Jesus feeds 5,000 men and their families
1 Some time after that, Jesus went across Lake Galilee, which is also called Lake Tiberias. 2 A large crowd of people followed him, because of the miracles that he had done. They had seen him make sick people well. 3 Jesus went up a hill and he sat down there with his disciples. 4 It was nearly the time for the Jewish Passover Festival.
5 Jesus looked up. He saw a large crowd of people who were coming towards him. He said to Philip, ‘Where can we buy enough bread to feed all these people?’ 6 Jesus himself already knew what he would do. But he asked Philip this question because he wanted to know what Philip would say. 7 Philip answered, ‘A man could work for eight months to get 200 silver coins. But he still would not have enough money to buy bread for all these people. There would not be enough bread for each person here to have even a little piece.’ 8 Then Andrew, another one of Jesus' disciples, spoke. He was Simon Peter's brother. 9 He said to Jesus, ‘Here is a boy who has five small loaves and two fish. But that will certainly not be enough food for so many people.’
10 Jesus said, ‘Tell the people to sit down.’ There was plenty of grass in that place, so the people sat down. There were about 5,000 men in the crowd. 11 Jesus took the loaves of bread and he thanked God for them. Then he broke the loaves into pieces. He passed them to all the people who were sitting there. Everyone had as much bread as they wanted to eat. Jesus did the same with the fish. 12 When everyone had eaten enough food, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Do not waste anything. Pick up all the little bits of food that people have not eaten.’ 13 So the disciples picked up all the pieces. They filled 12 baskets with the bits of bread that the people had not eaten.
14 The people saw this miracle that Jesus did. So they began to talk about it. They said, ‘Certainly, this man is the Prophet who must come into the world.’ 15 The people wanted to take hold of Jesus so that they could make him their king. But Jesus knew that they wanted to do this. So he went away to the hills again by himself.
Jesus walks on the water
16 When it was evening, Jesus' disciples went down to the lake. 17 They got into a boat and they started to sail towards Capernaum. It had become dark and Jesus still had not come to them. 18 A very strong wind was blowing and the waves became dangerous. 19 The disciples were trying to move the boat through the water. When they had gone about six kilometres they saw Jesus. He was walking on the water and coming near to the boat. They were very afraid. 20 But Jesus said to them, ‘It is I. Do not be afraid.’ 21 So the disciples were happy to let Jesus get into the boat. Immediately, the boat came to the shore where they wanted to be.
The crowd looks for Jesus
22 The crowd of people had stayed on the other side of the lake. The next day, they saw that the only boat had gone. They knew that Jesus' disciples had taken it. They also knew that Jesus had not gone with his disciples. 23 Other boats from Tiberias then arrived near to the place where all the people were. They had eaten the bread there after the Lord Jesus had thanked God for it. 24 The crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were still there. So they got into the boats and they went to Capernaum. They went there to look for Jesus.
Jesus is the bread that gives us life with God
25 The people found Jesus on the other side of the lake. They asked him, ‘Teacher, when did you arrive here?’ 26 Jesus answered, ‘I tell you this: You saw me do miracles that show God's power. But you are not looking for me because of that. No, you are looking for me because you ate the loaves. I gave you all the food that you needed. 27 Do not work only for that kind of food. It soon becomes spoiled. Instead, work to get the food that continues for ever. That kind of food gives you life with God. The Son of Man will give this food to you. God, the Father, has given the Son authority to do this.’
28 Then the people asked him, ‘How can we do the work that God wants us to do?’ 29 Jesus answered, ‘You should believe in the one that God has sent to you. That is the work that God wants you to do.’ 30 So then the people asked him, ‘What miracle will you do? Do one that shows that God has sent you. If we see that, we will believe in you. What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate manna in the wilderness. We know that it says in the Bible, “God gave bread to them from heaven for them to eat.” ’
32 Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you this: It was not Moses who gave bread to you from heaven. No. It is my Father who gives to you the true bread from heaven. 33 God's bread is the one who comes down from heaven. He is the one who gives life to people in the world.’ 34 So they said to him, ‘Sir, please give this bread to us now and always.’
