LESSON 4

THE BREAD OF LIFE
(JOHN 6)

Outline of John Chapter 6  

1A. Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand (John 6:1-14).
2A. Jesus Walks on the Water (John 6:15-21).
3A. Jesus Is Sought After (John 6:22-29).
4A. Jesus Is the Bread of Life (John 6:30-59).
5A. Jesus Loses Many of His Followers (John 6:60-71).

Jesus Feeds The Five Thousand

As we come to John chapter 6 we learn of yet another miracle that Jesus performed (compare John 6:14). What are some of the miracles that we have already studied in the first five chapters of John's gospel?

The feeding of the five thousand is one miracle that all four gospel writers tell us about. You can read about this event not only here in John chapter 6 but also in Matthew 14:15-21; Mark 6:32-44 and Luke 9:12-17. It must have been an important miracle if the Bible tells us about it in four different places!

What is another name for the Sea of Galilee (John 6:1)?_________________________________ Can you find this large lake on a map of Palestine? It was near the shores of the Sea of Galilee that Jesus performed this miracle. In fact, the two small fish that the young boy had (see John 6:9) must have been caught in this sea (which was like a large lake, comparable to Sebago Lake in Maine).

Why was there such a great multitude (crowd) of people following Jesus (read John 6:2 and circle the correct answer):

  1. because they wanted to be saved and have their sins forgiven

  2. because they wanted Jesus to be their Lord and Master and do whatever He said

  3. because they had seen the way He had healed those who were diseased

  4. because they wanted to be born again

How many people were there when Jesus performed this feeding miracle? This miracle is usually called "the feeding of the 5000" but actually more than 5000 were fed. We learn in John 6:10 that there were about ____________________________________ men. This does not include women and children (see Matthew 14:21). If we include all the women and children who were there the total number of people may have been as high as 8 or 10 thousand or even more! Have you ever been in a crowd 10,000 people or more (perhaps an athletic event?)? Suppose you had to make a lunch for this many people. How much would you need to spend at the grocery store?

Philip was one of the 12 disciples. We first met Philip in John 1:43. What question did Jesus ask Philip (John 6:5)? ______________________________________________ Jesus already ______________ what He would do (John 6:6) but He wanted to test Philip and see what Philip would say.

Philip thought it was totally impossible to buy food for such a vast number of people. Would even 200 pennies (200 denarii) be enough to buy bread for each person to take just a little (John 6:7)? ______ Two hundred denarii is a large sum of money. The silver denarius was a Roman coin. It was the amount of money that an average worker would receive for one day's work. For a man to earn two hundred denarii he would have to work _________ days! How much money does an average worker today make for one day's work? Multiply this by 200 and you will understand the amount of money Philip was talking about!

Philip should have said something like this: "Lord, it's impossible for us to buy food for all of these people. If You want these people fed then You will have to do something. A miracle is needed! We can't do it but GOD CAN! I'm going to trust You to do what is best for these people!"

Another disciple, Andrew, pointed to a boy who had two barley loaves and two small fish. Did Andrew think that this amount of food would satisfy the hungry multitudes (John 6:9)?______ These barley cakes were not as large as modern loaves of bread, and the two fish that he had were small also. IT WASN'T MUCH!

Like this lad, we may not have much, but it is amazing what God can do with the little we have IF WE GIVE THE LITTLE TO HIM! Do you have few talents and few abilities? Have you given what you do have to the Lord? My little becomes much when I give it to God! By faith I place it into His hands and watch Him multiply it, bless it and use it for His glory! Little is much if God is in it.

Fanny Crosby was a blind woman who wrote many of the hymns we love to sing ("To God Be the Glory" "Blessed Assurance" "Praise Him! Praise Him!" and many more). Her life illustrates the fact that God can bless and use the little that a person has:

There was once a little blind girl;
She couldn't even see;
But she had a little talent
For writing verse and poetry.
The little bit that she could do
She gave to her Lord and King;
And now the entire Christian world
Can better rejoice and praise and sing.
Who could this little blind girl be?
Her name is long remembered--Fanny Crosby

Jesus had the people sit down in groups on the grass (John 6:10). It was Spring (Passover season--John 6:4) and at this time of the year there was plenty of grass. Did the Lord Jesus give thanks to God before the people began eating (John 6:11)?_______ Did the Apostle Paul give thanks to God before eating (Acts 27:35)?_________ Do you give thanks to God before eating? _____

The actual miracle is described in John 6:11-13. Did the people eat as much as they wanted? _____ Were they filled?_______ Were there any "leftovers"?________ Was any food wasted (John 6:12)?______This last verse is a good reminder that our Lord does not want us to waste things. Can you think of ways that people today often waste food and other items?

