John Chapter Six
I. Content of the Chapter
The Son of God the Savior is the Bread of Life
A. Feeding the five thousand by the five barley loaves and two small fish (v.1-15) ---- a sign indicating that He is the bread of life.
B. Walking on the sea and saving the disciples (v.16-23) ---- indicating He is above all, and the existence of life depends on Him
C. Taking about the bread of life (v.24-59) ---- those who believe Him will obtain the bread of life
D. Men’s reaction to the fact that He is the bread of life (v.60-71)
II. Verse by Verse commentary
John. 6:1 “After these things Jesus
went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the
YLT: “After these things Jesus went away beyond the sea of Galilee (of Tiberias),”
Meaning of Words: “went over”: go (aside, away, back, out,...ways), pass away
Literal Meaning: “after these things”, it disclosed that the author had an idea of the order of time (see 5:1; 7:1).
Sea of Galilee, which is the
Meaning: the sign of feeding
the five thousand happened
on the mountain near the lake.
John. 6:2 “Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased.”
YLT: “and there was following him a great multitude, because they were seeing his signs that he was doing on the ailing;”
Literal Meaning: note that Jesus would not commit Himself freely (see 2:23-25) to those who followed for the signs He did.
John. 6:3 “And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples.”
YLT: “and Jesus went up to the mount, and he was there sitting with his disciples,”
Literal Meaning: the mountain typifies the superior condition (see Matt 17:1-2). The Lord Jesus did not feed the five thousand at “the seaside (see v.1)”, but brought men onto the mountain and then raised the matter of eating (see v.5).
Enlightenment in the Word: if believers want to enjoy Christ, he should keep away from the corrupted world (at the seaside) and thus will be brought unto the superior circumstance (on the mountain).
John. 6:4 “Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near.”
YLT: “and the passover was nigh, the feast of the Jews.”
The Background: “the Passover”, one of the three great feasts of the Jews, was purposed to remember that their fathers were delivered from Egypt by God ---- from the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month, every family would slay the lamb of the Passover, sprinkle its blood and eat it (see Ex 12:11-33).
Spiritual Meaning: with the background of “the Passover of the Jews”, the sign of feeding the five thousand indicated that Christ who had been crucified on the cross was the lamb of the Passover (see 1Cor5:7). He had been slain and shed His blood and had thus become the bread of life (see v.35) for men in the world so that those who eat Him may live.
John. 6:5 “Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?"”
YLT: “Jesus then having lifted up eyes and having seen that a great multitude doth come to him, saith unto Philip, `Whence shall we buy loaves, that these may eat?' --”
Meaning of Words: “see”: look closely at;
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Difficulties we meet are usually allowed by the Lord who intends to try our faith (see 6:67; Mark 6:48; Luke 20:3-4)
2) The question of the Lord is purposed to drive the disciples to Him and let them know and experience Him ---- a Lord who has full of mercy and power.
3) If believers love the Lord, they shall look after and feed the lambs of the Lord (1John 21:15-17).
4) Only had a man realized that he was nothing, he would finally turn to God who “calls those things which be not as though they were (Rom 4:17).”
John. 6:6 “But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.”
YLT: “and this he said, trying him, for he himself had known what he was about to do.”
Meaning of Words: “test”: scrutinize, prove;
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) “But this He said to test him”, what the Lord has said is usually a test for us, trying the real condition of our knowledge of Him and faith in Him.
2) “For He Himself knew what He would do”, the Lord can never be perplexed by any difficulty we meet, for He is able to freely dominate any circumstance.
3) The Lord is filled with confidence before manifesting His glorious work, for the origin of glory and fullness has been earlier treasured in Him. We therefore should not only know His work but also the reality in Him.
John 6:7 “Philip answered Him, "Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little."”
YLT: “Philip answered him, `Two hundred denaries' worth of loaves are not sufficient to them, that each of them may receive some little;'”
Meaning of Words: “have”: received, take, hold;
Literal Meaning: “two hundred denarii worth of bread”, “two hundred dearii”, a common worker at that time earned about one denarii (see Matt 20:2) per day. It is said that the wages of a Roman soldier then was one denarii too.
“Not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little”, Philip sought the answer from the physical angle, which manifested his lacking of faith, and he failed in the test.
Enlightenment in the Word: one’s natural eyes always focus narrowly on the limited things ---- “two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them”. However, it is by faith, not by sight that we believers walk (2Cor 5:7).
John 6:8 “One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to Him,”
YLT: “one of his disciples -- Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter -- saith to him,”
John 6:9 “"There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?"”
YLT: “`There is one little lad here who hath five barley loaves, and two fishes, but these -- what are they to so many?'”
Meaning of Words: “have”: received, take, hold;
Literal Meaning: “there is a lad here”, “lad” may refer to a little boy or girl, and it often refers to a child servant.
“Has five barley loaves”, “barley loaves”: food of the poor families.
“Two small fish”, “fish” in the original refers to a sort of processed fish ---- salted or dried fish as a condiment eaten with the barley loaves.
Spiritual Meaning: “five barley loaves”, in Scripture the number “five” is connected with human taking responsibility for something, typifying that the Creator ---- “one” here, takes the responsibility for feeding the we creatures ---- “four”. “Loaf”, a kind of crop which is ripe earlier than any other crops, symbolizes the first-fruit among all the harvest of crops (see Lev23:10), typifying the resurrection of Christ. “Loaf”, a kind of food which is made by barley through the process of crushing, kneading, and baking, symbolizes the life of Christ’s incarnation, suffering and death, thus becoming the provision of those who believe Him in His resurrection.
“Two small fish”, “two”, a number in the Bible representing testimonies (see Rev 11:3), here witnesses that Christ is far sufficient to meet the need of men. “Fish”, a sort of animal out of the sea, typifies that Christ had been born for us in the world which had been corrupted by the devil. He had never been defiled by sin (just as fish in the sea had not been rotten by the seawater), but was killed for us and shed His blood, which purified us from all sins and enabled us to enjoy Him as our provision of life.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) “Five barley loaves and two small fish” were both insignificant things, which unveil that Christ humbled Himself and even was despised by others, and finally became our provision of life.
2) “Five barley loaves and two small fish”, it symbolizes both Christ Himself and all things that believers have received from Christ, including our limited power, wisdom, strength, possessions, one’s self as well as the experience in the life of Christ that was died and has risen again.
3) “Five barley loaves and two small fish”, once the limited food is devoted to the Lord, it will be much more than two hundred denarii (see v.7). He can meet all the need just by the limited loaves and fish, and even there remain fragments (v.13)
4) “But what are they among so many?” ---- What we have in our hands are too limited to meet such a great need.
