 NASB) But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.”
(John 6:21 NASB) They were willing therefore to receive Him into the boat; and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.
John 6:21: We are told in Matthew that Yeshua went to the mountains and prayed alone. When the disciples saw Him walking on the water, they were greatly afraid and thought He was a ghost (Matt. 14:23-27). Why did they think He was a ghost? Why did they not recognize Him? It is likely because Yeshua spoke with His Father when He was alone and His face shone, just like Moses. The people were afraid of Moses also for the same reason (Exodus 34:29-30).
Yeshua told them to not be afraid. The message of Yeshua is the same one that comes from His Father as written in the Tanakh (Isa. 41:10-14). And this was also the message of Elohim given through Moses (Ex. 20:20).
The boat was immediately at the other side of the sea and was landed.
(John 6:22 NASB) 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.
John 6:22: The crowd is going out to look for Yeshua. They saw the boat that the disciples had left in, but they knew that Yeshua didn’t leave with them in it. He was once again displaying that He is a manifestation of the Father (Gen. 1:1-2).
(John 6:23 NASB) There came other small boats from Tiberias near to the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks.
(John 6:24 NASB) 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.
John 6:24: Apparently the people came up from the southern part of the Sea of Galilee.
(John 6:25 NASB) 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 NASB) 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.
John 6:26: The people knew that the disciples left without Yeshua in the boat. They were wondering how He got there.
Notice that Yeshua did not answer their question. The answer to the question is that He is the Son of Elohim, a manifestation of the Father. But those signs should have made that evident to the people.
They are only happy because their bellies are full, not because they had seen signs from Elohim. They were seeking more free meals.
(John 6:27 NASB) “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.”
John 6:27: Yeshua tells them that the food they eat perishes. They should eat that food which endures to eternal life. He is speaking of His Word (Isa. 55:1-3).
Yeshua says that the Father has set His seal upon Him. This means that He is the High Priest of Elohim (Ex. 28:35-36).
(John 6:28 NASB) They said therefore to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”
John 6:28: This is the same question that people want to know. The problem is that they will not listen to the plain answers in the word of Elohim. “What shall we do that we may work the works of Elohim?” The answer is simple. Obey His Torah (Deut. 5:27-29, 6:1-7). The prophets spoke of this also (Micah 6:7-8, Ecc. 12:13-14).
(John 6:29 NASB) Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”
John 6:29: To “believe in Yeshua” is to entrust Him and do as He instructs us (1 John 3:21-24, Romans 10:3-4, Heb. 5:9-10).
(John 6:30 NASB) 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?
(John 6:31 NASB) “Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘HE GAVE THEM BREAD OUT OF HEAVEN TO EAT.’”
John 6:31: The people realized Yeshua as the prophet like Moses when He fed the 5000 men and their families (John 6:14 – not shown). They are saying that since Moses authenticated his message by providing manna from heaven, why doesn’t Yeshua do the same since He is the Prophet like Moses? He had already fed them with bread, but they were apparently hungry once again. They wanted more miracles and more free food.
Yeshua is going to correct their statement that Moses gave them manna from Heaven. It was Elohim who provided that bread and He has more bread for them.
(John 6:32 NASB) 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.
(John 6:33 NASB) “For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.”
John 6:33: Moses did not provide the bread for the people, it was Elohim. It is the bread of Elohim which truly provides life, which is His Word (Deut. 8:3, Matt. 4:3-4).
(John 6:34 NASB) They said therefore to Him, “Lord, evermore give us this bread.”
(John 6:35 NASB) 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.
John 6:35: Yeshua is the Bread of Life. What does this mean? It means that He is His Father’s Word made flesh (John 1:1-4, 14).
(John 6:36 NASB) “But I said to you, that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe.
(John 6:37 NASB) “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.
John 6:37: Yeshua is telling that that those who come to Him are the ones whom the Father has chosen and given to Him (Deut. 7:6, Eph. 2:4-10, 2 Thess. 2:13-14).
(John 6:38 NASB) “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
John 6:38: Yeshua did not come to do His will, but the will of His Father (Psalm 40:7-8).
(John 6:39 NASB) “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.
(John 6:40 NASB) “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.”
John 6:40: Yeshua will lose none of them whom the Father has chosen and He will raise them all up on the last day. All that are His, all of Israel, shall be saved and have everlasting life (Isa. 45:21-25).
Notice that Yeshua does not say they will all have a ghost that floats up into heaven when they die. He says He will raise them up on the last day at the resurrection.
(John 6:41 NASB) The Jews therefore were grumbling about Him, because He said, “I am the bread that came down out of heaven.”
(John 6:42 NASB) And they were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, ‘I have come down out of heaven’?”
