John 6:24-35

John 6:24-35
Ordinary B36


24 So when the crowd sawA that neither JesusB nor his disciplesC were there,

Notes on verse 24a

A “saw” = horao. To see, perceive, attend to, look upon, experience. Properly, to stare at and so implying clear discernment. This, by extension, would indicate attending to what was seen and learned. This is to see, often with a metaphorical sense. Can include inward spiritual seeing.
B “Jesus” = Iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone)}. This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
C “disciples” = mathetes. From matheteuo (to make a disciple of); from manthano (to learn key facts, gain knowledge from experience; generally implies reflection as part of the learning process); from math– (thinking things through). This is a disciple, learner, or student. It is where we get “mathematics” from.

they themselves gotD into the boatsE and went to CapernaumF looking forG Jesus.

Notes on verse 24b

D “got” = embaino. 17x in NT. From en (in, on, at, by, with) + baino (to walk, go). This is to step into, enter. It can refer specifically to getting onto a ship.
E “boats” = ploiarion. 5x in NT – all in the gospels. From ploion (boat, ship, vessel); from pleo (to sail, voyage); probably from pluno (to plunge – so to wash); from pluo (to flow). This is a little boat or vessel.
F “Capernaum” = Kapernaoum. 16x in NT. From Hebrew kaphar (village with walls); {from the same as kephir (a young lion, village); from kaphar (to appease, cover, pacify, cancel)} + Nachum (Nahum, “comfortable”); {from nacham (a strong breath or sigh; to be sorry, to pity, console, comfort, or repent; also to comfort oneself with thoughts of vengeance)}. This is Capernaum, meaning “Nahum’s village.”
G “looking for” = zeteo. This is to seek, search for, desire. It is searching for something by inquiring or investigation. It can be seek in a literal or figurative sense. There is a Hebrew figure of speech “to seek God’s face” so it can also mean to worship God. Alternately, you could seek someone’s life i.e. plot to kill them.

25 When they foundH him on the other sideI of the sea,J they said to him, “Rabbi,K when did you comeL here?” 

Notes on verse 25

H “found” = heurisko. This is to find, learn, or obtain. It is to discover something, which generally implies a period of searching for it. This is to find in a literal or figurative sense. This is where the word “heuristic” comes from.
I “other side” = peran. Related to pera (on the far side); from peiro (to pierce). This is over, beyond, the opposite side.
J “sea” = thalassa. Perhaps from hals (sea, salt, a boy of saltwater) or halas (salt; can be figurative for prudence). This is the sea, a lake, or seashore.
K “Rabbi” = rhabbi. 15x in NT– 8x in the Gospel of John. From Hebrew rab (chief); from rabab (to be many, increase, multiply). This is a title of respect for a teacher-scholar. Literally, it means great one or honorable sir. It can also be understood as my master or my teacher.
L “come” = ginomai. This is to come into being, to happen, become, be born. It can be to emerge from one state or condition to another or is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth.

26 Jesus answered them, “Very truly,M I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs,N but because you ateO your fillP of the loaves.Q 

Notes on verse 26

M “very truly” = amen + amen. From Hebrew amen (verily, truly, amen, truth, so be it, faithfulness); from aman (to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful, put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid). This word is literally firmness, but figuratively fidelity, faithfulness, honesty, responsibility, trust, truth, steadfastness. Properly, it is to be sure, certain, or firm. This is a word of emphasis indicating that something crucial follows.
N “signs” = semeion. From the same as semaino (to give a sign, signify, indicate, make known); from sema (a sign or mark). It is literally a sign of any kind. It also refers to a sign given by God to confirm or authenticate a message or prophecy. It is not necessarily miraculous, but it can be. The Gospel of John generally uses this word instead of miracle.
O “ate” = phago. This is to eat or figuratively to consume like rust does.
P “fill” = chortazo. 16x in NT. From chortos (food, grass, grain, hay; a place for feeding, a court, garden; by implication, a pasture or vegetation). This is to feed, fodder, fill, or satisfy. It carries the sense of abundantly supplied food – even gorging on food.
Q “loaves” = artos. Perhaps from airo (raise, take up, lift, remove). This is bread or a loaf. It is a loaf as raised.

27 Do not workR for the foodS that perishes,T but for the food that enduresU for eternalV life,W

Notes on verse 27a

R “work” = ergazomai. From ergon (work, task, action, employment). This is to work, labor, perform, toil.
S “food” = brosis. 11x in NT. From bibrosko (to eat). This is food and the act of eating. It is eating in a literal or figurative sense.
T “perishes” = apollumi. From apo (from, away from) + ollumi (to destroy or ruin; the loss that comes from a major ruination). This is to destroy, cut off, to perish – perhaps violently. It can also mean to cancel or remove.
U “endures” = meno. This is to stay, remain, wait, await, continue, abide, endure. It can mean to literally stay in a place or to remain in a condition or to continue with hope and expectation.
V “eternal” = aionios. From aion (an age, length of time). This is age-long, forever, everlasting. Properly, that which lasts for an age. This is where eon comes from.
W “life” = zoe. From zao (to live, be alive). This is life including the vitality of humans, plants, and animals – it is life physical and spiritual and life everlasting.

which the SonX of ManY will giveZ you. For it is on him that GodAA the FatherBB has set his seal.”CC 

Notes on verse 27b

X “Son” = huios. This is son, descendant – a son whether natural born or adopted. It can be used figuratively for other forms of kinship.
Y “Man” = anthropos. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face). This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.
Z “give” = didomi. To give, offer, place, bestow, deliver. This is give in a literal or figurative sense.
AA “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
BB “Father” = Pater. This is father in a literal or figurative sense. Could be elder, senior, ancestor, originator, or patriarch.
CC “set his seal” = sphragizo. 15x in NT. From sphragis (a seal, signet, or signet ring; also the impression of that seal; so, the thing attested to by that seal – proof or a signifier of privacy); perhaps from phrasso (to stop, fence in). Properly, this is sealing something with some kind of stamp that tells who the owner is, gives it authorization or validity. It shows that the owner lends their full authority or backing to the matter in question. This was the ancient world’s equivalent of a signature on a legal document to guarantee the commitments made in the document. There were also tattoos that were given to show who someone belonged to in a religious sense.