5) He who has just believed like a child in respect of the spiritual things may think that what he has had is so limited that he plays a merely insignificant role in the assembly. However, the Lord sometimes does wondrous work by him (see v.13; Matt21:16).
6) If God intends do a sign, He will place us in a difficult circumstance. If a greater one, He will place us in a circumstance that is of no possibility. Only when our conditions are too hard for ourselves and we entirely switch our confidence from ourselves to God only, will He then perform His miracles.
7) We believers may meet the troubles brought by the environment every day, but we shall still do not murmur. Once the Lord has become the Lord of our environment, there will be nothing impossible.
John 6:10 “Then Jesus said, "Make the people sit down." Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.”
YLT: “And Jesus said, `Make the men to sit down;' and there was much grass in the place, the men then sat down, in number, as it were, five thousand,”
Literal Meaning: “in number about five thousand”, only men (Mark 6:44), women and children had not been counted in the number of “five thousand” (see Matt 14:21)
Spiritual Meaning: “make the people sit down.” ---- It typifies that one rest at Jesus' feet (see Luke 10:39) instead of struggling by himself.
“In number about five thousand”, “five” in Scripture the number five is connected with human “responsibility”, and here it symbolizes that the Lord takes the responsibility of satisfying all the needs of men.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) If a man wants to enjoy the Lord, he should “sit down” at rest in the first place.
2) Corporate fellowship is different from that of individuals ---- for it embraces a special enjoyment and even much fuller.
3) No matter how considerable our needs are, the Lord will meet them entirely and even more than sufficiently.
4) In Bible it also recorded feeding one hundred with twenty loaves of barley (2King 4:42-44) and four thousand with seven loaves and a few small fishes (Matt 15:32-39). Here, there was the least amount of loaves and the largest number of men who had been fed, for the reason that the loaves were broken into many pieces. It does not lie in the number of the loaves, but the extent how the loaves have been broken that counts ---- the more they are broken, the more people will be satisfied.
John 6:11 “And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.”
YLT: “and Jesus took the loaves, and having given thanks he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to those reclining, in like manner, also of the little fishes as much as they wished.”
Meaning of Words: “give thanks”: to be grateful, to express gratitude
Literal Meaning: “as much as they wanted”: to supply amply according to the measure of every one.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Before we give something that of ourselves to others, we should first let the Lord “take” it ---- only by devotion to the Lord can we receive spiritual value.
2) If the limited things of us linger in our own hands, they will be nothing. But it they are devoted to the Lord, they will become blessings for many people.
3) The key point does not rest on the amount of the loaves in our hands, but whether the Lord has given blessings or not. Maybe we are unable to meet the present need in the beginning, but if the Lord grants His blessings to us, there will be more than sufficient provisions.
4) Do not complain about “the limited things of yourself”, but give thanks for “what you have had”. The more gratitude we have expressed, the more signs of God we will witness.
5) If the loaf remains perfect, it will never satisfy the need of others. But if it has been broken and distributed to others, it will bring about satisfaction to more people.
6) We shall not hide the experience that we have obtained from the Lord every time, though it seems so limited. Instead, we should learn to share it with others.
7) Our hands are not only “receiving” the grace of God or “keeping” the miracles of God, but rather should be “giving out” to others. The more grace you give and distribute to others, the more abundantly grace of God will be.
8) It is the Lord that “distributes” the loaves and fish to others. Only is He the Lord who grants bread to men.
9) We are just the “loaves” in the hand of the Lord. Those who eat the bread are grateful to “the One who distributes the bread” ---- the Lord, not to the “loaves” ---- us. As for the service and provision in the assembly, all glory and gratitude should be given to the Lord, not ourselves.
10) “As much as they wanted”, we can see that: (1) we shall ask the Lord in faith everything that we need. (2) The Lord provides us what we need rather than what we do not need.
John 6:12 “So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, "Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost." ”
YLT: “And when they were filled, he saith to his disciples, `Gather together the broken pieces that are over, that nothing may be lost;'”
Meaning of Words: “remain”: enough and to spare, abundance; “gather up”: collect or convene; “lost”: destroy, die, and lose;
Literal Meaning: “gather up the fragments that remain”, we should ruin or waste food, for it is gifted by God.
Spiritual Meaning: “when they were filled”, everyone can enjoy Him and be satiated.
“The fragments that remain”, it typifies that the provision of the Lord is more than sufficient.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) To gather up the fragments that remain teaches us that the grace of the Lord should be valued. Instead of ruining it, we should preserve the superfluous one for possible future use.
2) We should treasure everything provided by God for our life rather than squander or waste them.
3) Men have the greatest inclination to waste grace when they are in riches. But our God, though being a God of the most fullness, is a God who most dislikes others’ wasting His fullness.
John 6:13 “Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten.”
YLT: “they gathered together, therefore, and filled twelve hand-baskets with broken pieces, from the five barley loaves that were over to those having eaten.”
Meaning of Words: “eat”: feed;
Literal Meaning: “basket”: a kind of vessel that the Jews usually take along on their person, which could be hitched on their arms to carry food or other sundries.
Spiritual Meaning: “and filled twelve baskets”, the number of “twelve” is connected with perfectness and fullness ---- His provision is fully complete.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) If one is reluctant to devote the five barley loaves and two small fish to the Lord, such a few food will be even too limited to satisfy his own. But once being devoted to the Lord, it will produce abundant provisions after the Lord’s blessing.
2) When we have learned to give the unsearchable fullness to others, we will find what we have received again (“filled twelve baskets”) is much more than what we have presented (“five barley loaves and two small fish”).
John 6:14 “Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, "This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world. " ”
YLT: “The men, then, having seen the sign that Jesus did, said -- `This is truly the Prophet, who is coming to the world;'”
Literal Meaning: “the Prophet who is to come into the world”, the article before “prophet” reveals that the prophet has been known by people, or it refers to the promised prophet like unto God in Deuteronomy (18:15) (see 1:21).
John 6:15 “Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone. ”
YLT: “Jesus, therefore, having known that they are about to come, and to take him by force that they may make him king, retired again to the mountain himself alone.”
Meaning of Words: “force”: seize, catch up (violently);
Literal Meaning: “they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king”, the Jews at that time longed earnestly for the coming of the Messiah to lead them to overthrow the Roman government and establish an Jewish Kingdom independent sovereignty.
“He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.” ---- It is true that the Lord Jesus is the Messiah (Christ) of God, but He came into the world to be the Savior of the whole world, not to establish a political Jewish kingdom. Prophesies concerning the kingdom of the Messiah in the Old Testament will not be fulfilled until the second coming of the Lord Jesus. In this case therefore, He had to depart to the mountain alone.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) “They were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king.” ---- Servants of the Lord should not fulfill the ministry of the assembly by the force of the world (see Zech 4:6).
