Gods voice

The Gospel of John – Do not be driven by selfishness

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This section of scripture uncovers the true motivation of the crowd following Jesus: selfishness. This passage is part of a long dialogue where Christ clarifies the meaning of His miracles. Jesus has just explained that He, Himself, is the ”Bread of Life” which people are meant to seek. In response, the people complain amongst themselves. Jesus will give a further explanation of what He means by claiming to be the ”Bread of Life.” This, as is turns out, will make the crowd even more agitated, as the people move from seeking the truth, to complaining, to outright argument.

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41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”

43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” John 6: 41-51

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Moans and Groans

Good works cannot save you! Only belief in the Son of Man can result in salvation, in eternal life and that Jesus is from heaven – these are claims the Jews see as controversial. To “mutter, to complain, or to grumble” – the Greek term is egongyzon – this is exactly the people’s reaction. This sort of reaction is a common reaction for the Israelites throughout their history – they would often complain when God didn’t follow their preferred plan.

Jesus’ teachings are really beginning to annoy the people but He continues to drive His political popularity despite this. The people’s annoyance only goes to prove the point Christ made when the crowds first arrived in Capernaum – their interest is in entertainment, signs and handouts and not in the truth.

The people see the miracles and hear the claims, but still do not believe.

Jesus making a public claim to have “come down from heaven” confused those who misunderstood His meaning. Some traditions held that the Messiah would virtually appear “out of nowhere so the idea that a thirty-year-old peasant from a small village could be the Promised One seemed absurd.

Some of Jesus’ teachings in the Gospels where Christ makes “do” or “do not” statements are instructive and meant to demonstrate Him as gentle in character as that of a teacher, or a guide. This is not one of those times. Jesus has performed miracles! He has clearly explained eternal life to the people – but still they respond with outrageous requests, lame excuses and now they are mumbling under their breath. Christ’s comments here are to sound coach-like but rather a scolding as if to say: “knock it off!”

Jesus again repeats the idea that He, Himself, is the Bread of Life, and the source of eternal salvation. They can either accept it or reject it, but they cannot later claim they did not know right from wrong.

Accept Jesus as the Bread of Life!

Eternal Life


John 6:44: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.” An almost identical from Jesus’ words in verse 37. By now the conversation has moved from the streets of Capernaum into the synagogue. Jesus restates this for emphasis as part of a back-and-forth debate.

Jesus repeats for the third time the idea that those whom God sends to Him will see eternal life (John 6:37; 39-40). This supports the doctrine of eternal security – meaning that those who are truly saved cannot ever lose their salvation, under any circumstances.

Once a person has come to faith in Christ, Christ will raise that person up to eternal life.


The Word of God provides many truths, and those who read them and know them have an obligation to follow the truth wherever they lead. Jesus here makes the claim that those who truly follow the Word of God will recognise that His claims are true. And yet the crowd still demanded that they an additional miracle—before they would accept the truth. But Jesus points out that they must be willing to learn the truth before they can see it.

Faith is believing in the unseen!


In this case, it is that God sends the Bread of Life, in the form of a Person. Those who accept this Messiah, by believing in Him, are guaranteed eternal life.

Jesus has knowledge which only He can possess—there are things He alone can speak of, since only He has seen them. No other person has experienced those heavenly things. This is why Jesus alone is the sole legitimate authority for spiritual truth.

“I am the bread of life.”

Jesus again repeats this claim. In the verses just before this, He has pointed out that since He is the only one who came from heaven, He is the only one who can speak with firsthand knowledge about it. This is why Jesus uses the “truly, truly” phrasing in John 6:47, to emphasise the original, personal, absolute nature of His claims.

In the next verses, Jesus gives a deeper explanation for how the manna provided for Israel in the wilderness was only a foreshadowing of His own ministry.