28 Then they said to him, “What must we doDD to performEE the worksFF of God?” 

29 Jesus answered them, “This is the workGG of God, that you believeHH in him whom he has sent.”II 

Notes on verses 28-29

DD “do” = poieo. This is to make, do, act, construct, abide, or cause.
EE “perform” = ergazomai. Same as “work” in v27. See note R above.
FF “works” = ergon. Related to “work” in v27. See note R above.
GG “work” = ergon. Same as “works” in v28. See note FF above.
HH “believe” = pisteuo. From pistis (faith, faithfulness, belief, trust, confidence; to be persuaded or come to trust); from peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is to believe, entrust, have faith it, affirm, have confidence in. This is less to do with a series of beliefs or doctrines that one believes and more to do with faithfulness, loyalty, and fidelity. It is trusting and then acting based on that trust.
II “sent” = apostello. From apo (from, away from) + stello (to send, set, arrange, prepare, gather up); {probably from histemi (to make to stand, stand, place, set up, establish, appoint, stand firm, be steadfast)}. This is to send forth, send away, dismiss, send as a messenger. It implies one that is sent for a particular mission or purpose rather than a quick errand. This is where “apostle” comes from.

30 So they said to him, “What sign are you going to giveJJ us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing?KK 31 Our ancestorsLL ate the mannaMM in the wilderness;NN

Notes on verses 30-31a

JJ “going to give” = poieo. Same as “do” in v28. See note DD above.
KK “work are…performing” = ergazomai. Same as “work” in v27. See note R above.
LL “ancestors” = pater. Same as “Father” in v27. See note BB above.
MM “manna” = manna. 4x in NT. From Hebrew man (manna, literally a whatzit); from mah (what, how, how long, why – a question or exclamation). This is manna, the miracle food from the wilderness wandering.
NN “wilderness” = eremos. Properly, a place that is not settled or farmed, not populated. It could be a deserted area or a desert place. It could be seen as secluded, solitary, or lonesome. Any kind of vegetation is sparse, but so are people generally.

as it is written,OO ‘He gave them breadPP from heavenQQ to eat.’” 

Notes on verse 31b

OO “written” = grapho. This is to write or describe. It is where the word “graphic” comes from.
PP “bread” = artos. Same as “loaves” in v26. See note Q above.
QQ “heaven” = ouranos. May be related to oros (mountain, hill) with the notion of height. This is the air, the sky, the atmosphere, and heaven. It is the sky that is visible and the spiritual heaven where God dwells. Heaven implies happiness, power, and eternity.

32 Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not MosesRR who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the trueSS bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes downTT from heaven and gives life to the world.”UU 

Notes on verses 32-33

RR “Moses” = Mouses. From Hebrew Mosheh (Moses); from mashah (to pull out in a literal or figurative sense, to draw out) OR from Egyptian mes or mesu (child, son i.e. child of…). This is Moses – the one drawn out from the water, which is to say, rescued. If derived from the Egyptian, his name would share a root with Rameses and Thutmose.
SS “true” = alethinos. From alethes (true, unconcealed; true because it is in concert with fact and reality – attested; literally, what cannot be hidden; truth stands up to the test and scrutiny and is undeniable, authentic); {from a (not) + lanthano (concealed, hidden, unnoticed; to shut one’s eyes to, unwittingly, unawares)}. This is literally made of truth – that which is true or real, authentic. Something that is true from its source and has integrity.
TT “comes down” = katabaino. Related to “got” in v24. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + baino (see note D above). This is to come down whether from the sky to the ground or from higher ground to lower. It can be used in a literal or figurative sense.
UU “world” = kosmos. Perhaps from the base of komizo (to carry, convey, recover); from komeo (to take care of). This is order, the world, the universe, including its inhabitants. Literally, this is something that is ordered so it can refer to all creation. It can also refer to decoration in the sense that something is better ordered and, thus, made more beautiful. This is where “cosmos” and “cosmetics” come from.

34 They said to him, “Sir,VV give us this bread always.”WW

35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry,XX and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.YY

Notes on verses 34-35

VV “Sir” = Kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.
WW “always” = pantote. From pas (all, every, each) + tote (then, whether past or future); {from hote (when); from ho (the)}. This is literally every when. It is always, at all times.
XX “be hungry” = peinao. From peina (hunger); related to penomai (working for a living; laborer, poor person; to work for daily bread); from peno (to toil to survive day by day). This is to hunger, be needy, or desire earnestly. It can be being famished in a definitive sense or in comparison to someone or something else. Figuratively, this means to crave.
YY “be thirsty” = dipsao. 16x in NT. From dipsa (thirst); from dipsos (thirst). This is thirst in a literal or figurative sense. Can also mean keenly desire.

Image credit: “Bread from Heaven” by Lambsongs (by Jill Kemp and Richard Gunter).

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