2) “They were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king.” ---- One should be subject to the Lord instead of forcing Him.
3) One may take the Lord by force to make Him do something for his own profit ---- even “he takes Him by force to make Him king”, proving that he regards the Lord as a tool only.
4) “He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.” ---- If a servant of God is high held among others, “to depart” will be the best way to avoid the harm of being held by men.
5) “To depart” means refusing the gain of the world. “To depart” presents a chance to prove that God is the contentment of men. “To depart” has exactly testified that one has already taken God as his real joy.
John 6:16 “Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea,”
YLT: “And when evening came, his disciples went down to the sea,”
Spiritual Meaning: “now when evening came”, it refers to the period from the ascension of Christ to His second coming. The world has been in a long dark night.
“His disciples went down to the sea”, “sea” typifies the world.
Enlightenment in the Word: now the night is far spent, and the day is near (Rom 13:12). Though we feel the world be filled with deep darkness, the Lord the day star is just about to appear.
John 6:17 “got
into the boat, and went over the sea toward
YLT: “and having entered into the boat, they were
going over the sea to
Spiritual Meaning: “got into the boat”, “boat” typifies the church. The church on the earth is just like the boat in the sea.
“And went over the sea toward
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The sign of “five barley loaves and two small fish” unveiled that the Lord had been dead for us
on the cross, thus enabling us to enjoy His life. “Going over the sea” remarked that the Lord had become the
enjoyment of our life, thus giving us strength to walk in the heavenly way ----
just as the people of
2) There is a way in which we shall walk after we have been saved. It is of most crucial significance for every Christian to seek the ordained way by the Lord and walk in it faithfully.
3) The boat remains still in the sea and has not got into shore, and our journey has not arrived at the destination. The problem of eternal life and death has been resolved, but the end in the future ---- victory or failure, “being faithful till the end” or “giving up halfway” ---- depends on how we run today.
4) “Jesus had not come to them.” ---- The Lord leaves us in the world to run the way that He has ordained. But we shall not faint for He will come again.
John 6:18 “Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing.”
YLT: “the sea also -- a great wind blowing -- was being raised,”
Meaning of Words: “blow”: breathe hard;
The Background: the climatic condition
Spiritual Meaning: “sea” symbolizes the world at present. “Wind” symbolizes the temptations and troubles in the environment raised by the power of darkness.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Since the church is on the earth, attacks and obstructions from the enemy are unavoidable.
2) If a believer has proceeded smoothly in the world, it is unusual. And moreover, such prosperity may even prevent him from experiencing the peace in the Lord (see 16:33).
3) If a believer stands for the sake of the Lord, he will inevitably suffer from the adverse wind. To row in the adverse wind is much better than to drift in the smooth wind. To drift in the smooth wind does not require any labor, but it will never lead a man to the end. It requires little labor to love the world, but it will definitely make a men draw back and fall down.
4) The darker the environment is (“it was already dark” v.17), the sooner we will meet our Lord (or the Lord will come to meet us).
John 6:19 “So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. ”
YLT: “having pushed onwards, therefore, about twenty-five or thirty furlongs, they behold Jesus walking on the sea, and coming nigh to the boat, and they were afraid;”
Literal Meaning: “about three or four miles”, “three or four miles”: about 25 stadion in the original, i.e. about 5 miles.
“Jesus walking on the sea”, it shows that the Lord is the sovereign over all things who has the surpassing power (see Ps 89:9; Is 51:10, 15; Jem 31:35).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Although the Lord Jesus had departed again to the mountain by Himself alone (see v.15), he did not forget the disciples who were laboring in rowing in the dark sea and walked in the sea to help them. No matter how dark, afflictive or difficult the circumstance is, the Lord will never forget us. Moreover, He will come to visit and help us on a most proper occasion.
2) The risen and ascended Christ has surpassed the sin, the death, the world, Satan and all the troubles ---- Jesus is “walking on the sea”.
3) The Lord Jesus can walk in the terrible waves of life and trample over every troubles (“walking on the sea”), so we shall supplicate Him when we undergo any hardship.
4) On account of our lack of knowledge of the Lord, we will be afraid and even regard Him as an apparition (see Mark 6:49) when we see the wondrous works of the Lord (“saw Jesus walking on the sea”). Therefore, do not draw a hasty conclusion to the unknown things according to our traditional thoughts and old conceptions, for it will be instantly clear when the Lord speaks directly (v.20).
5) The church will pass from the present age to the eternity, and the Lord is about to greet us. This Lord who prays for and looks after His church is the Lord who walks in the waves. He is far above every principality and authority and has put all things under his feet (Eph 1:21-22).
John 6:20 “But He said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid." ”
YLT: “and he saith to them, `I am , be not afraid;'”
Literal Meaning: “It is I; do not be afraid.” ---- “It is I”: it is I am (literal translation). God’s name is “I AM THAT I AM” (Ex 3:14). The moment when the Lord said “I am”, men went away backward and fell to the ground (see 18:4-6) for He is God.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) If there is the presence of the Lord, we shall take courage and not be afraid.
2) We shall be comforted in every adverse situation if there is the word of the Lord. May the Lord often grant us “a word” (Matt 8:8) which will be sufficient to satisfy our need.
3) Only can those who have intimate fellowship with the Lord and are familiar with Him recognize this voice of “I am” and have obtained comfort and encouragement. That’s why we shall draw near the Lord as much as possible.
John 6:21 “Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.”
YLT: “they were willing then to receive him into the boat, and immediately the boat came unto the land to which they were going.”
Literal Meaning: “and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going” someone held that this is the third miracle in this chapter. Anyway, it also suggested that the boat had come onto the land safely for the sake of the Lord’s presence in the boat.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) As long as the Lord has been in our boat, all the winds and waves will be passed away and the boat will arrive at the destination.
2) The Lord takes care of men that are running the heavenly way like us, and always personally leads us to pass through difficulties.
3) We should receive the Lord into our “boat” ---- our marriage, family, career and etc., thus enjoying peace with Him in the journey of life.
John 6:22 “On the following day, when the people who were standing on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, except that one which His disciples had entered, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with His disciples, but His disciples had gone away alone--”
YLT: “On the morrow, the multitude that was standing on the other side of the sea, having seen that there was no other little boat there except one -- that into which his disciples entered -- and that Jesus went not in with his disciples into the little boat, but his disciples went away alone,”
Literal Meaning: “the people who were standing on the other side of the sea”, “the other side of the sea” referred to the east side of the
This verse indicated that the people felt confused when they could not find the Lord Jesus since they had known that He had not entered the only boat there with His disciples.
