John 6 Bible Study

Bible study of John chapter 6

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John 6:1-10 Bible Study

John 6:11-13 Bible Study: Twelve Baskets
John 6:14-17 Bible Study: The Prophet
John 6:18-21 Bible Study: Do Not Be Afraid
John 6:22-25 Bible Study: Seeking Jesus
John 6:26-29 Bible Study: Work of God
John 6:30-34 Bible Study: Bread From Heaven
John 6:35-71 Bible Study: I Am the Bread of Life
JOHN 6:1-4  1 After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. 2 Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased. 3 And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples. 4 Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near.

How much time had elapsed since the beginning of Jesus' ministry?
About one year, as this is the second "Passover" (John 6:4) mentioned, so Jesus is one-third into His three-year ministry. This Passover is also six months after the previous "feast of the Jews" mentioned in John 5, which shows that the Gospel of John, like the other three Gospels, is not a diary. Each of the four Gospel writers described the highlights of Jesus' ministry as led by the Holy Spirit, so there are overlaps, as well as elements unique to each of them.

Why did "a great multitude" (John 6:2) follow Jesus?
"because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased." (John 6:2)

JOHN 6:5-10  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?” 6 But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do. 7 Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.” 8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, 9 “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?” 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.

Was Jesus' question, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” (John 6:5) to Philip intended to start a private chat?
Since at least one other disciple, Andrew, also replied to the question, it was heard by more than just Philip, and probably by many, if not all of the twelve disciples.

Then why might Jesus have addressed the question to Philip?
John 1:44 says, "Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter." Since Bethsaida was only about 15 miles northeast of where they were (see below), Philip would have known the area well and could attest to the fact that there is no source of food in the immediate vicinity, setting the stage for the miracle Jesus was about to perform.

Since Andrew and Peter were also from Bethsaida, why was the question addressed to Philip?
Philip just may have been standing nearer to Jesus than Andrew and Peter were at that moment.

Did the crowd number "about five thousand" (John 6:10)?
The "men" (John 6:10) numbered about that, which means that including the women and the children, it probably numbered about ten to fifteen thousand, if not more.

What other clues are there to the size of this crowd?
One denarius (plural: denarii) was the wage for one-day's labor, so "two hundred denarii worth of bread" (John 6:7) was the amount of bread that could be bought with about 8-months' (including rest on the Sabbath) income, which "is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little." (John 6:7) Given that the closest towns of Bethsaida and Capernaum each only had a couple of thousand inhabitants, this was a massive crowd. The whole region had emptied out to see Jesus.

What was Andrew describing when he said, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish" (John 6:9)?
The "barley loaves" would be comparable to today's dinner rolls and the two fish were "small". This was a kid's lunch or dinner.

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