After this, Jesus crossed over the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias.
And a huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miracles as he healed the sick.
Then Jesus went up into the hills and sat down with his disciples around him.
(It was nearly time for the annual Passover celebration.)
Jesus soon saw a great crowd of people climbing the hill, looking for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, "Philip, where can we buy bread to feed all these people?" 6
He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.
Philip replied, "It would take a small fortune a to feed them!"
Then Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up.
"There's a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?"
10"Tell everyone to sit down," Jesus ordered. So all of them -- the men alone numbered five thousand -- sat down on the grassy slopes.
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and passed them out to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate until they were full.
12"Now gather the leftovers," Jesus told his disciples, "so that nothing is wasted." 13
There were only five barley loaves to start with, but twelve baskets were filled with the pieces of bread the people did not eat!
When the people saw this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, "Surely, he is the Prophet b we have been expecting!"
Jesus saw that they were ready to take him by force and make him king, so he went higher into the hills alone.
That evening his disciples went down to the shore to wait for him.
But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn't come back, they got into the boat and headed out across the lake toward Capernaum.
Soon a gale swept down upon them as they rowed, and the sea grew very rough.
They were three or four miles c out when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified,
but he called out to them, "I am here! Don't be afraid." 21
Then they were eager to let him in, and immediately the boat arrived at their destination!
The next morning, back across the lake, crowds began gathering on the shore, waiting to see Jesus. For they knew that he and his disciples had come over together and that the disciples had gone off in their boat, leaving him behind.
Several boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the Lord had blessed the bread and the people had eaten.
When the crowd saw that Jesus wasn't there, nor his disciples, they got into the boats and went across to Capernaum to look for him.
When they arrived and found him, they asked, "Teacher, how did you get here?"
Jesus replied, "The truth is, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you saw the miraculous sign. 27But you shouldn't be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that I, the Son of Man, can give you. For God the Father has sent me for that very purpose."28
They replied, "What does God want us to do?"
Jesus told them, "This is what God wants you to do: Believe in the one he has sent."30
They replied, "You must show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What will you do for us?
After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! As the Scriptures say, 'Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.'d"
Jesus said, "I assure you, Moses didn't give them bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. 33The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."34
"Sir," they said, "give us that bread every day of our lives."
Jesus replied, "I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever be hungry again. Those who believe in me will never thirst. 36But you haven't believed in me even though you have seen me. 37However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. 38For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do what I want. 39And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them to eternal life at the last day. 40For it is my Father's will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life -- that I should raise them at the last day."41
Then the people e began to murmur in disagreement because he had said, "I am the bread from heaven." 42
They said, "This is Jesus, the son of Joseph. We know his father and mother. How can he say, 'I came down from heaven'?"
But Jesus replied, "Don't complain about what I said. 44For people can't come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them from the dead. 45As it is written in the Scriptures, 'They will all be taught by God.' f Everyone who hears and learns from the Father comes to me.46(Not that anyone has ever seen the Father; only I, who was sent from God, have seen him.)47"I assure you, anyone who believes in me already has eternal life. 48Yes, I am the bread of life! 49Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died. 50However, the bread from heaven gives eternal life to everyone who eats it. 51I am the living bread that came down out of heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; this bread is my flesh, offered so the world may live."52
Then the people began arguing with each other about what he meant. "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" they asked.
So Jesus said again, "I assure you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you. 54But those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them at the last day. 55For my flesh is the true food, and my blood is the true drink. 56All who eat my flesh and drink my blood remain in me, and I in them. 57I live by the power of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, those who partake of me will live because of me. 58I am the true bread from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever and not die as your ancestors did, even though they ate the manna."59
He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
Even his disciples said, "This is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?"
Jesus knew within himself that his disciples were complaining, so he said to them, "Does this offend you? 62Then what will you think if you see me, the Son of Man, return to heaven again? 63It is the Spirit who gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64But some of you don't believe me." (For Jesus knew from the beginning who didn't believe, and he knew who would betray him.)
Then he said, "That is what I meant when I said that people can't come to me unless the Father brings them to me."66
At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him.
Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, "Are you going to leave, too?"68
Simon Peter replied, "Lord, to whom would we go? You alone have the words that give eternal life.
We believe them, and we know you are the Holy One of God."
Then Jesus said, "I chose the twelve of you, but one is a devil." 71
He was speaking of Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, one of the Twelve, who would betray him.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)