John 6:23 “however, other boats came from Tiberias, near the place where they ate bread after the Lord had given thanks--”
YLT: “(and other little boats came from Tiberias, nigh the place where they did eat the bread, the Lord having given thanks),”
Literal Meaning: “other boats came from Tiberias”, the boats came from the opposite shore. “Tiberias” lies in the southeast bank of the
John 6:24 “when
the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they also
got into boats and came to
YLT: “when therefore the multitude saw that Jesus is not there, nor his disciples, they also themselves did enter into the boats, and came to Capernaum seeking Jesus;”
Literal Meaning: “the people” refers to some of the people who are feed with loaves, not all of them.
“Got into boats and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus”, since the people could not find Jesus nearby, they had to guess the most possible place that Jesus might go ---- Capernaum ---- and came to find Him.
John 6:25 “And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did You come here?" ”
YLT: “and having found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, `Rabbi, when hast thou come hither?'”
Literal Meaning: “when did You come here?” ---- The people were surprised by two points as below: (1) when did the Lord Jesus come? (2) How did He come?
John 6:26 “Jesus answered them and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. ”
YLT: “Jesus answered them and said, `Verily, verily, I say to you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw signs, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were satisfied;”
Meaning of Words: “fill”: to gorge (supply food in abundance), satisfy;
Literal Meaning: “because you ate of the loaves and were filled.” ---- In the original it remarked that one had been satisfied by only loaves and sought none other things, so the Lord exhorted them to labor for the everlasting food (see v.27).
Enlightenment in the Word: the Lord does not like men to seek Him merely for the enjoyment of the world and in the flesh (to be fed with loaves).
John 6:27 “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him." ”
YLT: “work not for the food that is perishing, but for the food that is remaining to life age-during, which the Son of Man will give to you, for him did the Father seal -- God.'”
Meaning of Words: “perish”: destroy, die, and lose; “labor”: be engaged in or with, work; “seal”: to stamp (with a signet or private mark) for security or preservation, attest;
The Background: “God the Father has set His seal on Him.” ---- When a man sets his seal on a document, the document has been fully authorized by him, proving that the document has become true and changeless.
Literal Meaning: “do not labor for the food which perishes”: “do not labor for the material food which satisfies one’s need in the flesh only”. The Lord here does not intend to prohibit us from laboring for food that meets our need in the flesh (see 2The 3:10), but means that it should neither be the focus of our labor nor the entirety.
“But for the food which endures to everlasting life”, “the food which endures to everlasting life” refers to the spiritual food which could feed our spiritual life. “Labor” here does not only refer to physical labor but also spiritual labor in one’s mind (see Phil 1:27) ---- especially “faith” (v.29).
“The Son of Man will give you”, it suggests that “the food which endures to everlasting life” is actually not an object which could be gained by men’s own strength, but a gift of Christ.
“God the Father has set His seal on Him”: “God the Father has appointed and testified of Him”.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life.” ---- It reminded us that the ultimate intention of our life should not be earthly, transient or perishing things, but the ever-existing Christ.
2) All those who have not realized the value of the inner life will be only satisfied by the external and material enjoyment. But once we have tasted the relish of the inner life, we will turn to seek the internal enjoyment of life.
John 6:28 “Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" ”
YLT: “They said therefore unto him, `What may we do that we may work the works of God?'”
Literal Meaning: “what shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” ---- “the works of God” refers to all the works that please God.
This question disclosed that they thought “the food which endured to everlasting life” could be gained by “doing the works of God”. They had not even understood the words of “which the Son of Man would give you” at all.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Men’s natural concept concerning the works of God may focus on “doing” ---- those visible works of men.
2) It is the concept of the fallen race always wants to do something for God
3) Those who want to do works for God believe that they are capable enough to do the works of God. If we have really known the conditions of us, we will confess that we can do nothing by ourselves.
John 6:29 “Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent." ”
YLT: “Jesus answered and said to them, `This is the work of God, that ye may believe in him whom He did send.'”
Literal Meaning: “this is the work of God that you believe in Him whom He sent.” ---- “The work of God” refers to the work of God Himself. In brief, to believe God is to do the work of God. For it is God, not men that works. To believe God is to receive the work of God.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) We can see from this verse the idea of the Lord is completely opposite to that of men ---- it is “believing” rather than “working” that enables a man to do the work of God ---- it is receiving, not giving; it is by God, not for God.
2) To believe Jesus Christ is the only work that one can do and that is acceptable to God (see Eph 2:9; 1John 3:23).
3) If one serves God in faith, what he has done are works of God though there are not many. If one lacks faith when serving God, what he has done are not works of God though there are many.
4) In faith, there is none men’s labor or capability. “Men should only believe” unveils that men are unable to do anything.
5) Only can God do the work of God. Men can not do the work of God and has no portion of it either.
John 6:30 “Therefore they said to Him, "What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? ”
YLT: “They said therefore to him, `What sign, then, dost thou, that we may see and may believe thee? what dost thou work?”
Literal Meaning: “what sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You?” ---- They believe that only “sign” from the heaven is the substantial evidence to prove that He has been sealed by God.
John 6:31 “Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, "He gave them bread from heaven to eat."'”
YLT: “our fathers the manna did eat in the wilderness, according as it is having been written, Bread out of the heaven He gave them to eat.'”
Meaning of Words: “manna”: what is this?
The Background: after the people of
Literal Meaning: “he gave them bread from heaven to eat.” ---- It was a common notion among the Jews that when the Messiah came, He would rain manna from heaven for them again. The people might think that what the Lord Jesus had done at that time was far inferior to that of Moses. He only fed five thousand once, but Moses fed the whole nation for the whole 40 years. Therefore, they thought if the Lord Jesus was the Messiah, he had to be capable of doing greater miracles than Moses.
Note that it was misunderstood by the people that it was Moses that gave them manna from heaven to eat, but actually the true giver is God Himself, not Moses.
John 6:32 “Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. ”
YLT: “Jesus, therefore, said to them, `Verily, verily, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread out of the heaven; but my Father doth give you the true bread out of the heaven;”
Literal Meaning: “but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven”, the present tense of the word “gives” indicates that the Father not only gave men the true bread from heaven in the past but also gives it to men at present.
“True bread” is relative to “manna”, which discloses that manna in the past was not the true bread for those who had eaten the manna died (v.49).
Spiritual Meaning: “manna” typifies the fact that Christ is men’s spiritual bread (1 Cor10:3-4), so “the true bread from heaven” is just Christ Himself.
John 6:33 “For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." ”
YLT: “for the bread of God is that which is coming down out of the heaven, and giving life to the world.'”
Literal Meaning: “of God” and “from heaven (v.32)” are reciprocal synonyms.
“Is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world”, it indicates two features of “the bread of God”: (1) it comes down from heaven (2) it is able to give life to men.
Enlightenment in the Word: “the bread of God” is none other things but Christ Himself who gives life to men.
John 6:34 “Then they said to Him, "Lord, give us this bread always." ”
YLT: “They said, therefore, unto him, `Sir, always give us this bread.'”
Literal Meaning: “give us this bread always”, the thought of them was still restrained in the material sphere so that they regarded “this bread” and the Lord Jesus as separate.
John 6:35 “And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. ”
YLT: “And Jesus said to them, `I am the bread of the life; he who is coming unto me may not hunger, and he who is believing in me may not thirst -- at any time;”
Literal Meaning: “I am the bread of life.” ---- This is the first time that the Lord Jesus applies the phrase “I am” to describe His self in this book (see 48; 8:12; 9:5; 10:7, 9, 11, 14; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1, 5). This phrase in the original carried a solemn and emphatic tone, indicating that He is the God ---- “I AM THAT AM (Ex 3:14)”.
“The bread of life” refers to the bread which “makes men alive” or “gives life to men” (v.51).
“He who comes to Me … he who believes in Me …” ---- it unveils that “to believe” the Lord Jesus is to come to Him.
“Shall never hunger … shall never thirst…” ---- it indicates that the bread given by the Lord Jesus has the characteristics as follows: (1) it is true. (2) It is perfect. (2) It is everlasting.
Enlightenment in the Word: one should eat the material food to satisfy his hunger in the flesh. In like manner, one should eat the Lord who is the bread of life to satisfy his hunger in his spirit.
John 6:36 “But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. ”
YLT: “but I said to you, that ye also have seen me, and ye believe not;”
John 6:37 “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. ”
YLT: “all that the Father doth give to me will come unto me; and him who is coming unto me, I may in no wise cast without,”
Meaning of Words: “cast out”: drive (out), expel;
Literal Meaning: “all that the Father gives Me”: those who are drawn by the Father (see v.44).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The gift of the Father is the origin of our faith in the Lord. The preservation of the Son is the origin of our firm assurance till the end.
2) Since the salvation does not originate from us, we shall freely commit ourselves into the Lord. For we may fail, but the Lord the Lord will never fail.
John 6:38 “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. ”
YLT: “because I have come down out of the heaven, not that I may do my will, but the will of Him who sent me.”
Literal Meaning: “I have come down from heaven.” ---- This sentence has repeated for six times in this paragraph (see v.33, 41, 50-51, 58), stressing the heavenly origin of the Lord Jesus.
“Not to do My own will”, “My own will” refers to the will of the Lord Jesus in His humanity. Although His will was distinct from that of “the One who sent Him”, He had actually never sought His own will (see Matt 26:39), so the two wills remained absolutely identical.
John 6:39 “This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. ”
YLT: “`And this is the will of the Father who sent me, that all that He hath given to me I may not lose of it, but may raise it up in the last day;”
Meaning of Words: “lose”: destroy, mar, and perish;
Literal Meaning: “should raise it up at the last day”, “the last day (see v.40, 44, 54)” here specifically refers to the day that the Lord shall descend from heaven (see 1The 4:16). Here it means that although those who have believed the Lord shall die, they will still be raised up, showing that death will never prevail against life gifted by Christ.
This verse indicates that those who have believed the Lord will be kept in Christ till the last day.
John 6:40 “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day." ”
YLT: “and this is the will of Him who sent me, that every one who is beholding the Son, and is believing in him, may have life age-during, and I will raise him up in the last day.'”
Literal Meaning: “that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him”, it can be comprehended through the original meaning of the verb “see” like this: “that everyone who ponders who the Son really is and thus believes Him”.
Enlightenment in the Word: the will of the Father has appointed us that: (1) to see Christ ---- “sees the Son” (2) to be joined unto Christ ---- “believes” (3) to enjoy His full life ---- “obtain the everlasting life” (4) to enter the ultimate glory ---- “raise him up at the last day”.
John 6:41 “The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven." ”
YLT: “The Jews, therefore, were murmuring at him, because he said, `I am the bread that came down out of the heaven;'”
Meaning of Words: “complained about”: grumble, murmur;
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 says, "I have come down from heaven'?" ”
YLT: “and they said, `Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we have known? how then saith this one -- Out of the heaven I have come down?'”
Meaning of Words: “know”: understand
Enlightenment in the Word: things that we had known before we received the Lord tend to become a hindrance for us to know the Lord.
John 6:43 “Jesus therefore answered and said to them, "Do not murmur among yourselves.”
YLT: “Jesus answered, therefore, and said to them, `Murmur not one with another;”
Meaning of Words: “murmur”: complain;
John 6:44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
YLT: “no one is able to come unto me, if the Father who sent me may not draw him, and I will raise him up in the last day;”
Literal Meaning: “the Father who sent Me draws him”, “draw” carries the meaning of drawing for oneself.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) One can never come to the Lord by himself, but the one who is drawn by the Father will come.
2) The Father intends to draw and bring us to the Lord Jesus. Have the innermost depths of one's hearts been drawn to draw near the Lord Jesus?
John 6:45 “It is written in the prophets, "And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.”
YLT: “it is having been written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God; every one therefore who heard from the Father, and learned, cometh to me;”
Meaning of Words: “taught”: instructed; “learn”: understand;
Literal Meaning: “and they shall all be taught by God” it is quoted from the Book of Isaiah (54:13).
“Everyone who has heard and learned
from the Father comes to
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The Father draws men to draw near Christ (v.44), and teaches men to come unto Christ. If we have been drawn by the Father internally and have been taught by God externally, we will certainly find that only the precious Christ is the unique goal which we shall come unto.
2) Only can those who are willing to be taught by God come to the Lord and receive the salvation, so we shall not despise the heart of the instructed.
John 6:46 “Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.”
YLT: “not that any one hath seen the Father, except he who is from God, he hath seen the Father.”
Literal Meaning: “he who is from God” refers to the Lord Jesus.
John 6:47 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. ”
YLT: “`Verily, verily, I say to you, He who is believing in me, hath life age-during;”
Literal Meaning: “he who believes in Me has everlasting life”: he that believes on the Son has everlasting life (see 3:36).
John 6:48 “I am the bread of life.”
YLT: “I am the bread of the life;”
Literal Meaning: please see the commentary of verse 35.
