Passage Big Idea
That true sustenance in life is found in Jesus.
6:1-21 – Jesus’ displays of power
– 6:1-15 – Feeding lots
– 6:16-21 – Walking on water
6:22-59 – The Bread of Life
– 6:22-40 – The hunger of the crowds
– 6:41-59 – The resistance of the Jews
6:60-71 – People’s response
Some things to look out for
Some random facts/ideas
– This is the halfway point of the first major part of the Gospel, and is a “watershed” moment in people’s response to Jesus. Even with the signs, many abandoned him (6:66).
– People differ on their explanation of the significance of the 12 baskets left over (6:12-13). Carson reckons it’s alluding to the restoration of the 12 tribes of Israel, seen in the forming of the 12 disciples.
– The reference of bread of life is not to the Lord’s Supper (Communion), but to the idea that Jesus is what will bring about life eternal in people.
Old Testament Background
– A new era of redemption (John 6:45 cf. Isaiah 54:13)
– Manna, Moses & the people (Numbers 11)
– The multiplication of the bread is seen as well by Elisha in 2 Kings 4:42-44.
– The prophet in 6:14-15 is a reference to Deuteronomy 18:15-18.
Some possible areas of application
– Often we look for the short-term, instant gratifications in life. Jesus is offering far more than that.
– We mustn’t mistake Jesus being all we need with never struggling over stuff, and wanting something different. We are going to be drawn to other sources of sustenance…but we need to know where true life lies.
– Jesus words and call for belief / trust in him are confronting. They jar against our self-reliance and self-focused goals. In the face of this, we need to keep eternity in perspective as we make decisions.