Exactly how Jesus performed this miracle we are not told. We just know that He did it! The same God who created a universe out of nothing and who changed water into wine is the same God who took 5 loaves and 2 fish and somehow made more and more and more loaves and fish! Is anything too hard for the Creator?

Some people who do not believe the Bible have another explanation for what they think really happened on this day. They would say something like this: "The people really had their lunches hidden away (under their robes?), but when they saw the way the little boy shared his loaves and fish they suddenly decided not to be selfish any longer. Instead they all began to bring out their food and share with one another!" Does the Bible say that it happened this way? ______ Some people because of their unbelief try to get rid of the miracles found in the Bible, but John 6:14 makes it very clear that what Jesus did was nothing less than a M_________________________.

Can you think of another time when God miraculously fed thousands and thousands of people (perhaps 2 million people or more)? This took place in the days of Moses when the children of Israel were in the desert wilderness. Every day God provided "manna" to feed and nourish the people (see John 6:31). Hundreds of years later Jesus fed a great multitude of Jews by the Sea of Galilee and many of them probably thought about Moses and about the Great Prophet that Moses said would someday come into the world (see John 6:14 and compare Deuteronomy 18:15-19).

Jesus Walks on the Water

After Jesus fed this vast multitude, what did the people want to make Jesus (John 6:15)? _________________ They were so eager to do this that they were even ready to "take Him by ________________" (John 6:15). Why did they think Jesus would make the ideal King? Why was Jesus their first choice as King? They probably thought something like this: "With Jesus as our King all of our problems will be over. Whenever we are sick Jesus will heal us (John 6:2)! Whenever we are hungry Jesus will feed us and fill us (John 6:11-12)! He will take care of all our physical and material needs!" There is only one problem with all of this. Jesus' main purpose for coming to earth was not to take care of man's physical and material needs. He came to earth to take care of man's SPIRITUAL NEEDS! Jesus knew that the real problem was man's heart and soul, not his body and stomach!

Jesus then withdrew from the crowds and found a place where He could be A_____________ (John 6:15). That night his disciples entered a boat and started off towards Capernaum. They did this because Jesus had told them to (compare Matthew 14:22). As they made their way across the large lake a violent storm arose (John 6:18). The meaning of John 6:19 is that they had rowed about 3 or 4 miles (a furlong is about 1/8 of a mile or about 600 feet) and therefore they were located somewhere in the middle of the lake.

What had Jesus told His disciples? Did He tell them to go to the other side of the lake or did He tell them to drown in the middle of the lake (see Matthew14:22)? _______________________________________ As the storm arose the disciples should have trusted the Lord and said something like this: "Lord, You commanded us to go to the other side and we have obeyed Your Word. We are counting on You to get us safely to the other side. The storm is great but our Lord is greater !"

In the middle of the lake and in the middle of the storm the disciples suddenly saw a miracle! What did they see (John 6:19)? ______________________________________________ Jesus did the impossible! The laws of nature (gravity, etc.) say that it is impossible for a person to walk on water. But is God greater than the laws which He has made? _____ God is not a slave to His own laws! Even in Old Testament times God showed that He is the Lord over gravity (see 2 Kings 6:1-7)!

When the disciples saw Jesus "they were _________________" (John 6:19) because they thought it was a phantom or ghost (see Matthew 14:26). Why did they not need to be afraid (John 6:20)?________________________________________ Fear and faith do not live together in the same house! When faith comes in, fear must leave! Those who put their trust in the Lord do not need to be afraid no matter how great life's storms might be. "When I am afraid, I will trust in Thee" (Psalm 56:3).

What other miracle took place on this lake that John does not tell us about (see Matthew 14:28-31)? ___________________________________________________________ What else happened as soon as Peter and Jesus were in the boat (Matthew 14:32)? ________________________________________ What else happened according to John 6:21?_________________________________________________________________This was quite a remarkable boat trip! The disciples never forgot this nighttime journey!

Jesus Is Sought After

As we have already seen, what did the people want to do to Jesus (John 6:15)? _______________________________________________ They wanted a King who could heal their bodies and fill their stomachs and free them from Roman rule. When many of the Jews could not find Jesus they went seeking after Him (John 6:22-24) and on the next day they found Him on the other side of the lake (John 6:25). Why were these people seeking Jesus (read John 6:26 and circle the correct answer):
  

a.

because they saw the miracles.

b.

because they wanted to turn from their sinful ways. 

c.

because they wanted to be born again.

d.

because Jesus was the One who had filled their stomachs.

e.

because they wanted God's gift of eternal life.

Jesus spoke to these people in John 6:27 (the word "meat" means "food"). Is there something more important than the food that we eat at mealtime? _____ It is true that Jesus gave them bread and fish for their stomachs, but there is another kind of food that Jesus wants to give unto men, a food which endureth unto ____________________________________ (John 6:27). How would you like to eat something and then live forever! That's the kind of food men should labor and work for!