John 6:49 “Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead.”
YLT: “your fathers did eat the manna in the wilderness, and they died;”
Literal Meaning: “and are dead”, refers to the physical death.
John 6:50 “This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. ”
YLT: “this is the bread that out of the heaven is coming down, that any one may eat of it, and not die.”
Literal Meaning: “that one may eat of it and not die”, it shows that one’s spiritual life will not die.
Enlightenment in the Word: “ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead (v.49)”, the traditional way which has been used by God may not necessarily bring fresh effect now. “The bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die.” ---- It remarks that only the full Christ is the everlasting and ever-fresh provision of men.
John 6:51 “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world." ”
YLT: “`I am the living bread that came down out of the heaven; if any one may eat of this bread he shall live -- to the age; and the bread also that I will give is my flesh, that I will give for the life of the world.'”
Literal Meaning: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven.” ---- “the living bread” in this verse is different from “the bread of life” in verse 35. The former indicates the bread is living, and the latter shows the nature of the bread is life.
“The bread that I shall give is My flesh.” ---- To become the provision (bread) of one’s life, Christ should firstly deliver His body (flesh) up in order to redeem the sin of men. And it also indicates that one shall receive His redemption (flesh) first and then enjoy Him as his provision (bread) of life.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Our life in the flesh is fed by the food on the earth, but our spiritual life is fed by the Lord who is our spiritual food. May we often draw near and enjoy the Lord and regard Him as our joy, thus keeping our spiritual life live forever.
2) “Bread” indicates that Christ is our provision. “Flesh” and “blood” (v.54) show that Christ who has been crucified on the cross is our provision. So the center of the glad tidings is to preach “Christ crucified” (1 Cor1:23).
John 6:52 “The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?" ”
YLT: “The Jews, therefore, were striving with one another, saying, `How is this one able to give us flesh to eat?'”
Meaning of Words: “quarrel”: fight, strive;
Literal Meaning: the Jews quarreled for the reason that they regarded the flesh of the Lord Jesus in the sight of material, but were ignorant of the spiritual meaning of “eating His flesh”.
John 6:53 “Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. ”
YLT: “Jesus, therefore, said to them, `Verily, verily, I say to you, If ye may not eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and may not drink his blood, ye have no life in yourselves;”
Meaning of Words: “eat”, most of the words “eat” in this chapter are this one according to the original: v. 5, 23, 26, 30, 31, 49, 50, 51, 52 and 58 (the second one).
Spiritual Meaning: “eat the flesh of the Son of Man…drink His blood”, “the flesh of the Son of Man”, the flesh of the Lord Jesus had been delivered up for us. “His blood” indicates the Lord Jesus shed His blood on the cross for us. “Eat” and “drink” mean receiving into.
“Eat the flesh of the Son of Man”, it typifies that one shall receive by faith all the accomplished work by the Lord Jesus who surrendered His body for men. “…drink His blood” typifies that one shall receive by faith all the accomplished work by the Lord Jesus who shed His blood. The meaning of both of the above two points is identical ---- one shall receive the accomplished salvation by the Lord on the cross by faith.
John 6:54 “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
YLT: “he who is eating my flesh, and is drinking my blood, hath life age-during, and I will raise him up in the last day;”
Meaning of Words: “eat”: gnaw, chew. It is different from the other “eat” in verse 53 according to the original, but is the same as that in verse 56, 57, 58 (the first one).
Literal Meaning: “whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life”, both of the words “eat” and “drink” from verse 54 to verse 58 (except for the second “eat”) denote “to partake” and “to enjoy together”.
John 6:55 “For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.”
YLT: “for my flesh truly is food, and my blood truly is drink;”
John 6:56 “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. ”
YLT: “he who is eating my flesh, and is drinking my blood, doth remain in me, and I in him.”
Literal Meaning: “and I abide in him”, “abide”: “dwell” in Greek. It suggests that the Lord Jesus comes to be our life and provision of life in His resurrection.
John 6:57 “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.”
YLT: “`According as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, he also who is eating me, even that one shall live because of me;”
Literal Meaning: “he who feeds on Me will live because of Me”, “eat” refers to the procedure as follows: one shall receive the food into his stomach first, and then the nutrients in the food will be assimilated into his body, thus maintaining the vitality of his life. Therefore, to eat the flesh of the Lord is to receive by faith the fulfilled salvation by the Lord Jesus. Meanwhile, the Lord Himself is also received into our heart, and the elements of His life will be absorbed by us, through which we shall live.
John 6:58 “This is the bread which came down from heaven--not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever." ”
YLT: “this is the bread that came down out of the heaven; not as your fathers did eat the manna, and died; he who is eating this bread shall live -- to the age.'”
John 6:59 “These
things He said in the synagogue as He taught in
John 6:60 “Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?" ”
YLT: “many, therefore, of his disciples having heard, said, `This word is hard; who is able to hear it?'”
Meaning of Words: “hard”: tough, harsh, severe;
Literal Meaning: “this is a hard saying”, the word “hard” carries a meaning of raising one’s antipathy.
Enlightenment in the Word: the carnal men could not apprehend or receive the revelation of Christ who had been crucified ---- “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?”, so they would be stumbled (the literal translation of the word “offend” in verse 61) and they “went back and walked with Him no more” (v.66).
John 6:61 “When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, "Does this offend you?”
YLT: “And Jesus having known in himself that his disciples are murmuring about this, said to them, `Doth this stumble you?”
Meaning of Words: “offend”: stumble, trip up
John 6:62 “What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? ”
YLT: “if then ye may behold the Son of Man going up where he was before?”
Literal Meaning: it declares manifestly that the Lord Jesus has risen and ascended to the heaven, and His ascension is a great testimony that His work of salvation has been accomplished (Heb 1:3).
John 6:63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. ”
YLT: “the spirit it is that is giving life; the flesh doth not profit anything; the sayings that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life;”
Literal Meaning: “it is the Spirit who gives life”, having passed the death and resurrection, the Lord Jesus has become a quickening spirit (1Cor 15:45 the literal translation). Christ, who has been received by us, gives us life in spirit and comes to be the provision of our life.
“The flesh profits nothing”, the Lord Jesus does not give us His physical body to eat, yet we still profit nothing by even eating His physical body.
“The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” ---- “Word” here refers to the seasonable, transient and subjective word (rhema). The abiding and objective word (logos) that we have read in Bible should be changed into the personal and subjective word, and thus bringing about profit to us. Then, the word of the Lord is spirit and is life.