The manna found in the Old Testament is a prophecy of Jesus Christ. Its properties indicated the nature of Jesus: small (indicating humility), white (indicating purity), round (symbolic of eternity), and arriving at night (spiritual darkness). Manna, like salvation in Christ, could only be received—it could not be earned or made. Manna also provided the people with only two options: accept it and live, or disrespect it by walking right over it. The same choice—and only those two options—face all people when it comes to Christ.

Jesus’ statement that “this is the bread that comes down from heaven” has two purposes. First, it emphasises that Jesus is explaining the true meaning and the true purpose behind the symbol of bread. Secondly, Jesus is explicitly referring to Himself as the fulfillment of this idea. In the wilderness, God sent a source of physical life from heaven in the form of bread. Now, God has sent the source of eternal life from heaven in the form of Jesus Christ.

This final verse in this passage contains the statement which truly derails Jesus’ worldly popularity. Showing that His ministry is spiritual, not physical, has taken some of that enthusiasm away from people to make Him king. Now Jesus refers to the real role of the Messiah: to suffer and die for the people.The offering which will grant eternal life to those who believe is Jesus’ body: His flesh.



Don’t be selfish and only focus on your need for proof – believe in Christ and be saved!

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Daily Prayer – Thirst for the Gospel!

Advertisements God’s Word Is Real! 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 Heavenly Father, Grant us a greater obedience to Your will, a more fervent love forContinue reading →

The Gospel of John – Walk on Water

Advertisements This is the by far one my favourite signs and wonders Jesus performs. In this part of John’s account of the Gospel, Jesus walks on water, we’ll get to the details in a bit. There are similar accounts of this story in the Gospel of Matthew 14:22-33 and Mark 6: 45-52, but it isContinue reading →

The Gospel of John – Supernatural Overflow

Advertisements This is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospel accounts (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-15), which shows it is very significant to Jesus’ mission and so we won’t forget how much the Lord can do with the little things that are given to Him. The feeding of the 5 000Continue reading →

Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in The Gospel of John, 1 comment

The Gospel of John – I Am the Bread of Life

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As we continue through Chapter 6 of the Gospel of John, we find that the people are still showing more interest in the spectacle of Jesus miraculous works rather than the message and meaning intended in His works. They are seeking but they do not seek the truth.

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Jesus the Bread of Life

25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”

26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”

32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”

35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day” John 6:25-40

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The Physical vs the Spiritual

In this passage, Christ begins explaining the true meaning behind His miracles and His ministry. This includes the first time he declares Himself as the ”I AM” – declaring His own divinity. Jesus clarifies that physical things such as bread are meant to be symbols of a spiritual truth. Christ describes how material things fade away, but His real purpose is to give people eternal life. Scripture is consistent in reminding us that we need more than just physical material things in order to live and thrive — we need to be nourished spiritually, continually.

The people see the miracle, but miss the meaning.

Christ’s actions have an important message to churches today: do not attempt to keep high attendance with great entertainment and free hand-outs. Rather, we should introduce people to the Gospel, and then let them decide how to respond to Christ.

In verse 27, Jesus is not saying we should not work nor saying we should be lazy, rather His point is that we should be concerned with eternal rewards. Jesus refers to the “Son of Man” which the Jewish audience be familiar with as a reference to Daniel’s prophecy of the long-promised Messiah (Daniel 7:13–14). Following this, the people’s response still show their preoccupation with works when they ask Him how they can work for this promised bread. Jesus response here is echoed throughout Scripture – Believe in the One whom God has sent to obtain this eternal bread, eternal life.

The reaction of the crowd in the next verse is amazingly short-sighted. Faced with this outrageous claim made by Jesus, the crowd demands miraculous proof—even though it was Jesus’ miracles which led them to follow Him in the first place!

Isn’t this true for a lot of Christians today. We fail or struggle to see the work of God in our lives. We want physical proof. Now! Not later! We are impatient. And sometimes, when God comes through for us in His time, we fail to thank Him and bless Him for it.

The people refer to the manna that Moses provided them in the wilderness and now demand another grander sign as Jesus claims to be greater than Moses. Naturally, Jesus responds perfectly. He corrects the crowd and tells them that God provided the manna for them and that their focus should be on God – His requirement of faithful belief instead of ritual obedience to laws.

