6:1 After these things Jesus went a over the sea of Galilee, which is [the sea] of Tiberias.
(a) Not that he cut across the lake of Tiberias, but by sailing across the large creeks he made his journey shorter: therefore he is said to have gone over the sea, when in reality he passed over from one side of the creek to the other. 6:5 1 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?
(1) They that follow Christ sometimes hunger, but they are never without help. 6:15 2 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.
(2) Not only is Christ not delighted by a preposterous worship, but he is greatly offended by it. 6:16 3 And when even was [now] come, his disciples went down unto the sea,
(3) The godly are often in peril and danger, but Christ comes to them in time, even in the midst of the tempests, and brings them to the haven. 6:17 And entered into a ship, and went over the sea b toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them.
6:21 Then they c willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.
(b) In ( Mark 6:45 ) they are told to go ahead to Bethsaida, for Bethsaida was along the way to Capernaum.
(c) They were afraid at first, but when they recognized his voice they became new men and took him willingly into the ship, the very one whom they had shunned and fled from before. 6:26 4 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.
(4) They that seek the kingdom of heaven lack nothing: nevertheless, the gospel is not the food of the stomach but rather of the mind. 6:27 d 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 e sealed.
(d) Bestow your labour and pain. 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the f works of God?
(e) That is, whom God the Father had distinguished from all other men by planting his own power in him, as though he had sealed him with his seal, so that he might be a vivid example and representation of him: and furthermore he installed him to this office, to reconcile us men to God, and bring us to everlasting life, which office belongs only to Christ.
(f) Which please God: for they think that everlasting life depends upon the condition of fulfilling the law: therefore Christ calls them back to faith. 6:29 5 Jesus answered and said unto them, g This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
(5) Men torment themselves in vain when they try to please God without faith. 6:30 6 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?
(g) That is, this is the work that God requires, that you believe in me, and therefore he calls them back to faith.
(6) The spiritual virtue of Christ is condemned by those that desire earthly miracles. 6:32 7 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not h that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
(7) Christ, who is the true and only author and giver of eternal life, was represented unto those in the Old Testament by the manna. 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread i of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
(h) He denies that manna was the true heavenly bread, and says that he himself is the true bread, because he feeds the true and everlasting life. And as for ( 1 Corinthians 10:1-5 ), where Paul calls manna spiritual food, it does not contradict what is said here, for Paul joins the thing signified with the sign: but in this whole disputation, Christ deals with the Jews after their own opinion and conceit of the matter, who thought of the manna only in terms of physical food.
(i) Which has life and gives life. 6:37 8 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
(8) The gift of faith proceeds from the free election of the Father in Christ, after which everlasting life necessarily follows: therefore faith in Christ Jesus is a sure witness of our election, and therefore of our glorification, which is to come. 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine k own will, but the will of him that sent me.
6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which l seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
(k) See above in ( John 5:22 ).
(l) Seeing and believing are joined together: for there is another type of seeing which is general, which the demons have, for they see: but here he speaks about that type of seeing which properly belongs to the elect. 6:41 9 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.
(9) Flesh cannot perceive spiritual things, and therefore the beginning of our salvation comes from God, who changes our nature, so that we, being inspired by him, may remain to be instructed and saved by Christ. 6:45 It is written in the m prophets, And they shall be all n taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
(m) In the book of the prophets, for the Old Testament was divided by them into three general parts: into the law, the prophets, and the holy writings. 6:46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, o save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.
(n) That is, they will be children of the Church, for so the prophet Isaiah expounds it in ( 54:13 ); that is to say, ordained to life, See , and therefore the knowledge of the heavenly truth is the gift and work of God, and does not rest in any power of man.
(o) If only the Son has seen the Father, then it is only he that can truly teach us and instruct us. 6:48 10 I am that bread of life.
6:50 p This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
(10) The true use of sacraments is to ascend from them to the thing itself, that is, to Christ: and by the partaking of him alone we get everlasting life.
(p) He refers to himself when he speaks these words. 6:51 11 I am the q living bread which came down from heaven: if any man r 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.
6:52 12 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us [his] flesh to eat?
(11) Christ being sent from the Father is the selfsame unto us for the getting and keeping of everlasting life, as bread and flesh, yea, meat and drink, are to the use of this transitory life.
(q) Which gives life to the world.
(r) That is to say, whoever is truly a partaker of Christ, who is our food.
6:53 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 s no life in you.
(12) Flesh cannot make a difference between fleshly eating, which is done by the help of the teeth, and spiritual eating, which consists in faith: and therefore it condemns that which it does not understand: yet nonetheless, the truth must be preached and taught.
(s) If Christ is present, life is present, but when Christ is absent, then death is present. 6:57 As t the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the u Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
(t) In that Christ is man, he receives that power which quickens and gives life to those that are his, from his Father: and he adds this word "the" to make a distinction between his Father and all other fathers. 6:60 13 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard [this], said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?
(u) Christ means that although he is man, yet his flesh can give life, not by its own nature, but because his flesh lives by the Father, that is to say, sucks and draws out of the Father that power which it has to give life.
6:63 14 It is the x spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life.
(13) The reason of man cannot comprehend the uniting of Christ and his members: therefore let it worship and revere that which is better than itself.
6:66 15 From that [time] many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
(14) The flesh of Christ therefore quickens us, because he that is man is God: and this mystery is only comprehended by faith, which is the gift of God, found only in the elect.
(x) Spirit, that is, that power which flows from the Godhead causes the flesh of Christ (which is otherwise nothing but flesh) both to live in itself and to give life to us.
6:70 16 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?
(15) Such is the malice of men, that they bring about their own destruction, even in hearing the very doctrine of salvation, but there are a few who believe through the singular gift of God.
(16) The number of the professors of Christ is very small, and among them also there are some hypocrites, and those worse than all others.