John 1-7 The Passion Translation (TPT)
The Living Expression
And the Living Expression was with God, yet fully God.[c]
The Ministry of John the Baptizer
20 John answered them directly, saying, “I am not the Messiah!”
21 “Then who are you?” they asked. “Are you Elijah?”
“No,” John replied.
So they pressed him further, “Are you the prophet Moses said was coming, the one we’re expecting?”[af]
“No,” he replied.
22 “Then who are you?” they demanded. “We need an answer for those who sent us. Tell us something about yourself—anything!”
23 John answered them, “I am an urgent, thunderous voice crying out in the desert—clear the way and prepare your hearts for the coming of the Lord Yahweh!”[ag]
24 Then some members of the religious sect known as the Pharisees[ah] questioned John, 25 “Why do you baptize the people if you are neither the Messiah, Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
26–27 John answered them, “I baptize the people in this river, but the One who will take my place is to be more honored than I,[ai] but even when he stands among you, you will not recognize or embrace him! I am not worthy enough to stoop down in front of him and untie his sandals!” 28 All these events took place at Bethany,[aj] where John was baptizing at the place of the crossing of the Jordan River.[ak]
The Lamb of God
29 The very next day, John saw Jesus coming to him to be baptized, and John cried out, “Look! There he is—God’s Lamb![al] He takes away[am] the sin of the entire world![an] 30 I told you that a Mighty One[ao] would come who is far greater than I am, because he existed long before I was born! 31 My baptism was for the preparation of his appearing to Israel, even though I didn’t recognize him.”
32 Then, as he baptized Jesus, he proclaimed these words: “I see the Spirit of God appear like a dove descending from the heavenly realm and landing upon him—and it remained on him![ap] 33 Before this I didn’t know who he was. But the one who sent me to baptize with water had told me, ‘You will see the Spirit come down and stay on someone. He will be the One I have sent to baptize with the Holy Spirit.’[aq] 34 Now I have seen this happen and I can tell you for sure that this man is the Son of God.”[ar]
Jesus’ First Followers
35–36 The next day, Jesus walked right past where John and two of his disciples were standing. John, gazing upon Jesus, pointed to him and prophesied, “Look! There’s God’s sacrificial[as] Lamb!” 37 And as soon as John’s two disciples heard this, they immediately left John and began to follow a short distance behind Jesus.
39 Jesus answered, “Come and discover for yourselves.” So they went with him and saw where he was staying, and since it was late in the afternoon, they spent the rest of the day with Jesus.
40–41 One of the two disciples who heard John’s words and began to follow Jesus was a man named Andrew.[aw] He first found his brother, Simon Peter, and told him, “We have found the Anointed One!”[ax] (Which is translated, the Christ.) 42 Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. When he gazed upon Andrew’s brother, he prophesied to him, “You are Simon and your father’s name is John.[ay] But from now on, everyone will call you Cephas” (which means, Peter the Rock).[az]
Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael
43 The next day, Jesus decided to go to Galilee, where he found Philip. Jesus said to him, “Come and follow me.” 44 (Now Philip, Andrew, and Peter had all grown up together in the village of Bethsaida.)[ba] 45 Philip went to look for his friend, Nathanael,[bb] and told him, “We’ve found him! We’ve found the One we’ve been waiting for! It’s Jesus, son of Joseph from Nazareth! He’s the One whom Moses and the prophets prophesied would come!”
46 Nathanael sneered, “Nazareth! What good thing could ever come from Nazareth?”[bc] Philip answered, “Come and let’s find out!”
47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said, “Here comes a true son of Israel—an honest man with no hidden motive!”
48 Nathanael was stunned and said, “But you’ve never met me—how do you know anything about me?”
Jesus answered, “Nathanael, right before Philip came to you, I saw you sitting under the shade of a fig tree.”[bd]
49 Nathanael blurted out, “Teacher, you are truly the Son of God and the King of Israel!”
50 Jesus answered, “Do you believe simply because I told you I saw you sitting under a fig tree? You will experience even more impressive things than that! 51 I prophesy to you eternal truth:[be] From now on,[bf] you all will see[bg] an open heaven and gaze upon the Son of Man[bh] like a stairway reaching into the sky[bi] with the messengers of God climbing up and down upon[bj] him!”
Jesus Comes to a Wedding
2 Now on the third day,[bk] Jesus’ mother went to a wedding feast in the Galilean village of Cana.[bl] 2–3 Jesus and his disciples were all invited to the banquet,[bm] but with so many guests, they ran out of wine.[bn] And when Mary realized it, she came to Jesus and asked, “They have no wine; can’t you do something about it?”[bo]
4 Jesus replied, “My dear one, don’t you understand that if I do this, it will change nothing for you, but it will change everything for me![bp] My hour of unveiling my power has not yet come.”
5 Mary then went to the servers and told them, “Whatever Jesus tells you, do it!”
6 Nearby stood six stone water pots[bq] meant to be used for the Jewish washing rituals.[br] Each one could hold about twenty gallons or more. 7 Jesus came to the servers and instructed them, “Fill the pots with water, right up to the very brim.” 8 Then he said, “Now fill your pitchers and take them to the master of ceremonies.”
9 And when they poured out their pitchers for the master of ceremonies to sample, the water had become wine! When he tasted the water that had become wine, the master of ceremonies was impressed with its quality. (Although he didn’t know where the wine had come from, only the servers knew.) He called the bridegroom over 10 and said to him, “Every host serves his best wine first, until everyone has had a cup or two, then he serves the cheaper wine. But you, my friend, you’ve reserved the most exquisite wine until now!”[bs]
Jesus at the Temple
12 After the wedding, Jesus, his mother and brothers, and his disciples traveled to Capernaum[bv] and stayed there for a few days. 13 When the time was close for the Jewish Passover to begin, Jesus walked to Jerusalem.[bw] 14 As he went into the temple courtyard, he noticed it was filled with merchants selling oxen, lambs, and doves for exorbitant prices, while others were overcharging as they exchanged currency[bx] behind their counters. 15 So Jesus found some cords and made them into a whip. Then he drove out every one of them and their animals from the courtyard of the temple, and he kicked over their tables filled with money, scattering it everywhere![by] 16 And he told the merchants,[bz] “Get these things out of here! Don’t you dare commercialize my Father’s house!” 17 That’s when his disciples remembered the Scripture: “I am consumed with a fiery passion to keep your house pure!”[ca]
18 Then the Jewish religious leaders challenged Jesus, “What authority do you have to do this sort of thing and what supernatural sign will you show us to prove it?”
19 Jesus answered, “Destroy this temple,[cb] and I will raise it up again in three days.”
20 Then the Jewish leaders sneered at Jesus’ answer, “This temple took forty-six years[cc] to build, and you mean to tell us that you will raise it up in three days?” 21 But they failed to understand that Jesus was speaking of the “temple” of his body.[cd] 22 The disciples remembered his prophecy after Jesus rose from the dead, and believed both the Scripture and what Jesus had said.
23 While Jesus was at the Passover Feast, the number of his followers began to grow, and many gave their allegiance to him because of all the miraculous signs they had seen him doing! 24 But Jesus did not yet entrust himself to them, because he knew how fickle human hearts can be. 25 He needed no one to tell him about human nature, for he fully understood what man was capable of doing.
3 Now there was a prominent religious leader among the Jews named Nicodemus,[ce] who was part of the sect called the Pharisees. 2 One night he discreetly came to Jesus and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one performs the miracle signs that you do, unless God’s power is with him.”
3 Jesus answered, “Nicodemus, listen to this eternal truth: Before a person can even perceive God’s kingdom, they must first experience a rebirth.”[cf]
4 Nicodemus said, “Rebirth? How can a gray-headed man be reborn? It’s impossible for anyone to go back into the womb a second time and be reborn!”
5 Jesus answered, “I speak an eternal truth: Unless you are born of water[cg] and the Spirit, you will never enter God’s kingdom. 6 For the natural realm only gives birth to things that are natural, but the spiritual realm gives birth to supernatural life!
7 “You shouldn’t be amazed by my statement,[ch] ‘You all must be born from above!’[ci] 8 For the Spirit-Wind blows as it chooses. You can hear its sound,[cj] but you don’t know where it came from or where it’s going. So it is the same with those who are Spirit-born!”[ck]
9 Nicodemus replied, “I don’t understand; what do you mean? How does this happen?”
10 Jesus answered, “Nicodemus, aren’t you the respected teacher in Israel, and yet you don’t understand this revelation? 11 I speak eternal truths about things I know, things I’ve seen and experienced—and still you don’t accept what I reveal. 12 If you’re unable to believe what I’ve told you about the natural realm, what will you do when I begin to unveil the heavenly realm? 13 No one has risen into the heavenly realm except the Son of Man who also exists in heaven.”[cl]
God’s Love for Everyone
14 “And just as Moses in the desert lifted up the brass replica of a venomous snake on a pole for all the people to see and be healed,[cm] so the Son of Man is ready to be lifted up, 15 so that those who truly believe in him[cn] will not perish but be given eternal life. 16 For here is the way God loved the world—he gave his only, unique Son as a gift.[co] So now everyone who believes in him[cp] will never perish but experience everlasting life.
17 “God did not send his Son into the world to judge and condemn the world, but to be its Savior and rescue it![cq] 18 So now there is no longer any condemnation for those who believe in him, but the unbeliever already lives under condemnation because they do not believe in the name of the only Son of God.[cr] 19 And here is the basis for their judgment: The Light of God has now come into the world, but the people loved darkness more than the Light, because they want the darkness to conceal their evil. 20 So the wicked hate the Light and try to hide from it, for the Light fully exposes their lives. 21 But those who love the truth[cs] will come into the Light, for the Light will reveal that it was God who produced their fruitful works.”[ct]
John, Friend of the Bridegroom
22 Then Jesus and his disciples left for a length of time into the Judean countryside where they baptized the people. 23 At this time John was still baptizing people at Aenon,[cu] near Salim,[cv] where there was plenty of water, and the people kept coming for John to baptize them. 24 (This was before John was thrown into prison.)
25 An argument started between John’s disciples and a particular Jewish man about baptism.[cw] 26 So they went to John and asked him, “Teacher, are you aware that the One you told us about at the crossing place—he’s now baptizing crowds larger than yours. People are flocking to him!”
27 John answered them, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless God bestows it.[cx] 28 You’ve heard me tell you that I am not the Messiah, but certainly I am the messenger sent ahead of him. 29 He is the Bridegroom,[cy] and the bride belongs to him. I am the friend[cz] of the Bridegroom who stands nearby and listens with great joy to the Bridegroom’s voice. Because of his words, my joy is complete and overflows! 30 It is necessary for him to increase[da] and for me to decrease.[db]
31 “For the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks from the natural realm. But the One who comes from above is above everything and speaks of the highest realm of all! 32 His message is about what he has seen and experienced, even though people don’t accept it. 33 Yet those who embrace his message know in their hearts that it’s the truth.[dc]
34 “The One whom God has sent to represent him will speak the words of God, because God has poured out upon him the fullness of the Holy Spirit without limitation.[dd] 35 The Father loves his Son so much that he has given all things into his hands.[de] 36 Those who trust in the Son possess eternal life; those who don’t obey[df] the Son will not see life, and God’s anger will rise up against them.”[dg]
A Thirsty Savior
4 The news quickly reached the Jewish religious leaders known as the Pharisees that Jesus was drawing greater crowds of followers coming to be baptized than John. 2 (Although Jesus himself didn’t baptize, but only his disciples.) 3 Jesus[dh] heard what was being said and abruptly left Judea and returned to the province of Galilee, 4 and he had to pass through Samaria.[di]
5 Jesus arrived at the Samaritan village of Sychar,[dj] near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6–8 Wearied by his long journey, he sat on the edge of Jacob’s well,[dk] and sent his disciples into the village to buy food, for it was already afternoon.
Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”[dl]
9 She replied, “Why would a Jewish man ask a Samaritan woman for a drink of water?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)
10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew who I am and the gift that God wants to give you, you’d ask me for a drink, and I would give you living water.”
11 The woman replied, “But sir,[dm] you don’t even have a bucket, and the well is very deep. So where do you find this ‘living water’? 12 Do you really think that you are greater than our ancestor Jacob who dug this well and drank from it himself, along with his children and livestock?”
13 Jesus answered, “If you drink from Jacob’s well, you’ll be thirsty again, 14 but if anyone drinks the living water I give them, they will never be thirsty again. For when you drink the water I give you, it becomes a gushing fountain of the Holy Spirit, flooding you with endless life!”[dn]
15 The woman replied, “Let me drink that water so I’ll never be thirsty again and won’t have to come back here to draw water.”
16 Jesus said, “Go get your husband and bring him back here.”
17 “But I’m not married,” the woman answered.
19 The woman changed the subject. “You must be a prophet! 20 So tell me this: Why do our fathers worship God on this nearby mountain,[dq] but your people teach that Jerusalem is the place where we must worship. Who is right?”
Jesus responded, 21 “Believe me, dear woman, the time has come when you will worship[dr] the Father neither on a mountain nor in Jerusalem, but in your heart. 22 Your people don’t really know the One they worship, but we Jews worship out of our experience, for it’s from the Jews that salvation is available.[ds] 23–24 From now on, worshiping the Father will not be a matter of the right place but with a right heart. For God is a Spirit,[dt] and he longs to have sincere worshipers who adore him in the realm of the Spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “This is all so confusing, but I do know that the Anointed One is coming—the true Messiah. And when he comes, he will tell us everything we need to know.”
26 Jesus said to her, “You don’t have to wait any longer, the Anointed One is here speaking with you—I am the One you’re looking for.”[du]
27 At that moment, his disciples returned and were stunned to see Jesus speaking with a Samaritan woman, yet none of them dared ask him why or what they were discussing. 28 All at once, the woman left her water jar and ran off to her village and told everyone, 29 “Come and meet a man at the well who told me everything I’ve ever done![dv] He could be the One we’ve been waiting for.” 30 Hearing this, the people came streaming out of the village to go see Jesus.[dw]
The Harvest Is Ready
31 Then the disciples began to insist that Jesus eat some of the food they brought back with them, saying, “Teacher, you must eat something.” 32 But Jesus told them, “I have eaten a meal[dx] you don’t know about.”
33 Puzzled by this, the disciples began to discuss it among themselves, “Did someone already bring him food?”
34 To clarify, Jesus spoke up and said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and bring it to completion.”
35 As the crowds emerged from the village, Jesus said to his disciples, “Why would you say, ‘The harvest is another four months away’? Look at all the people coming—now is harvest time! Their hearts are like vast fields of ripened grain—ready for a harvest. 36 Everyone who reaps these souls for eternal life will receive a reward. Both those who plant spiritual seeds and those who reap the spiritual harvest will celebrate together with great joy! 37 And this confirms the saying, ‘One sows the seed and another reaps the harvest.’[dy] 38 I have sent you out to harvest a field that you haven’t planted, where many others have labored long and hard before you.[dz] And now you are privileged to profit from their labors and reap the harvest.”
39 Many from the Samaritan village became believers in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony: “He told me everything I ever did!” 40 Then they begged Jesus to stay with them, so he stayed there for two days, 41 resulting in many more coming to faith in him because of his message.
42 The Samaritans said to the woman, “Now we’ve heard him ourselves. We no longer believe just because of what you told us, but we’re convinced that he really is the true Savior of the world!”[ea]
Jesus Returns to Galilee
43 On the third day Jesus left there and continued his journey to Galilee, where he had been raised.[eb] 44 Now Jesus knew that prophets are honored everywhere except in their own hometown. 45 Even so, as Jesus arrived in the province of Galilee, the people welcomed him with open arms. Many of them had been in Jerusalem during the Passover Festival and had witnessed firsthand the miracles he had performed.[ec]
46–47 Jesus entered the village of Cana of Galilee where he had transformed water into wine. He met there a governmental official from Capernaum whose son was very sick and dying. When he heard that Jesus had left Judea and was staying in Cana of Galilee, he decided to make the journey to Cana.[ed] When he found Jesus, he begged him, “You must come with me to Capernaum and heal my son!”
49 But the man continued to plead, “Come with me to Capernaum before my little boy dies!”
50 Jesus looked him in the eyes and said, “Go back home now. I promise you, your son will live.”
The man believed in his heart the words of Jesus and set off for home. 51 When he was still a distance from Capernaum, his servants met him on the road and told him the good news, “Your son is healed! He’s alive!”
52 Overjoyed, the father asked his servants, “When did my son begin to recover?”
“Yesterday,” they said, “at one in the afternoon. All at once his fever broke—and now he’s well!”
53 Then the father immediately realized that it was at that very same hour that Jesus spoke the words to him, “Your son will live.” From that day forward, the man, his servants, and all his family believed. 54 Healing the official’s son was Jesus’ second extraordinary miracle in Galilee after returning from Judea.[eg]
The Healing at Bethesda
5 From Galilee, Jesus returned to Jerusalem to observe one of the Jewish feasts.[eh] 2 Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate,[ei] there is[ej] a pool called in Aramaic, The House of Loving Kindness,[ek] surrounded by five covered porches.[el] 3 Hundreds of sick people were lying under the covered porches—the paralyzed, the blind, and the crippled—all of them waiting for their healing. 4 For an angel of God periodically descended into the pool to stir the waters, and the first one who stepped into the pool after the waters swirled would instantly be healed.[em]
5 Among the many sick people lying there was a man who had been disabled for thirty-eight years.[en] 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, he knew that the man had been crippled for a long time.[eo] Jesus said to him, “Do you truly long to be well?”[ep]
7 The sick man answered, “Sir,[eq] there’s no way I can get healed, for I have no one to lower me into the water when the angel comes. As soon as I try to crawl to the edge of the pool, someone else jumps in ahead of me.”
8 Jesus said to him, “Stand up! Pick up your sleeping mat and you will walk!” 9 Immediately he stood up—he was healed! So he rolled up his mat and walked again! Now Jesus worked this miracle on the Sabbath.[er]
10 When the Jewish leaders saw the man walking along carrying his sleeping mat,[es] they objected and said, “What are you doing carrying that? Don’t you know it’s the Sabbath? It’s not lawful for you to carry things on the Sabbath!”
11 He answered them, “The man who healed me told me to pick it up and walk.”
12 “What man?” they asked him. “Who was this man who ordered you to carry something on a Sabbath?”[et] 13 But the healed man couldn’t give them an answer, for he didn’t yet know who it was, since Jesus had already slipped away into the crowd.
14 A short time later, Jesus found the man at the temple and said to him, “Look at you now! You’re healed! Walk away from your sin[eu] so that nothing worse will happen to you.”
15 Then the man went to the Jewish leaders to inform them, “It was Jesus who healed me!” 16 From that day forward the Jewish leaders began to persecute Jesus because of the things he did on the Sabbath.
Jesus Responds to the Jewish Leaders
17 Jesus answered his critics by saying, “Every day my Father is at work, and I will be, too!” 18 This infuriated them and made them all the more eager to devise a plan to kill him. For not only did he break their Sabbath rules,[ev] but he also called God “my Father,” which made him equal to God.[ew]
19 So Jesus said, “I speak to you eternal truth. The Son is unable to do anything from himself or through his own initiative. I only do the works that I see the Father doing, for the Son does the same works as his Father.
20 “Because the Father loves his Son so much, he always reveals to him everything that he is about to do. And you will all be amazed when he shows him even greater works than what you’ve seen so far! 21 For just as the Father has power to raise the dead, the Son will also raise the dead and give life to whomever he wants.
22 “The Father judges no one, for he has given to the Son all the authority to judge. 23 Therefore, the honor that belongs to the Father he will now share with his Son. So if you refuse to honor the Son, you are refusing to honor the Father who sent him.
24 “I speak to you an eternal truth: if you embrace my message and believe in the One who sent me, you will never face condemnation. In me, you have already passed from the realm of death into eternal life!”
