John 6:1 After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias.

John 6:2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.

 

“After these things” indicates a chronological narrative.  Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee (aka Tiberias).  Many people followed Him because of His miracles of healing.

 

John 6:3 And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples.

John 6:4 And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh.

John 6:5 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?

John 6:6 And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.

 

Jesus went up a mountainside and sat down with His disciples.  It was getting close to the time for Passover (also called the Feast of Unleavened Bread).  In reading this again, I find it interesting that the Spirit had John identify the Passover as a feast of the Jews.  I believe that was a special note for future Gentile readers of the scripture—like me.  I think it is also a clue to the truth that one can learn more about Christ through learning more about the Passover and how the blood of the Passover lamb provided deliverance from God’s judgment.

 

As He looked out over the landscape, He saw a multitude of people coming toward them.  Jesus turned to Philip and asked him where they could buy bread to feed the people.  (It was Philip’s time for testing.)  Jesus already knew what He was going to do. 

 

Each of the disciples was given special attention by the Lord from time to time I think.  We tend to think of Peter, James and John as being His favorites—which I think they were—but it did not mean that He ignored the others.  He had hand picked each one of them.  I compare that to most of us “normal” believers and those chosen for special leadership (pastors).  We can be assured that God is going to be just as detailed and meticulous in our training as is necessary to enable us to serve as He desires.

 

John 6:7 Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.

 

Philip was clueless.  He replied that eight monthswages wouldn’t buy enough bread to give everyone even a little bit. 

 

John 6:8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him,

John 6:9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?

 

Then Andrew spoke up.  He had noticed a young man there with five small loaves of bread and two small fish.  I don’t think Andrew would have mentioned this if he hadn’t expected Jesus to act on it.  He had seen the miracles the people had seen, and he knew Jesus’ power—just as Philip should have.  So he threw out the challenge—“but what are they among so many?” 

 

Andrew’s response makes me think of the phrase, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.”  (Mark 9:24)  Again, I can relate.  Often when I pray it is with the attitude that I know God can, but I am not sure He will.  I don’t think I’ll ever get to the point of being able to expect the answer I am asking for, because I realize that God’s ways are so unlike my own that He may have a much better plan in store—so I always end my requests with “nevertheless, not my will but Thine.”  I think it was cool that Andrew was brave enough to speak up.

 

As I was reading in 2Kings 4, I came across the verses that spoke of Elisha’s feeding of 100 men where God multiplied the food to meet the need.  A student of scripture could have realized that 100 or 5000 were no different in the eyes of God.  And certainly Jesus had at least proven Himself as a mighty prophet of God.

 

John 6:10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.

John 6:11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.

John 6:12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.

John 6:13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.

 

“men” v10 = man-faced, i.e., a human being

Then Jesus tells the disciples to have everyone sit on the ground; the men numbered about 5,000.  Jesus then gave thanks for the food and gave to each of the disciples who in turn gave to each person that was seated as much as they wanted.  Though the term for “men” seems to be generic, Matthew’s account specifically states that there were 5,000 men “beside women and children.”  (Matthew 14:21)  Mark adds that the seating was done “in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.”

 

Almost as amazing to me as how the people were fed is the fact that there were that many people following Jesus (probably mostly on foot). 

 

When everyone had finished eating, Jesus had the disciples gather up all the leftovers—they filled twelve baskets.  (Principles:  We shouldn’t be wasteful.  Jesus provision is always more than sufficient.)

 

Twelve disciples gathered twelve baskets of leftovers.  As they provided for others through the blessing and power of the Savior, they were themselves provided nourishment and sustenance.  God always provides for His servants.

 

John 6:14 Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.

John 6:15 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.

 

After witnessing this miracle, the people began to talk among themselves with excitement.  This was surely “that prophet” that was to come.  (See Topical Study, “Who is John?”)  Jesus knew that they were plotting to make Him king, so He managed to get away to a mountain alone.  Jesus valued His private time.  His time was not yet come—in fact, His time to assume His earthly throne is yet to come.

 

John 6:16 And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea,

John 6:17 And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them.

John 6:18 And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew.

 

When evening came, the disciples went down to the lake to get in a boat and head across the lake to Capernaum.  It turned dark and Jesus still wasn’t with them.  I guess there was an understanding between them that they should go on without Him if He wasn’t there when it was time to go “home.” A strong wind was blowing and the water was rough. 

 

Mark 6 seems to be describing this same event.  In that account we are told that Jesus told the disciples to get in the ship and go to Bethsaida (toward Capernaum). 

 

John 6:19 So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid.

John 6:20 But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid.

John 6:21 Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.