35 Then Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread that gives life to people. Anyone who comes to me will never be hungry. Anyone who believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 You have seen me, but still you do not believe in me. I have told you that before. 37 Everyone that the Father gives to me will come to me. When anyone comes to me, I will never send that person away. 38 I have not come down from heaven to do what I myself choose to do. No, my Father has sent me. I have come to do what he wants me to do. 39 He has sent me. He does not want me to lose any of the people that he has given to me. Not even one of them. He wants me to raise all of them up to life on the last day. 40 These are the people who will have life for ever with God: everyone who sees the Son and believes in him. I will raise them all up on the last day. That is what my Father wants.’
41 Jesus had said, ‘I am the bread that came down from heaven.’ When he said this, the Jewish leaders there did not like it. So they started to say bad things about Jesus. 42 They said, ‘This is Jesus, the son of Joseph. We know his father and his mother. He should not say that he came down from heaven.’
43 Jesus answered, ‘Stop saying these bad things about me to each other. 44 The Father has sent me. Nobody can come to me unless the Father brings them to me. I will raise those people up on the last day, so that they have life for ever. 45 The prophets wrote in the Bible, “God will teach all the people.” Everyone who hears the Father's message and learns from him will come to me. 46 I came from God and I am the only one who has seen the Father. Nobody else has seen him. 47 I tell you this: The person who believes my message has life for ever. 48 I am the bread that causes you to live. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, but they died. 50 This bread that comes down from heaven is different. Anyone who eats this bread will not die. 51 I am the bread that gives life to people. This bread came down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread, he will live for ever. The bread that I will give is my own body. I will give it so that all people in the world may have life with God.’
52 Then the Jewish leaders became angry and they argued with each other even more. They said, ‘This man cannot give his body to us so that we can eat it!’ 53 Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you this: You must eat the body of the Son of Man and you must drink his blood. Unless you do those things, you do not have true life. 54 Every person needs to eat my body and they need to drink my blood. If they do those things, they have life for ever with God. I will raise them up on the last day. 55 My body is the true food and my blood is the true drink. 56 Anyone who eats my body and drinks my blood lives in me. And I live in them. 57 The Father, who has life, sent me. I live because of him. In the same way, anyone who takes me as their food will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. It is not like the manna that your ancestors ate. They ate it but they died. But the person who eats this bread will live for ever.’
59 Jesus said these things while he was teaching in the Jewish meeting place at Capernaum.
Many disciples go away from Jesus
60 Many of Jesus' disciples did not like these words. They said, ‘This thing that he teaches is too difficult. Nobody can agree with it!’ 61 Jesus himself knew that the disciples did not like his message. He did not need anyone to tell him. He said to them, ‘This seems to make you angry. 62 Think about this: The Son of Man will go up again to the place where he was before. And you will see him go up. Will you agree to that? 63 It is the Spirit that gives you life. People cannot do that. The words that I have spoken to you come from the Spirit. They give you life. 64 But some of you do not believe my message.’
Jesus had known from the beginning which of them would not believe in him. Also, he had always known who would sell him to his enemies. 65 Then Jesus said to them, ‘That is why I told you that only the Father can bring people to me. Nobody can come to me unless the Father makes them able to come.’
66 From that time, many of Jesus' disciples left him. They did not go with him any longer. 67 Then Jesus asked the 12 apostles, ‘Do you want to go away from me, too?’ 68 Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, there is nobody else that we could go to. You speak the words that give us life for ever. 69 We believe that you are the Holy One that God has sent. We are sure about that.’ 70 Jesus replied, ‘I have chosen the 12 of you. But one of you is a servant of Satan!’ 71 He was speaking about Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Judas was one of the 12 apostles, but later he would sell Jesus to Jesus' enemies.