Some time after this, Jesus crossed over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. It is also called the Sea of Tiberias.
A large crowd of people followed him. They had seen the miraculous signs he had done on those who were sick.
Then Jesus went up on a mountainside. There he sat down with his disciples.
The Jewish Passover Feast was near.
Jesus looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him. So he said to Philip, "Where can we buy bread for these people to eat?"
He asked this only to put Philip to the test. He already knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered him, "Eight months' pay would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!"
Another of his disciples spoke up. It was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.
He said, "Here is a boy with five small loaves of barley bread. He also has two small fish. But how far will that go in such a large crowd?"
Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down. The number of men among them was about 5,000.
Then Jesus took the loaves and gave thanks. He handed out the bread to those who were seated. He gave them as much as they wanted. And he did the same with the fish.
When all of them had enough to eat, Jesus spoke to his disciples. "Gather the leftover pieces," he said. "Don't waste anything."
So they gathered what was left over from the five barley loaves. They filled 12 baskets with the pieces left by those who had eaten.
The people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did. Then they began to say, "This must be the Prophet who is supposed to come into the world."
But Jesus knew that they planned to come and force him to be their king. So he went away again to a mountain by himself.
When evening came, Jesus' disciples went down to the Sea of Galilee.
There they got into a boat and headed across the lake toward Capernaum. By now it was dark. Jesus had not yet joined them.
A strong wind was blowing, and the water became rough.
They rowed three or three and a half miles. Then they saw Jesus coming toward the boat. He was walking on the water. They were terrified.
But he said to them, "It is I. Don't be afraid."
Then they agreed to take him into the boat. Right away the boat reached the shore where they were heading.
The next day the crowd that had stayed on the other side of the lake realized something. They saw that only one boat had been there. They knew that Jesus had not gotten into it with his disciples. And they knew that the disciples had gone away alone.
Then some boats from Tiberias landed. It was near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord gave thanks.
The crowd realized that Jesus and his disciples were not there. So they got into boats and went to Capernaum to look for Jesus.
They found him on the other side of the lake. They asked him, "Rabbi, when did you get here?"
Jesus answered, "What I'm about to tell you is true. You are not looking for me because you saw miraculous signs. You are looking for me because you ate the loaves until you were full.
Do not work for food that spoils. Work for food that lasts forever. That is the food the Son of Man will give you. God the Father has put his seal of approval on him."
Then they asked him, "What does God want from us? What works does he want us to do?"
Jesus answered, "God's work is to believe in the One he has sent."
So they asked him, "What miraculous sign will you give us? What will you do so we can see it and believe you?
Long ago our people ate the manna in the desert. It is written in Scripture, 'The Lord gave them bread from heaven to eat.' "#1(Exodus 16:4; Nehemiah 9:15; Psalm 78:24,25)#2
Jesus said to them, "What I'm about to tell you is true. It is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven. It is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.
The bread of God is the One who comes down from heaven. He gives life to the world."
"Sir," they said, "give us this bread from now on."
Then Jesus said, "I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever go hungry. And no one who believes in me will ever be thirsty.
"But it is just as I told you. You have seen me, and you still do not believe.
Everyone the Father gives me will come to me. I will never send away anyone who comes to me.
"I have not come down from heaven to do what I want to do. I have come to do what the One who sent me wants me to do.
The One who sent me doesn't want me to lose anyone he has given me. He wants me to raise them up on the last day.
My Father wants all who look to the Son and believe in him to have eternal life. I will raise them up on the last day."
Then the Jews began to complain about Jesus. That was because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven."
They said, "Isn't this Jesus, the son of Joseph? Don't we know his father and mother? How can he now say, 'I came down from heaven'?"
"Stop complaining among yourselves," Jesus answered.
"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me brings him. Then I will raise him up on the last day.
"It is written in the Prophets, 'God will teach all of them.'#1(Isaiah 54:13)#2 Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me.
"No one has seen the Father except the One who has come from God. Only he has seen the Father.
What I'm about to tell you is true. Everyone who believes has life forever.
"I am the bread of life.
Long ago your people ate the manna in the desert, and they still died.
But here is the bread that comes down from heaven. A person can eat it and not die.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Everyone who eats some of this bread will live forever. The bread is my body. I will give it for the life of the world."
Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves. They said, "How can this man give us his body to eat?"
Jesus said to them, "What I'm about to tell you is true. You must eat the Son of Man's body and drink his blood. If you don't, you have no life in you.
Anyone who eats my body and drinks my blood has eternal life. I will raise him up on the last day.
"My body is real food. My blood is real drink.
Anyone who eats my body and drinks my blood remains in me. And I remain in him.
"The living Father sent me, and I live because of him. In the same way, those who feed on me will live because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven. Long ago your people ate manna and died. But those who feed on this bread will live forever."
He said this while he was teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
Jesus' disciples heard this. Many of them said, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?"
Jesus was aware that his disciples were complaining about his teaching. So he said to them, "Does this upset you?
What if you see the Son of Man go up to where he was before?
The Holy Spirit gives life. The body means nothing at all. The words I have spoken to you are from the Spirit. They give life.
But there are some of you who do not believe." Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe. And he had known who was going to hand him over to his enemies.
So he continued speaking. He said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father helps him."
From this time on, many of his disciples turned back. They no longer followed him.
"You don't want to leave also, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve.
Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, who can we go to? You have the words of eternal life.
We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."
Then Jesus replied, "Didn't I choose you, the 12 disciples? But one of you is a devil!"
He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Judas was one of the Twelve. But later he was going to hand Jesus over to his enemies.