John 6:42: Yeshua taught that He was the Bread of Life from Elohim and He came down from heaven. They were saying, “His daddy was Joseph, but He claims He came down from heaven!”
(John 6:43 NASB) Jesus answered and said to them, “Do not grumble among yourselves.
(John 6:44 NASB) “No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.
John 6:44: Yeshua hears their murmurings, but He says, “I don’t want to hear it.” I don’t blame Him. I don’t like hearing our murmurings either.
“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him..” The Greek word used for “draw” here is helkuo. A better translation for this word would be “to drag.” If Elohim drags us to Yeshua (His Word), He will raise us up on the last day.
(John 6:45 NASB) “It is written in the prophets, ‘AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.
John 6:45: Anyone who embraces the Torah of Elohim will come to Yeshua (Isa. 2:3). The fact that we would all be taught by Elohim is the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-34). Those who have learned of the Father’s Torah will be dragged by the Father to Yeshua
(John 6:46 NASB) “Not that any man has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father.
(John 6:47 NASB) “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.
John 6:47: Yeshua says, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.” Notice that there is no mention of asking Him into your heart, or having a good feeling towards Him. He is speaking of those who listen to His voice and obey His Word (John 3:36).
(John 6:48 NASB) “I am the bread of life.
(John 6:49 NASB) “Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.
(John 6:50 NASB) “This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.
(John 6:51 NASB) “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread also which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh.”
John 6:51: Yeshua again makes the comparison between Himself and the manna eaten by Israel in the wilderness.
The bread (manna) eaten by the Israelites was directly from heaven and supplied by Elohim. They had to eat of it daily in order to have life.
Yeshua Messiah is the bread of life. He is the Word of His Father made flesh that we should eat of daily. The Word made flesh was given to us in order that we may have life (Deut. 32:45-47, 30:19-20, Lev. 18:5).
(John 6:52 NASB) The Jews therefore began to argue with one another, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?”
(John 6:53 NASB) Jesus therefore said to them, “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.
John 6:53: The Jews were confused about His Words. He is not speaking literally, but figuratively. Unless they consume the flesh of Messiah and consume the blood of Messiah, they have no life in themselves. He is speaking of consuming the pure Word of Elohim (Job 23:12, Psalm 119:101-103, Jer. 15:16, Ezek. 3:1-4).
(John 6:54 NASB) “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
(John 6:55 NASB) “For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.
(John 6:56 NASB) “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
John 6:56: Yeshua is speaking of the New Covenant which is in His flesh and in His blood. If we abide in His Word, He will abide in us (John 14:20-24, 1 John 3:24).
(John 6:57 NASB) “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me.
(John 6:58 NASB) “This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate, and died, he who eats this bread shall live forever.”
John 6:58: We are to partake of Messiah because He is the Word of our Father made flesh (Psalm 119:57). His Words are life to His people and it is life everlasting.
(John 6:59 NASB) These things He said in the synagogue, as He taught in Capernaum.
(John 6:60 NASB) Many therefore of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?”
John 6:60: The disciples spoken of here are many more than the twelve. There were many people following Him up to this point. Many could not comprehend and believe the Words of Yeshua concerning the sovereignty of Elohim and that Yeshua is the bread of life, the Torah made flesh.
(John 6:61 NASB) But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble?
(John 6:62 NASB) “What then if you should behold the Son of Man ascending where He was before?
John 6:62: Yeshua just said that He was the Bread of Life that descended from heaven. Now He is saying that they will see Him ascend back up to heaven.
(John 6:63 NASB) “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
John 6:63: Yeshua is saying that the words He speaks are Spirit and that is where the life is. This is not sinking in to most of those in attendance.
(John 6:64 NASB) “But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.
(John 6:65 NASB) And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father.”
John 6:65: We are once again on the theme of predestination. Those who are chosen were chosen from the very beginning of time. Yeshua also knew who wasn’t chosen and wouldn’t believe in Him from the very beginning and He also knew who would betray Him.
(John 6:66 NASB) As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew, and were not walking with Him anymore.
John 6:66: Many of His disciples withdrew because Yeshua told them that they could only come to Him if it was granted by the Father.
(John 6:67 NASB) Jesus said therefore to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?”
(John 6:68 NASB) Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.
(John 6:69 NASB) “And we have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”
John 6:69: Simon Peter gives the answer he was supposed to give. He knows that Yeshua is the Holy One of Elohim has the Words of eternal life. Peter is acknowledging that Yeshua is the Prophet like Moses (Deut. 18:15-19).
(John 6:70 NASB) Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?”
(John 6:71 NASB) Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.
John 6:71: In the past, I used to think that Judas Iscariot was an enigma in Scripture. Why did Yeshua choose Judas? Judas Iscariot was chosen to do what he did. Elohim had a purpose for him and that purpose was to betray Messiah as prophesied.
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas