John 6:56-69

John 6:56-69
Ordinary B39


56 Those who eatA my fleshB and drinkC my bloodD abideE in me, and I in them. 

Notes on verse 56

A “eat” = trogo. 6x in NT. This is gnaw, crunch, eat, eat a meal.
B “flesh” = sarx. May be from saroo (to sweep, cleanse by sweeping); from sairo (to brush off). This is flesh, the body, human nature, materiality, kindred. Flesh is not always evil in scripture (as when it refers to Jesus taking on a human body). However, it is generally used in a negative way for actions made selfishly and not through faith. This can mean animal flesh, i.e. meat, or refer to body in contrast to soul/spirit. Flesh can be a way of talking about how things or people are related or talking about human frailty (physical or moral).
C “drink” = pino. This is to drink, literally or figuratively.
D “blood” = haima. This is blood in a literal sense as bloodshed. Figuratively, it can also be used to refer to wine or to kinship (being related).
E “abide” = 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.

57 Just as the livingF FatherG sentH me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. 

Notes on verse 57

F “living” = zao. This is to live literally or figuratively. It is used for life including the vitality of humans, plants, and animals – it is life physical and spiritual and life everlasting.
G “Father” = Pater. This is father in a literal or figurative sense. Could be elder, senior, ancestor, originator, or patriarch.
H “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.

58 This is the breadI that came downJ from heaven,K

Notes on verse 58a

I “bread” = artos. Perhaps from airo (raise, take up, lift, remove). This is bread or a loaf. It is a loaf as raised.
J “came down” = katabaino. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + baino (to walk, go). 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.
K “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.

not like that which your ancestorsL ate,M and they died.N But the one who eatsO this bread will live forever.”P 

Notes on verse 58b

L “ancestors” = pater. Same as “Father” in v57. See note G above.
M “ate” = phago. This is to eat or figuratively to consume like rust does.
N “died” = apothnesko. From apo (from, away from) + thnesko (to die, be dead). This is to die off. It is death with an emphasis on the way that death separates. It can also mean to wither or decay.
O “eats” = trogo. Same as “eat” in v56. See note A above.
P “forever” = eis + ho + aion. Literally, “to the age.” Aion is from the same as aei (ever, always, unceasingly, perpetually; on every occasion). This is an age, cycle of time, course, continued duration. It is also used to describe the eternal or forever. This is the word used to discuss the present age or the messianic age.

59 He said these things while he was teachingQ in the synagogueR at Capernaum.S

Notes on verse 59

Q “teaching” = didasko. From dao (learn). This is to teach, direct, instruct, or impart knowledge. In the New Testament, this is almost always used for teaching scripture.
R “synagogue” = sunagoge. From sun (with, together with, closely associated) + ago (to lead, bring, carry, guide, go, drive). Literally, this is a bringing together, a place of assembly. The term can be used for the people or for the place where they assemble. It is also sometimes used of Christian churches in the New Testament. So, this is synagogue, assembly, congregation, or church. This is where the word “synagogue” comes from.
S “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.”

60 When many of his disciplesT heardU it, they said, “This teachingV is difficult;W who canX acceptY it?” 

Notes on verse 60

T “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.
U “heard” = akouo. This is hear or listen, but it also means to understand by hearing. This is where the word “acoustics” comes from.
V “teaching” = logos. From lego (to speak, tell, mention). This is word, statement, speech, analogy. It is a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying. It could refer to a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words. By implication, this could be a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive. It can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ.
W “difficult” = skleros. 6x in NT. From skello (to dry) OR from the base of skelos (leg); {perhaps from skello (to parch)}. This is hard because dried, rough, difficult, fierce, harsh. It can also be stubborn or unyielding – unyieldingly hard. This is where the word “sclera” comes from.
X “can” = dunamai. This is to be able, or something that is possible. It can also be empowered or being powerful. The Greek word for “miracle” (dunamis) comes from this root.
Y “accept” = akouo. Same as “heard” in v60. See note U above.

61 But Jesus,Z being awareAA that his disciples were complainingBB about it, said to them, “Does this offendCC you?

Notes on verse 61

Z “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.
AA “being aware” = eido. This is to know, consider perceive, appreciate, behold, or remember. It means seeing with one’s eyes, but also figuratively, it means perceiving – seeing that becomes understanding. So, by implication, this means knowing or being aware.
BB “complaining” = gogguzo. 8x in NT. This is to murmur or grumble. It is an onomatopoeia to sound similar to the cooing of doves. Figuratively, it is simmering displeasure that is muffled – a dull, constant murmuring.
CC “offend” = skandalizo. From skandalon (the bait or portion of the trap that closes down on the victim – the trap’s trigger; a stumbling block, offense, or cause for error; something that sets into motion a negative cause and effect; something that causes one to stumble); perhaps from kampto (to bend or bow). This is to put a stumbling block in someone’s way. Figuratively, causing someone to sin or preventing them from good action. It can also mean to shock or offend. Literally, this is falling into a trap or tripping someone up. So, here, enticing someone to sin or apostasy.


62 Then what if you were to seeDD the SonEE of ManFF ascendingGG to where he was before? 

Notes on verse 62

DD “see” = theoreo. From theaomai (to behold, look upon, see, contemplate, visit); from thaomai (to gaze at a spectacle; to look at or contemplate as a spectator; to interpret something in efforts to grasp its significance); from theoros (a spectator or envoy). This is gazing, beholding, experiencing, discerning. It is looking at something to analyze it and concentrate on what it means. This is the root of the word “theatre” in that people concentrate on the action of the play to understand its meaning.
EE “Son” = Huios. This is son, descendant – a son whether natural born or adopted. It can be used figuratively for other forms of kinship.
FF “Man” = anthropos. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face). This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.
GG “ascending” = anabaino. Related to “came down” in v58. From ana (up, back, among, again, anew) + the same as basis (step, hence foot; a pace); {from baino (see note J above)}. This is to come up in a literal or figurative sense – ascent, rise, climb, enter.

63 It is the spiritHH that gives life;II the flesh is useless.JJ The wordsKK that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.LL 64 But among you there are some who do not believe.”MM

Notes on verses 63-64a

HH “spirit” = pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breath, breathe hard). This is wind, breath, or ghost. A breeze or a blast or air, a breath. Figuratively used for a spirit, the human soul or part of us that is rational. It is also used supernaturally for angels, demons, God, and the Holy Spirit. This is where pneumonia comes from.
II “gives life” = zoopoieo. Related to “living” in v57. 11x in NT. From the same as zoon (literally a thing that is alive; so, an animal or living creature); {from zao (see note F above)} + poieo (to make, do, construct, cause). This is to bring life to something, including something that was dead. This can also be to revitalize in a literal or figurative sense.
JJ “is useless” = ou + opheleo + oudeis. Literally, “profits nothing,” Opheleo is 15x in NT. From ophelos (help, gain, profit); from ophello (to heap up or increase). This is to help, benefit, do good, or be useful.
KK “words” = rhema. From rheo (to speak, command, make, say, speak of); from ereo (to all, say, speak of, tell; denotes ongoing speech). This is word, which implies a matter or thing spoken, a command, report, promise, thing, or business. Often used for narration, commands, or disputes.
LL “life” = zoe. Related to “living” in v57 & “gives life” in v63. From zao (see note F above). This is life including the vitality of humans, plants, and animals – it is life physical and spiritual and life everlasting.
MM “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.

For Jesus knewNN from the firstOO who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betrayPP him. 65 And he said, “For this reason I have toldQQ you that no one can come to me unless it is grantedRR by the Father.”

Notes on verses 64b-65

NN “knew” = eido. Same as “being aware” in v61. See note AA above.
OO “first” = arche. From archomai (to begin or rule); from archo (to rule, begin, have first rank or have political power). Properly, this is what is first. In a temporal sense, that is beginning or origin. It can also refer to the one who ranks first, i.e. king or ruler. So, it can also be magistrate, power, or principality. It can be used more generally for what is preeminent.
PP “betray” = paradidomi. From para (from beside, by) + didomi (give, offer, place, bestow, deliver; give in a literal or figurative sense). This is literally to hand over – hence to deliver, abandon, or betray. It implies a personal involvement.
QQ “told” = ereo. Related to “words” in v63. See note KK above.
RR “granted” = didomi. Related to “betray” in v64. See note PP above.

66 Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went aboutSS with him. 67 So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wishTT to go away?”UU 

Notes on verses 66-67

SS “went about” = peripateo. From peri (about, concerning, around, encompassing) + pateo (to read, trample on; to trample literally or figuratively); {from patos (trodden) OR from paio (to strike, smite, sting; a hit like a single blow)}. This is to walk. Going from Hebrew figurative language, to walk referred to how you conducted your life, how you chose to live. This word is most literally walking around. Figuratively, it is living, behaving, following, how you occupy yourself. This is where “peripatetic” comes from.
TT “wish” = thelo. This is to wish, desire, will, or intend. It is to choose or prefer in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean inclined toward or take delight in. It can have a sense of being ready to act on the impulse in question.
UU “go away” = hupago. Related to “synagogue” in v59. From hupo (by, under, under the authority of) + ago (lsee note R above). This is to lead under so to depart, go away, or die. It is to lead away under the command of someone else, being given a mission or objective to carry out.

68 SimonVV PeterWW answered him, “Lord,XX to whom can we go? You have the words of eternalYY life. 

Notes on verse 68

VV “Simon” = Simon. From Hebrew Shimon (Simon – Jacob’s son and his tribe); from shama (to hear, often implying attention and obedience). This is Simon, meaning “he who hears.”
WW “Peter” = Petros. Related to petra (large rock that is connected and or projecting like a rock, ledge, or cliff; can also be cave or stony ground). This is Peter, a stone, pebble, or boulder.
XX “Lord” = 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.
YY “eternal” = aionios. Related to “forever” in v58. From aion (see note P above). This is age-long, forever, everlasting. Properly, that which lasts for an age. This is where eon comes from.

69 We have come to believe and knowZZ that you are the Holy OneAAA of God.”BBB

Notes on verse 69

ZZ “know” = ginosko. This is to know, recognize, realize, perceive, learn. It is knowledge gained through personal experience.
AAA “Holy One” = Hagios. From hagnos (holy, sacred, pure ethically, ritually, or ceremonially; prepared for worship, chaste, unadulterated, pure to the core; undefiled by sin; figurative for innocent, modest, perfect). God is totally different from humanity and thus set apart. That which is consecrated to worship God (elements of worship) or to serve God (as the saints) are holy because they are now set apart for God’s purposes. Holy because important to God. This is sacred physically, pure. It can be morally blameless or ceremonially consecrated.
BBB “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.

Image credit: “Handing Over the Keys” by Raphael, 1515.

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