This verse manifests that the Lord has become the quickening spirit in His resurrection, which has been substantiated and true in His transient word (rhema). If we hold a right attitude towards the word of the Lord, we will receive the provision from the quickening spirit.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The physical body of the Lord Jesus profits us nothing ---- “the flesh profits nothing”, so it is unsuitable for Christians to put up or even worship the image of the Lord Jesus.
2) Believers shall not know Christ according to flesh any longer (see 2Cor5:16), but know the Lord is the spirit. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (2Cor3:17).
3) Since the Lord has become “a quickening spirit”, we shall no longer commune with Him or worship Him in the flesh outwardly, but worship Him in spirit and truth (see 4:24).
4) Things of the Spirit of God are spiritually discerned. If a man wants to know the things of the Spirit of God, he should not discern according to flesh (see 1Cor 2:14-15). Instead, he must open his heart and receive the enlightenment of God.
5) Now the Lord has granted us two great gifts: one is the indwelling spirit in us, and the other is the Holy Bible. The spirit is the real content of the Bible, and the Bible is the detailed description of the spirit.
6) One has received the letter only when he reads the Bible without any contact with the spirit therein. If the spirit is one-sidedly emphasized but the Bible is ignored, one will run to an extreme, separate him from the preservation of truth and even be deceived by the evil spirits.
7) We should often search the words of the Lord and touch the spirit of the Lord. The spirit and words should be employed in equilibrium so that we can obtain richer life of the Lord.
John 6:64 “But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. ”
YLT: “but there are certain of you who do not believe;' for Jesus had known from the beginning who they are who are not believing, and who is he who will deliver him up,”
Meaning of Words: “betray”: surrender, commit;
John 6:65 “And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father." ”
YLT: “and he said, `Because of this I have said to you -- No one is able to come unto me, if it may not have been given him from my Father.'”
Enlightenment in the Word: it is a gift of God that we have been able to believe the Lord Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God (Eph 2:8).
John 6:66 “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. ”
YLT: “From this many of his disciples went away backward, and were no more walking with him,”
Literal Meaning: “from that time many of His disciples went back”, “from that time”: thus, for this reason;
There are two reasons of the disciples’ departure: (1) they came to follow the Lord for being fed by loaves. Once the Lord did not provide them with the physical loaves, they had to went away to make a living by themselves. (2) They could not understand the word of the Lord and regarded it as a hard saying (see v.6). Their departure is due to being not apprehend the truth in the word of the Lord rather than being confronted with trials and tribulations.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) “Many of His disciples went back”, obviously, to be a disciple of Christ is not easy. A well beginning does not guarantee a well termination.
2) Neither the one who loves the treasure on the earth (Mark 10:22), nor he who regards his own and his family more important that the Lord, nor he who is unwilling to take up his cross shall be worthy of Christ’s disciples.
3) There are generally two reasons for believers’ stumbling: “problems concerning life” and “problems concerning the truth”. If Satan fails to cause a believer stumble for problems about life, he will make the believer give up halfway for problems about the truth.
4) We follow the Lord to seek eternity. Only will the fallen Christianity help others to solve the problems of life, but be ignorant of leading others to draw near Christ Himself.
5) A group of men who claim to be Christians do not receive the words of the Lord yet ---- as for some important truth, they do not understand, but doubt, misunderstand, despise or dispute it. They clasp the external form of the Christianity, but refuse the truth of it.
6) To believe, honor and treasure the Bible is the most fundamental and necessary attitude for a Christian. Otherwise, one may give up halfway one day.
John 6:67 “Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?" ”
YLT: “Jesus, therefore, said to the twelve, `Do ye also wish to go away?'”
John 6:68 “But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. ”
YLT: “Simon Peter, therefore, answered him, `Sir, unto whom shall we go? thou hast sayings of life age-during;”
Literal Meaning: “You have the words of eternal life.” ---- It indicates that there is eternal life in the words of the Lord.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Responding to the same words of the Lord, some said: “this is a hard saying; who can understand it?” and some said: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” The differences lay in whether they had faith or not (see v.69).
2) Having known that the Lord have “the words of eternal life” and the eternal value and glory, Peter felt disinclined to devote his heart unto other men or things. So obviously, knowledge is intimately connected with devotion. Only right knowledge brings right devotion.
3) The words of the Lord (“the words of eternal life”) are a touchstone, which is going to try who truly believes Him.
4) All those whose eyes have been open and who know He is the One being filled with the words of life can not follow other things any longer ---- “to whom shall we go?” Evidently, basic knowledge about Christ is the great motive for following Christ and walking with Christ.
John 6:69 “Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." ”
YLT: “and we have believed, and we have known, that thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.'”
Literal Meaning: “also we have come to believe and know that…” the pluperfect tense of the verbs in the original indicates that we have been in a state of believing and knowing. And the state has maintained till now.
“The Son of the living God” refers to “the holy one of God” (the one who has been sanctified by God).
John 6:70 “Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?" ”
YLT: “Jesus answered them, `Did not I choose you -- the twelve? and of you -- one is a devil.”
Meaning of Words: “devil”: false accuser;
Literal Meaning: “and one of you is a devil”, it discloses that this one is the tool of the devil as well as the dwelling of the devil (see 13:2, 27) and has the disposition of the devil.
John 6:71 “He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve. ”
YLT: “And he spake of Judas, Simon's , Iscariot, for he was about to deliver him up, being one of the twelve.”
Literal Meaning: “Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon”, “Iscariot” was possibly a small city in the South of Judaea. In the ancient days, the Jews were used to describe a man with a place-name or his father’s name, e.g. the way of calling Judas in this verse.
“For it was he who would betray Him”, why did the Lord choose Judas as His disciple since He had known Judas would betray Him? There were at least the several reasons as below: (1) “that the scripture might be fulfilled” (see 17:12; 13:18; Matt 26:24, 54; Mark 14:21); (2) The Lord had to suffer from many tribulations when He was on the earth so that He would be able to sympathize with our infirmities (see Heb 4:15). Of all the tribulations, to be betrayed by one’s beloved one is really intolerable. (3) Even Judas who betrayed the Lord should also confess that Jesus is innocent (see Matt 27:4).
III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons
I. Christ is the Bread of Life
A. The bread that Christ Himself is able to feed five thousand and even there remain fragments (v.10-13). ---- The essence of His fullness.
B. The bread that Christ Himself endures to everlasting life (v.27). ---- The essence of His eternity (which is opposite to mortality).
C. He is the living bread which came down from heaven (v. 33, 38, 41, 42, 50, 51, and 58). ---- His heavenly essence (which is opposite to the earthly essence).
