6 After this, Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias). 2 A huge crowd was following him because they saw the signs that he was performing by healing the sick. 3 Jesus went up a mountain and sat down there with his disciples.
4 Now the Passover, a Jewish festival, was near. 5 So when Jesus looked up and noticed a huge crowd coming toward him, he asked Philip, “Where will we buy bread so that these people can eat?” 6 He asked this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do.
7 Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread wouldn’t be enough for each of them to have a little.”
8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, 9 “There’s a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish—but what are they for so many?”
10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.”
There was plenty of grass in that place; so they sat down. The men numbered about five thousand. 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, and after giving thanks he distributed them to those who were seated—so also with the fish, as much as they wanted.
12 When they were full, he told his disciples, “Collect the leftovers so that nothing is wasted.” 13 So they collected them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces from the five barley loaves that were left over by those who had eaten.
14 When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This truly is the Prophet who is to come into the world.”
15 Therefore, when Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. Darkness had already set in, but Jesus had not yet come to them. 18 A high wind arose, and the sea began to churn. 19 After they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea. He was coming near the boat, and they were afraid. 20 But he said to them, “It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 21 Then they were willing to take him on board, and at once the boat was at the shore where they were heading.
22 The next day, the crowd that had stayed on the other side of the sea saw there had been only one boat. They also saw that Jesus had not boarded the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone off alone. 23 Some boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus. 25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
26 Jesus answered, “Truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled. 27 Don’t work for the food that perishes but for the food that lasts for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set his seal of approval on him.”
28 “What can we do to perform the works of God?” they asked.
29 Jesus replied, “This is the work of God—that you believe in the one he has sent.”
30 “What sign, then, are you going to do so that we may see and believe you?” they asked. “What are you going to perform? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, just as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”
32 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, Moses didn’t give you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34 Then they said, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
35 “I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in me will ever be thirsty again. 36 But as I told you, you’ve seen me, and yet you do not believe. 37 Everyone the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. 39 This is the will of him who sent me: that I should lose none of those he has given me but should raise them up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him will have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
41 Therefore the Jews started grumbling about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They were saying, “Isn’t this Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
43 Jesus answered them, “Stop grumbling among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: And they will all be taught by God. Everyone who has listened to and learned from the Father comes to me— 46 not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God. He has seen the Father.
47 “Truly I tell you, anyone who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that anyone may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever. The bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
52 At that, the Jews argued among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life in yourselves. 54 The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day, 55 because my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56 The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven; it is not like the manna your ancestors ate—and they died. The one who eats this bread will live forever.”
59 He said these things while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
60 Therefore, when many of his disciples heard this, they said, “This teaching is hard. Who can accept it?”
61 Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, asked them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you were to observe the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 The Spirit is the one who gives life. The flesh doesn’t help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. 64 But there are some among you who don’t believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning those who did not believe and the one who would betray him.) 65 He said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted to him by the Father.”
66 From that moment many of his disciples turned back and no longer accompanied him. 67 So Jesus said to the Twelve, “You don’t want to go away too, do you?”
68 Simon Peter answered, “Lord, to whom will we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”
70 Jesus replied to them, “Didn’t I choose you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil.” 71 He was referring to Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son, one of the Twelve, because he was going to betray him.
Notice what happens in this chapter. Jesus is wildly popular because he is healing people. He is being followed everywhere he goes because the crowd wants to see what miracle he is going to perform next. Then, when you get to the hard teaching Jesus does in the middle of the chapter we find in verse 66 that many of his followers left him. Jesus asks his disciples, “You don’t want to go away too, do you?” And Peter had a very good answer…”to whom will we go? You have the words of eternal life.” Following Jesus is difficult at times. It is challenging at times. My prayer is we will answer as Peter did when tough times come our way.