The True “I AM”

Verse 35, Jesus makes His very first I AM statement: “35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty”. It is a very bold statement to make as God Himself made the same statement to Moses from the burning bush. So Jesus is telling the people that He too, is God. Saying He is “I AM” provides a greater perspective on His mission.

Here, Jesus explicitly declares that He, Himself, is the One sent by God!

Eternal life is found only through belief in Jesus Christ. Saving faith is portrayed as to bread and water: we must take it inside of ourselves — acceptance is a requirement for these blessings to have any effect on us!

The Father’s Will Be Done

The Saviour’s Gift

 God makes a universal offer of salvation to all people. He cries that “whosoever will” may come! Anyone who will come to Jesus will be saved. Those who will not come to Jesus will never be saved. That is the bottom line! The first part of verse 37 tells us about the Father’s gift to the Son, Jesus Christ. This gift is given to Jesus as His reward for all that He suffered here on earth. This gift is the proof and the promise that His mission into this world was not in vain. This gift, though hard to comprehend for us, is a greater blessing than we can fathom. The word “all” in this verse is genuinely all encompassing – all those the Father brings to Jesus and all those who come to Jesus speaks of those who would place their faith in Jesus for salvation.

The Saviour’s Grace

Being saved is not some difficult, mystical process. You don’t do works to be saved. All you have to do is look toward Jesus by faith and trust that His grace is sufficient to save your soul, the rest is up to Him! It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’ve been. If you are lost, Jesus will save your soul if you will come to Him by faith. That is His promise! He will not cast you out!

The Saviour’s Guarantee

God does not just hope that none of His people will be lost. He has declared that not a single one of those He has saved by His grace will ever be lost! That is a guarantee. God did not send Jesus to this world to live and die so that some people might be saved, God sent Jesus here to die for all His people so that everyone who looked to Jesus by faith for salvation would have the guarantee of eternal life. That is His plan!

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Daily Prayer – Thirst for the Gospel!

Advertisements God’s Word Is Real! 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 Heavenly Father, Grant us a greater obedience to Your will, a more fervent love forContinue reading →

The Gospel of John – Walk on Water

Advertisements This is the by far one my favourite signs and wonders Jesus performs. In this part of John’s account of the Gospel, Jesus walks on water, we’ll get to the details in a bit. There are similar accounts of this story in the Gospel of Matthew 14:22-33 and Mark 6: 45-52, but it isContinue reading →

The Gospel of John – Supernatural Overflow

Advertisements This is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospel accounts (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-15), which shows it is very significant to Jesus’ mission and so we won’t forget how much the Lord can do with the little things that are given to Him. The feeding of the 5 000Continue reading →

Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in The Gospel of John, 3 comments

The Gospel of John – Walk on Water

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This is the by far one my favourite signs and wonders Jesus performs. In this part of John’s account of the Gospel, Jesus walks on water, we’ll get to the details in a bit. There are similar accounts of this story in the Gospel of Matthew 14:22-33 and Mark 6: 45-52, but it is only in the book of Matthew that we learn that Peter also walked on the water. It is this particular part of the story that I love so much! Keep reading to find out why.

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Jesus Walks on the Water

16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, 17 where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. 18 A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. 20 But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” 21 Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.

22 The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples, but that they had gone away alone. 23 Then some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus. John 6: 16-24

Obedience can lead us into a storm

Obedience to God does not always lead to blessing and favour. This part of the story is one such example. Jesus sends His disciples away from the crowd for a few reasons. We see in John 6:15 that the crowd is willing to use force to make Jesus king. To involve the disciples in political unrest would put them in a difficult situation with the Roman Empire. Also, we could consider that Jesus doesn’t want the disciples to let the crowd’s admiration feed their egos. Christ’s miracles are always attached to a Spiritual lesson, feed the 5000, is no different. Removing His disciples from this situation solves all three of these problems at the same time.