 

After rowing a little over 3 miles, they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat.  They were terrified!  (I don’t think they recognized Him.)  He called to them and told them who He was and that they shouldn’t be afraid.  I think the next phrase is interesting because it says, “Then they willingly received Him into the ship.”  I’m not sure He ever really got in the boat.  Again, it really doesn’t matter—it doesn’t change the fact that once they accepted Him, the boat was immediately at the shore where they were headed. 

 

Pastor Bob:  “Stormy seas are the perfect place to receive Christ.”

 

Again, Mark adds information.  He tells us that Jesus saw His disciples struggling to row through the storm (6:48), and He went to them by walking on the water.

 

Matthew gives us even more information.  When Jesus identified Himself, Peter asked to come to Him and Jesus told him to come.  To Peter’s credit, he stepped out of the boat and evidently took a few steps before taking his eyes off Jesus and focusing on the storm around him.  Then he started to sink.  As soon as he asked Jesus to save him, Jesus caught him and chided him for doubting.

 

We are so much like Peter.  Often with the smallest storm in our life, we begin to sink into the sea of doubt.  What we need to do is keep our heart and mind fixed on the Lord, and we will know that we have nothing to fear as a believer.  His promises are sure, and His love is never failing.  The angels are ministering to us, Jesus is interceding for us, the Holy Spirit strengthens and comforts us, and the Father is ever working out His plan for us. 

 

Hebrews 1:13-14 “But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?  Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”

 

Hebrews 7:25 “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

 

John 14:16-17 “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

 

Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

 

Romans 15:13 “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

 

2Timothy 1:9 “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began….”

 

John 6:22 The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one whereinto his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone;

John 6:23 (Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks:)

John 6:24 When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus.

 

The crowd on the opposite shore knew that there had been only one boat and that the disciples had left in it without Jesus.  Then more people showed up in boats at the place where Jesus had fed the 5,000+ miraculously.  (News spreads fast…and they didn’t even have television or the internet.)  They found out that Jesus and His disciples were gone, so they headed for Capernaum to search for Jesus. 

 

John 6:25 And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither?

John 6:26 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.

John 6:27 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 sealed.

 

When the people found Jesus, they asked when He had gotten there.  You would think that they were following Him for his miracles, but evidently not.  Jesus knew their hearts--they were just looking for another free meal, and He told them as much.  Then He warned them not to work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life—and He could give them that food.  He was God’s Son, His chosen vessel to provide for them.  Jesus wasn’t telling them that food was unnecessary.  He was telling them, however, that salvation or choosing to learn about spiritual things that lead to eternal life was even more important than food for their body, which is a necessity for sustaining the body.  Our body is only important as the housing for our spirit, the means through which we can experience God’s blessings on planet earth.

 

“him hath God the Father sealed” – A seal is a stamp of approval, a sign of authority.  Jesus had the full authority and power of God the Father as indicated by His miracles.

 

John 1:32-33 “And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.”

 

John 3:34 “For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.”

 

John 5:20 “For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.”

 

This sealing is permanent; we are sealed “unto the day of redemption.”

 

2Corinthians 1:21-22 “Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.”

 

Ephesians 1:12-13 “That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise….”

 

Ephesians 4:30 “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”

 

The wording calls for a determination as to whom the “him” refers.  I believe it is referencing the person that partakes of the meat that results in everlasting life.  We know that every believer is sealed by the Holy Spirit when he/she accepts Christ (as stated above).  Some might argue that “him” refers to “the Son of man,” Jesus.  Obviously, He possessed the Holy Spirit, but He has always been One in union with Father and in possession of the Spirit.

 

John 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

John 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

 

Then the people wanted to know what kind of works they must do to do the works of God?  (I think they thought He would give them the recipe for performing miracles.)  Jesus identifies the “work of God” as believing in Him—the One God sent.  This was interesting phrasing to me because my walk with the Lord and growth in faith has been a struggle—it’s been work.  No matter how much I want to rest in faith in Jesus, the flesh in me is a constant source of frustration of that desire.

 

John 6:30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?

John 6:31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.

 

Next, they ask Jesus to show them a miraculous sign to prove He is the one sent of God.  (Aren’t many of these the same people who followed Him after the miracle feast of the day before!)  After all, their forefathers had been given manna, bread from heaven, when they were in the wilderness.

 

John 6:32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.

John 6:33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

 

Jesus reminded them that it wasn’t Moses who provided the manna—it was God.  God sent Jesus from heaven to be “the bread of God,” the giver of life. 

 

John 6:34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.

John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

John 6:36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.

John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

 

They weren’t listening well, because then they asked Him to give them this bread.  So this time, He was even more blunt.  He told them that He was the bread of life.  Anyone who comes to Him and believes in Him will never hunger or thirst again. 

