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The bread of life

The next day, the crowd that had remained on the other shore knew only one boat had been there. Likewise, they knew that Jesus had not gotten on board with his disciples and that they had gone off without him. Some boats from Tiberias approached the site where Jesus had fed the large crowd after giving thanks for the bread. When this crowd noticed that Jesus and his disciples weren’t there, they boarded the boats and set sail for Capernaum to look for Jesus.

They found him when they reached the opposite shore, and said “When did you get here, Rabbi?”

Jesus answered “Truly, you went searching for me not because you saw miracles happen, but because you were filled by the loaves of bread you ate. Don’t spend your energy on food that rots. Seek the food that remains so you have eternal life instead. The Son of Man will give you this because God the Father has approved him.”

“How do we perform God’s works?” they asked.

Jesus answered “This is God’s work – believe in the One he sent.”

They questioned him further, saying “By what sign will we know that you are the one? Our ancestors ate manna in the wilderness. The Scriptures say ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.'”

Jesus replied “That bread didn’t come from Moses. My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. God’s bread is the One who is sent by God from heaven to give life to the world.”

Then they said “Sir, give us that bread forever!”

Jesus told them “I am the bread of life. Those who come to me will never be hungry again. Those who believe in me will never be thirsty again. But as I’ve said before, you have seen me and still you don’t believe. Everyone who my Father has sent to me will come to me, and I will never reject them. I have come down from heaven to do the will of the One who sent me, and not my own. This is the will of God – that I shall not lose anyone God has sent to me, and that I should raise them up to everlasting life on the last day. This is the will of my Father who sent me – that I should raise up everyone he has given me on the last day, and not lose a single one. My Father’s will is for everyone who sees and believes in the Son to have eternal life and be raised up on the last day.”

Certain Jews began to argue about him because he said “I am the bread that descended from heaven.” They were saying “Don’t we know his parents? Isn’t this Jesus the son of Joseph? Why is he saying ‘I have descended from heaven.’?”

Jesus answered “Stop arguing among yourselves. The only people who come to me are those who the Father calls and I will raise them up on the final day. The prophets wrote ‘Everyone will be taught by God.’ Everyone who has been taught by God and hears God’s voice comes to me. The only one who has seen the Father is the one who is sent from God. I’m telling you the truth: anyone who believes already has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness and they are dead now. The bread that I’m telling you about is the bread that comes from heaven, and anyone who eats it will never die. I am that living bread from heaven. My own body is the bread that I will give so that the world will live.”

Some of the Jews began to argue about this, saying “How can he give us his flesh to eat?”

Jesus answered “Truly, you do not have life in you unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man. Anyone who does this will have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day, because my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood is alive in me, and I am in him. In the same way that the living Father sent me and I am alive because of the Father’s will, anyone who feeds on me will be full of life through me. The bread that came down from heaven is not like that which your ancestors ate. They have died, but this bread makes those who eat it live forever.”

Jesus said all of this while he was teaching in the Capernaum synagogue.

JN 6:22-59

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