The disciples are sailing to the other side of the Sea of Galilee specifically in obedience to Jesus instructions. Jesus told them to get into a boat and head across the water. As we’ll see later, their obedience leads them directly into a storm on the sea.

If God calls you to His will, and you obey, you will face backlash from this fallen world!

But, the good thing is Jesus is watching them from the shore, during their struggle with the storm (Mark 6:47). John 6:17 states that Jesus “had not yet joined them” out on the water. Even while the men were afraid about their situation, they were under His watchful eyes.

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There is purpose in our trials. Rest assured – God is watching us always!

Jesus will come

At the time of day described here, the disciples are in the middle of a mess: a rough, stormy sea long before sunrise. At this point, Jesus walks out on to the water. Their fear is of the storm, but also that they first assume Jesus is a ghost. Jesus’ intervention here happens in an unexpected way. In the same way, in our lives, God intervenes in ways we do not expect – at first this may frighten us, but it will always be for our good. We can trust Jesus will come to rescue us.

This is the part of the story I love the most. Jesus is miraculously walking on the water. Jesus says to them: ” 20 But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid” (John 6:20). Although the Gospel of John does not include this next part, it is found in Matthew’s account. Peter (being the forward and bold one of the group), says to Jesus: 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water” (Matthew 14:28). Peter gets out the boat and also walks on the water, the same as Jesus does. But something goes terribly wrong – instead of keeping his focus on Jesus, he becomes aware of the storm and shifts his attention to the storm. What happens? Peter begins to sink. Why did he sink? He lost faith! But, Jesus was there, ready and waiting to catch Peter before he sank.

You might feel you are sinking in your circumstances. Trust Jesus will show up. At exactly the right time!

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Look to Jesus

  1. Look for Jesus and keep looking to Jesus. Although a storm surrounds us, we must look to Jesus. The problem is when we stop looking at Jesus. The principle is clear: especially when life is a tumultuous storm, look for Jesus and keep looking to Jesus.
  2. When Jesus commands you, obey Him. Jesus told Peter to “come” to Him on the water. Even though it made no sense, Peter did what Jesus said. This is what obedience looks like–doing what Jesus says.
  3. Faith is simply taking the next step. Peter took one step to get out of the boat and onto the water. Peter was doing just fine when he was focused on the next step and got into trouble when he lost sight of his next step. 
  4. Faith unleashes the supernatural. Peter did not experience the supernatural power of God that allowed him to walk on water until he trusted as evidenced by his actions.
  5. Fear will sink you. When Peter had faith, he walked on water. When he had fear, he sank in the water. The same is true for us. Fear will sink us.
  6. Jesus saves you from many things. Jesus not only saved Peter from hell but on this occasion, Jesus saved Peter from drowning.
  7. A little faith is better than no faith. The Lord Jesus spoke of Peter’s “little faith”. This means that he was capable of even greater sustained faith.
  8. You can choose to worry or worship. In an instant, the men went from worrying about their circumstances to worshipping their Christ.
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The Gospel of John – Supernatural Overflow

Advertisements This is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospel accounts (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-15), which shows it is very significant to Jesus’ mission and so we won’t forget how much the Lord can do with the little things that are given to Him. The feeding of the 5 000Continue reading →

The Gospel of John – Testimonies about Jesus

Advertisements Jesus continues his response to His critics in Jerusalem. Up to now, Jesus has healed a crippled man on the Sabbath and He has claimed to be equal with God in works, love, judgment and honour. Now, Jesus speaks about the evidence to His claims. Jesus does not just say: “Have faith” or “believeContinue reading →

The Gospel of John – The Authority of the Son

Advertisements Jesus’ intentionality Christ’s authority- Jesus chose often to perform miracles or other works on the Sabbath. We must remember that Jesus was, and still is, intentional in everything He did and He follows His Father’s instructions. A likely explanation is that Jesus is deliberately provoking the Pharisees by confronting them with their own hypocrisy.Continue reading →

Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in The Gospel of John, 3 comments