The Jews seemed interested in working for that kind of food, so they asked, "What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?" (John 6:28) Jesus gave them a very clear answer. What is the one thing that God wants men to do (John 6:29)? B__________________ on Him whom He (the Father) hath sent, namely JESUS CHRIST! What is the ONE THING that pleases God (Hebrews 11:5-6)? ____________________ What is the first thing that God commands an unsaved person to do (see the first part of 1 John 3:23)?______________________________________ According to John 6:29, what is the work of God? 

a.

that we should be baptized

b.

that we should do good works

c.

that we should believe in Jesus Christ

d.

that we should try to keep the 10 Commandments

e.

that we should try to love God with all our hearts

This is the one thing that the Jews did not want to do! They did not want to BELIEVE but they wanted to S_______ (John 6:30). They wanted to SEE SIGNS! These people said, "LET US SEE AND THEN WE WILL BELIEVE!" But SEEING SIGNS does not produce faith! In fact, what signs and miracles had these people already seen (John 6:2,14)? _________________________________________________________________________
 Have these people seen (John 6:36)?________ Have these people believed (John 6:36)?_______

Jesus Is The Bread of Life

What kind of food was Jesus talking about in John 6:27? The Jews were puzzled. Was Jesus saying that He would give them bread from heaven even as the children of Israel received the manna in the days of Moses (John 6:31)? No, Jesus was talking about something much better than manna: "my Father giveth you the ______________________________from heaven" (John 6:32). What is this true bread? In John 6:33 we learn that the TRUE BREAD is... 

a.

Something that you can put in your mouth and eat

b.

A PERSON--Someone who comes down from heaven 
and who can give people LIFE

c.

Manna

Did the Jews seem to be interested in this kind of bread (John 6:34)? ______ WHO IS the Bread of Life (John 6:35)?______________________________ What kind of people will never hunger (John 6:35)? _________________________________________ What kind of people will never thirst (John 6:35)? ________________________________________ Have you done these two things?________ Jesus Christ completely SATISFIES man's spiritual hunger and thirst! Those who refuse to come to Christ and those who refuse to believe on Him will never be fully satisfied.

Safe and Secure Forever

What promise does Jesus give to the person who comes to Him (John 6:37)?_______________________________________________ The words "no wise" mean NEVER! He will NEVER cast out the person who comes to Him in simple faith! What would you say to the person who says something like this: "I'm so great a sinner that I am afraid to come to Christ. I am afraid that He will not accept me"?  Remember, all who come will be received and welcomed. How many will be cast out  (John 6:37)? ____________

How many believers will Jesus Christ lose (John 6:39)? _________ Every person who believes in Christ is safe and secure FOREVER! God not only SAVES but He keeps people saved! Every person who sees the Son (compare the "serpent in the wilderness"--John 3:14-16 and see Chapter 2 of these notes) and believes on Him will have ___________________________ (John 6:40). It is GOD'S WILL that believers have eternal life and that they should not be lost (John 6:38-40)! These verses teach us that it is impossible for a  true believer to LOSE HIS SALVATION!

Did the Jews really BELIEVE that Jesus had come down from heaven (John 6:41-42)?_____ They could only see the "HUMAN JESUS" (John 6:42). They did not understand that He was the Heavenly Creator who had come down to earth. What did we learn in John chapter 1 (verses 1-18) which clearly taught that Jesus did come down from heaven? Jesus was not the son of Joseph (John 6:42), but as Peter said later, Jesus was the "Son of the __________________________________ (John 6:69)!

Did Jesus know all about what these Jews were thinking about Him (John 6:43)? _____ These Jews were unable to come to Christ (John 6:44) because they were unwilling to come to Him (compare John 5:40). In their unbelief they refused to come to the Saviour. To illustrate this, read about Joseph's brother in Genesis 37:4--"they C___________ N______ speak peaceably unto him." Why were Joseph's brothers unable to speak to Joseph in the right way? They could not because they would not! Because of their sin of jealousy and hatred for their brother they were unwilling to speak to him peaceably! So likewise, man in his sinfulness is unwilling to come to the Saviour. He would rather stay in the dark (John 3:19-20). He refuses to do the one thing Jesus says he must do to have everlasting life. What is this one thing (John 6:47)? ______________________________________ The gift of eternal life belongs to every person who believes in Christ!

Think about the manna that the children of Israel ate in the days of Moses. When they ate the manna did they have eternal life (John 6:49)? _____ If a person eats of the bread that Jesus gives, will he ever die (John 6:50)?________This person will "live F_________________" (John 6:51).