D. He is the “true bread” from heaven (v.32). ---- The essence of His truth (which is opposite to falsehood).
E. He is the bread of God (v.33). ---- His divine essence (which is opposite to the mortal essence).
F. He is the bread of life (v.35). ---- His spiritual essence (which is opposite to the material essence).
II. How does Christ come to be the Bread of Men’s Life?
A. The Passover was near (v.4). ---- He had to come to be the Lamb of the Passover and be sacrificed.
B. Five barley loaves and two small fish (v.9). ---- It symbolizes that He was dead and is alive again, thus fulfilling the salvation.
C. He had given thanks He distributed them to (v.11). ---- The Father blesses, and the Son has been broken.
D. Be sealed by God (v.27), be sent by God (v.29, 38-39). ---- To keep the will of God.
E. Came down from the heaven (V.33, 38) ---- To humble Himself and come to the earth.
F. The Son of Man ascends to the place where He had been (v.62) ---- He died and has been raised and ascended to heaven.
is the Spirit who gives life (v
I. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life (v.63b). ---- His words have become the reality of the provision of life.
III. How to Enjoy Christ as the Bread of Life?
A. Go up on the mountain with Jesus (v.3). ---- One shall enter the heavenly surpassing region with the Lord.
B. Devote the five barley loaves and two small fish to the Lord (v.9). ---- One shall devote all that which has obtained from and experienced in the Lord to Him.
C. Give thanks (v
D. Distribute to others (v.11b). ---- One shall be willing to partake with all the saints.
E. Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost (v.12). ---- One shall cherish every grace to obtain more grace.
F. One shall not take Him by force so as to avoid His departure (v.15). ---- One shall be subject to Him instead of utilizing Him.
G. They willingly received Him into the boat (v.21). ---- One shall not fear Him, but be willing to receive Him.
H. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life (v.27). ---- One shall switch his intention of his life to Christ.
I. This is the work of God that you believe in Him whom He sent (v.29). ---- One shall stop his own work rather than receive the work of Christ.
J. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst (v.35). ---- One shall often come to the Lord and look upon His provision in faith.
K. That of all He has given Me I should lose nothing (v.39). ---- One shall commit himself into the Lord’s hands of grace.
L. Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me (v.45). ---- One shall keep his heart being instructed and be willing to endeavor to search the words of God.
M. Eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood (v.53-54). ---- One shall receive the Lord’s being and accomplished works into his heart.
N. Abides in Me, and I in him (v.56). ---- One shall commune often with the Lord.
O. He who feeds on Me will live because of Me (v.57). ---- One shall live by the Lord’s life.
P. It is the Spirit who gives life (v
Q. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life (v.63b). ---- One shall apprehend the words of the Lord in spirit.
R. Be firmly convinced that the Lord have the words of eternal life (v.68-69). ---- One shall not be distracted by any words of men (even the words of some spiritual men), otherwise his faith in the Lord will be affected.
S. Know that only He is the Son of the living God (v.69b). ---- One shall hold fast Christ, for He is different any one who is in the flesh (even the one who is most spiritual).
IV. The Teachings of the Sign of Five Barley Loaves and Two Small Fish
A. Three Distinct Sorts of Attitudes (v.4-9)
1. Philip ---- two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them ---- thought it completely impossible.
2. Andrew ---- “what are they among so many?” ---- believed it was of no avail.
3. The lad ---- delivered his five barley loaves and two small fish to the Lord ---- preferred that the Lord came to take charge of his food.
B. The Works of the Lord Jesus (v.10-11)
1. Make the people sit down ---- He asks men to stop their works to rest before His feet.
2. Take the loaves ---- He accepts men’s devotion.
3. Give thanks to God ---- He confesses that God is the origin of provision.
4. Distribute them to the people as much as they want ---- He bestows the reward to men according to men’s personal measure.
C. The enjoyment for all the People (v.12-13)
1. They were filled ---- they were in want of nothing.
2. Gather up the fragments that remain ---- there still remained.
3. The fragments of the five barley loaves filled twelve baskets ---- the full and rich provision.
D. Two Sorts of different Thoughts (v.14-21)
1. The Jews thought the Lord was the king who came to lead them against the Roman government.
2. The disciples knew the Lord is the King of kings, who exists over all.
V. Six Kinds of Men in this Chapter
A. They followed the Lord, because they saw His signs (v.2)
B. They praised the Lord, because they saw His signs (v.14)
C. They found the Lord, because they had eaten of the loaves and been filled (v.26).
D. They still did not believe the Lord, because they saw the works of the Lord outwardly (v.36).
E. They complained about the Lord, because they knew the Lord only in the flesh (v.41-42).
F. They quarreled, because they had not understood the words of the Lord (v.52).
G. They gave up halfway, because they had not understood the words of the Lord (v.60, 66).
H. They were not moved, because they had held fast the words of the Lord (v.68).
I. They were utilized by the Devil, because they had not believed the words of the Lord (v.64, 70-71).
VI. The Flesh Profits Nothing
A. The sight of the flesh profits nothing. ---- They followed the Lord for having seen signs (v.2)
B. The possession of the flesh profits nothing. ---- Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient (v.7).
C. The mind of the flesh profits nothing. ---- The people took the Lord by force to make Him king, and He departed (v.15).
D. The satisfaction of the flesh profits nothing. ---- They found the Lord for having eaten of the loaves and been filled (v.26).
E. The works of the flesh profits nothing. ---- “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” (v.28)
F. The knowledge of the flesh profits nothing. ---- “… whose father and mother we know?” (v.42)
G. The understanding of the flesh profits nothing. ---- “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?” (v.52)
H. The hearing of the flesh profits nothing. ---- “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” (v.60)
VII. How to Come to the Lord?
A. All that the Father gives the Lord will come to the Lord (v.37, 39).
B. No one can come to the Lord unless the Father who sent Him draws him (v.44).
C. Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to the Lord. (v.45).
D. No one can come to the Lord unless it has been granted to him by the Father (v.65).
VIII. The Reasons for the Disciples’ Halfway Departure
A. They did not understand the words of the Lord and were stumbled in the words of the Lord (v.60-61).
B. They understood the words of the Lord completely through the mind of the flesh (v.63).
C. They did not believe (v.64).
D. They had not been granted by the Father (v.65).
VIII. How to Prevent Men From Departing Halfway?
A. To see the status of the Lord who has raised and ascended (v.62).
know the Lord is the quickening spirit (v
C. To enjoy the transient word of the Lord (v.63b).
D. Only the Lord has the words of eternal life (v.68).
E. To believe the Lord (v.69).
F. To know the Lord is the Son of the living God (“the holy one of God”) (v.69b)
── Caleb Huang《Christian Digest Bible Commentary Series》
Translated by Mary Zhou