 

Even though the main thrust of this passage is speaking of spiritual hunger and thirst, I believe it also includes the physical needs of the believer.  I realize that most in America today are privileged to live in a wealthy/prosperous society and have been blessed never to know real hunger.  But—even if God’s children face times of testing, which could include physical hunger and thirst, it can only be for a limited time (in the scope of eternity) before they are given provision in one way or another—be it physical help or death.  In death, the child of God only gains!  So the provision is there either way.

 

Back to the scripture—Jesus tells them again—You have seen me (and what I can do) and still you do not believe I am the Son.  The Father has promised the Son a bride, a family, and those who come to Him (the Father knows who each and every one of these will be) will be welcomed and never driven away.

 

Verse 37 has been a special blessing to me as I pray for His return.  My prayers reflect my desire to be with Jesus as soon as possible.  I don’t have to feel guilty about praying for that time to be soon, since I know that ALL that the Father is going to give Jesus will come to Him.  No one will miss heaven because of my prayer.  My prayer won’t change His timing; it’s just an expression of longing and desire for that time to be soon.

 

John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

John 6:39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

 

Jesus tells them that it wasn’t to do what He wanted to do that He came—He came to earth to do the will of the Father.  Then He identifies the Father’s will.  It is to ensure that each one who believes in His Son shall have everlasting life.  That’s life with no end in the presence of the Father and the Son.  I understand what the words are saying, but it is real hard to actually conceive the truth of it!

 

Then He makes reference to the resurrection.  Another thought is that maybe verse 39 is referring to resurrecting believers and verse 40 to establishing Jesus as King of Kings in the last days.  It really doesn’t matter to me, because I believe both these teachings are true.

 

verse 38, “I came down from heaven” – The Believer’s Bible Commentary had another good statement:  “….He did not begin His life in the manger at Bethlehem.  Rather, He existed from all eternity with God the Father in heaven.”

 

I stopped to check the wording of verse 40 this time—“every one which seeth the Son….”  This isn’t saying that you have to see the physical manifestation of Jesus.  The Greek makes reference to being able to discern or perceive who He is—God in flesh, the Redeemer, our Savior.

 

John 6:41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.

John 6:42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?

John 6:43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.

 

The Jews really didn’t like it when He called Himself the bread (the sustenance of life) “which came down from heaven.”  After all, they knew Him as the son of Joseph; they knew His mother and father; so how could He say this.  I’m not sure why this was such a stretch of belief for them.  They knew from the scriptures that the Messiah would come as a man. 

 

Did they expect him to be God in flesh?  In chapter 11, verse 27, it would seem so.

 

John 11:27 “She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.”

 

According to Isaiah, He would be God in flesh.

 

Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

 

Micah’s prophecy also supports this expectation.

 

Micah 5:2 “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”

 

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

 

“heard” = come (to the ears), understand……Webster:  to perceive by the ear, to apprehend, to perceive, to listen

 

Verse 44 is one of the verses that taken alone can cause a great deal of confusion.  “No one can come to me except the Father, which hath sent me draw Him.” 

 

Since I am just a simple person and not a great theologian, I just look at it through simple logic.  The whole Bible is God’s letter to me (and the rest of mankind).  The Bible as God’s Word is not full of contradicting truths.  We’ve already been told that the Son came into the world as God’s gift and that whosoever believes will be saved.  Other verses tell us that He is not willing that any should perish.

 

2Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

 

Ezekiel 18:23 “Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?”

 

1Timothy 2:3-4 “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

 

We know that man was created with a mind and will of his own—not as a robot.  God is constantly working to draw each one of us to belief—whether through His creation or through chosen messengers of His word or through the example of other believers or whatever.  It was interesting to look up the Greek for the word draw—it implies to drag.  God is doing everything possible on His part short of force to bring us to saving faith.  Faith is a gift of God; we just have to choose to accept it.  The work of God doesn’t end there if my life is any example.  He is constantly providing for me and enabling me and strengthening my faith when the flesh and sin would try to pull me down and make me doubt.  It all goes hand in hand to me.  If we were robots, sin would never have entered the picture.

 

Again, Jesus makes the statement that “I will raise him up at the last day.”  This is a direct reference to the resurrection of the believer. 

 

The prophets teach that:

1)    all will be taught by God and everyone who listens and learns will come to the Son. 

2)    Again, we are not programmed like computers; we must listen and learn.

We all know that listening takes effort as opposed to just hearing.  Learning takes effort as opposed to just operating on instinct.

 

John 6:46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.

 

My paraphrase – No man has seen the Father except Jesus, the Son, who is God in flesh.

 

John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

 

This verse says “He that believeth.”  I think that is important because it refers to an individual.  Each individual person has to choose for himself.  Again, it is introduced by “Verily, verily”—truly, truly; you can count on this as fact.

 

John 6:48 I am that bread of life.