Eating His Flesh and Drinking His Blood

Jesus went on to tell the Jews something that puzzled them even more! What bread did Jesus give for people to eat (John 6:51)? "the bread that I will give is my _____________" Did the Jews understand this (John 6:52)? _______ What did Jesus give for man to drink (John 6:53-54)? _______________________________

Jesus knew that in one year's time He would go to Jerusalem and die on the cross. His flesh and body would be hung on a cross and His blood would be shed. He would die so that the world might live (see the last 6 words in John 6:51). This is what Jesus meant when He spoke of His flesh and His blood.

But how can a person eat His flesh and drink His blood? Jesus said that if a person does not do this he will have no L_________ (John 6:53)! The person who does eat His flesh and drink His blood has E_____________ L_________! What did He mean by this?

There are those today who believe that when they take communion (sometimes called "THE MASS") they are eating Christ's flesh and drinking His blood. They believe that the bread and the cup are changed into the actual body and blood of Jesus. But Jesus was not teaching any kind of cannibalism (people actually eating a person). The communion bread and cup are meant to REMIND us of what Jesus did for us (1 Corinthians 11:24,25-"this do in _________________________________of Me"). No, when Jesus spoke of eating His flesh and drinking His blood He meant something else.

How can a person "eat" Christ? How can a person partake of Christ? The key word in John chapter 6 is the word "BELIEVE." In John 6:29-47 can you find that key word? Verses:______    ______    _______    _______    ______    ________(6 times). The best way to understand the true meaning of John 6:54 is to compare it with a similar verse found in John 6:40:

JOHN 6:40

Who has everlasting life and who will be raised up on the last day?

JOHN 6:54

Who has eternal life and who will be raised up on the last day?

"EVERYONE WHO SEETH THE __________ AND __________________ON HIM!"

HE WHO "EATS MY ______________ AND DRINKS MY _________________"

Therefore, who is the person who eats Christ's flesh and drinks His blood? EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES ON CHRIST (THAT HE DIED BODILY ON THE CROSS AND SHED HIS BLOOD FOR MY SALVATION)! This is the person who has a real and wonderful relationship with Christ (John 6:56).

Food and drink do not do a person any good unless the person partakes of the food and drink. If the food just sits on the plate and the drink in the glass, then what good is it? We must personally receive the food and put it into our mouth and swallow it and make it part of us! The same is true with Jesus Christ. By faith we must personally receive what He has done for us on the cross: He died FOR ME! He shed His blood FOR ME! He went to the cross to save ME! Do you need such a Saviour? Will you allow Him to save your soul and make you whole?  Do you believe on Him with all your heart? If you do, then you will L__________ F_____________________ (John 6:58)!

Jesus Loses Many of His Followers

One day earlier Jesus had fed the multitudes and there were thousands of people present at that time. As we come to the end of John Chapter 6 we learn that more and more people turned away from Jesus. They loved the bread that filled their stomachs but they did not love the WORDS which Jesus spoke! Most of these "enthusiastic seekers" (see John 6:24) quickly lost their enthusiasm. They wanted food for their stomachs but they did not want food for their souls? Did they find His teaching easy or hard to digest (John 6:60)? ________________________ The problem was not with what Jesus said: "The words that I speak unto you, they are _________________ and they are ___________" (John 6:63). The problem was with the hearts of the people. Because of their sin and unbelief, they were not ready to receive these words of life!

Does Jesus know who will be a true believer and who will not be (John 6:64)? _____ Does He already know who will go to heaven and who will not? ______ Did Jesus know all about Judas even from the very beginning (John 6:64,70-71)? _____ God knows everything! Are you a believer or not? Are you going to heaven or not? TODAY is the time to come to Christ and believe on Him! God commands you to do it (1 John 3:23 and see John 6:29). If you refuse to come to Christ and believe on Him, whose fault is it? ___________________  Has Christ invited you to come (Matthew 11:28)? _______

What did MANY of Jesus' disciples do (John 6:66)? _______________________________________________Compare John 8:31. The Lord had MANY DISCIPLES but FEW "DISCIPLES INDEED" (few true disciples). There are few that CONTINUE IN HIS ____________(John 8:31). Was Peter one of the FEW (John 6:67-69)?______________

Though the Lord started with thousands of people (the day before), how many did He end up with (John 6:67)? ________________ Soon He would lose one more (John 6:70-71) whose name was ____________________

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Are you going to be a PETER who stays with the Lord or are you going to be a JUDAS who turns away from the Lord? We each should think about the question Jesus asked:

"WILL YOU ALSO GO _____________?"
JOHN 6:67

 

Is there really anyone else to go to (John 6:68)? _______ Don't turn away from Him but COME TO HIM! He will never cast you out (John 6:37)!

Jesus said,
"________________UNTO ME"
Matthew11:28


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