John 6:49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.

John 6:50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.

John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man 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.

 

Again, Jesus says that He is the bread, the sustainer, of life.  They were so impressed with the fact that their forefathers ate manna in the wilderness.  They knew that these ancestors were dead—physically.  The manna only provided for physical sustenance.  To trust/believe in Jesus would provide everlasting life—spiritual sustenance.  He referred to His flesh, His body as the bread, because it was through the sacrifice of His life, His sinless human life, His body, the sacrifice without spot or blemish, that mankind would have the opportunity for everlasting life (forever in the presence of God).

 

John 6:52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?

 

The Jews began to argue because they were so shallow in their thinking.  The Old Testament scripture told of Jesus’ death as a sacrificial lamb, but they just weren’t listening.  They thought He was talking about eating His flesh in the physical sense.  It goes back to being able to spiritually discern the message of the scripture in spite of expectations.  They were looking for the Messiah King, not the Messiah Lamb.  It is so important that we keep our hearts open to the voice and leading of the Spirit as we study God’s word and never get caught up in the teaching of a certain person or persuasion.  We have to guard our expectations; they can affect our response to Jesus and the strength of our faith as we endure the trials of life.

 

John 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 no life in you.

John 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 6:55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

John 6:56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

John 6:57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.

John 6:58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

John 6:59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.

 

Eat and drink = take in and make a part of you

 

Jesus didn’t really try to clarify it for them.  He affirmed what they were saying.  They would have to eat His flesh and drink His blood. He was using the physical to illustrate spiritual truth.  The prophets of old did the very same thing.  The spiritual leaders of the people should have been able to make that connection.

 

We are to depend on all that Jesus taught for our spiritual “life” just as we depend on food for physical life.  As I think about this, I think maybe He was trying to get them to realize the comparison with the sacrifices they made at the temple to atone for their sins.  They didn’t actually eat the meat or drink the blood, but they trusted in their act of obedience to the law set forth by God to atone for their sins.  He was trying to get them to understand that He was the Lamb that would be the final sacrifice necessary. They just had to believe in Him and accept His provision in faith—no other sacrifice would be needed.

 

I think verse 56 implies that by having faith in His sacrificial provision—by dwelling in Him and He in us—we are participating in His death, burial and resurrection, which is what our water baptism represents.

 

In verse 57 He is emphasizing that life comes from the Father through the Son to the believer.  Again, the manna eaten by their forefathers did not prevent their physical death.  Belief in the Son as the bread/source/sustainer of life would result in living forever. 

 

All of this was taught in the synagogue at Capernaum.

 

John 6:60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?

John 6:61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?

 

This teaching was offensive to many of His disciples.  (I’m not sure if this refers to all those following Jesus at this time or just the twelve; I think it was the group following because of verse 66 and following.)  Jesus knew this.  He brought the question out into the open—“Does this offend you?” 

 

John 6:62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?

John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

John 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.

John 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

 

This is a hard section to me.  Maybe Jesus is giving them more food for thought.  Would they even believe if they saw Him ascend into the heavens?  Then He tries again to help them understand.  He tells them that He has been speaking to them on a spiritual level.  The words He had spoken to them were spiritual truths of how to gain life.  He knew that many of them did not believe.  As the Son of God, He knew from the start who would reject Him—just as the Father has known what choice each of us would make from before creation.  He knew that one would even do more than just reject Him; he would betray Him.  Then He added that that was why He had told them that no one could come to Him “except it were given unto him of my Father.”  The Father, through the person of the Holy Spirit, is the one that enables us to understand spiritual truth—but our hearts must be willing, seeking.  This takes us back to hearing/listening and learning in verses 44-45.

 

Proverbs 8:17 “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.”

 

Jeremiah 29:13 “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”

 

John 6:66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

John 6:67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

 

At this point many of His followers stopped following Him.  Then Jesus turned to the twelve chosen disciples.  He asked them if they wanted to leave too.

 

John 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

John 6:69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

 

Simon Peter was the spokesman.  He said, “Lord, to whom shall we go?  Thou hast the words of eternal life.”  “We believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.”  The word “Lord” indicated that Peter recognized Jesus’ position of authority.  He also stated his belief that what Jesus said was true—that He was the way to eternal life.  Then to verify the truth, Peter affirms that they believe and are sure (double emphasis) that Jesus is who He says He is—the promised Messiah, the Son of the living God.

 

John 6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?

John 6:71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

 

Jesus basically said—that is why I have chosen you, to share the truth through you even though one of you will accuse me falsely and slander me (based on the Greek).  We know, of course, that Judas Iscariot was the one who betrayed Jesus in the end.  I can’t imagine that the twelve did not question Him about His statement, but John chose not to tell us the rest of that story.