25 “I speak to you an eternal truth: Soon the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who listen will arise with life! 26 For as the Father is the source of life, so he has given the Son the power to impart life. 27 The Father has transferred to the Son the authority to judge, because he is the Son of Man.
28 “Don’t be amazed when I tell you these things, for there is a day coming when everyone who has ever died will hear my voice calling them back to life, 29 and they will come out of their graves! Those who have done what is good will experience a resurrection to eternal life. And those who have practiced evil will taste the resurrection of judgment!
30 “Nothing I do is from my own initiative. As I hear the judgment passed by my Father, I execute those judgments. And my judgments will be perfect, because I seek only to fulfill the desires of my Father who sent me. 31 If I were to make claims about myself, you would have reasons to doubt.[ex] 32 But there is another[ey] who bears witness on my behalf, and I know that what he testifies of me is true.”
John the Baptizer
33 “You have sent messengers to John, and what he testified about me is true. 34 I have no need to be validated by men, but I’m explaining these things so that you will believe and be saved.
35 “John was a blazing, shining torch,[ez] and for a short time, you basked in his light with great joy. 36 But I can provide more substantial proof of who I am that exceeds John’s testimony—my miracles! These works which the Father destined for me to complete—they prove that the Father has sent me! 37 And my Father himself, who gave me this mission, has also testified that I am his Son.[fa] But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form, 38 nor does his Word truly live inside of you, for you refuse to believe in me or to embrace me as God’s messenger.
39 “You are busy analyzing the Scriptures, poring over them hoping to gain eternal life. Everything you read points to me, 40 yet you still refuse to come to me so I can give you the life you’re looking for—eternal life![fb]
41 “I do not accept the honor that comes from men, 42 for I know what kind of people you really are, and I can see that the love of God has found no home in you. 43 I have come to represent my Father, yet you refuse to embrace me in faith. If someone comes in their own name and with their own agenda,[fc] you readily accept him. 44 Of course you’re unable to believe in me. For you live to enjoy the praises of others and not the praise that comes from the one true God.
45 “I will not accuse you before the Father. The one who will incriminate you is Moses, the very one you claim to obey, the one in whom you trust![fd] 46 If you really believed what Moses has written, then you would embrace me, for Moses wrote about me! 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, no wonder you don’t believe what I say.”[fe]
Jesus Multiplies Food
6 After this Jesus went to the other side of the Lake of Tiberias,[ff] which is also known as Lake Galilee. 2 And a massive crowd of people followed him everywhere. They were attracted by his miracles and the healings they watched him perform. 3 Jesus went up the slope of a hill and sat down with his disciples. 4 Now it was approaching the time of the Jewish celebration of Passover, and there were many pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem in the crowd.
5 As Jesus sat down, he looked out and saw the massive crowd of people scrambling up the hill, for they wanted to be near him. So he turned to Philip and said, “Where will we buy enough food to feed all these people?” 6 Now Jesus already knew what he was about to do, but he said this to stretch Philip’s faith.
7 Philip answered, “Well, I suppose if we were to give everyone only a snack, it would cost thousands of dollars[fg] to buy enough food!”
8 But just then, Andrew, Peter’s brother, spoke up and said, 9 “Look! Here’s a young person[fh] with five barley loaves and two small fish . . . but how far would that go with this huge crowd?”
10 “Have everyone sit down,” Jesus said to his disciples. So on the vast grassy slope, more than five thousand hungry people sat down.[fi] 11 Jesus then took the barley loaves[fj] and the fish and gave thanks to God. He then gave it to the disciples to distribute to the people. Miraculously, the food multiplied, with everyone eating as much as they wanted![fk]
12 When everyone was satisfied, Jesus told his disciples, “Now go back and gather up the pieces left over so that nothing will be wasted.” 13 The disciples filled up twelve baskets of fragments, a basket of leftovers for each disciple.
14 All the people were astounded as they saw with their own eyes the incredible miracle Jesus had performed! They began to say among themselves, “He really is the One—the true prophet[fl] we’ve been expecting!”
15 So Jesus, knowing that they were about to take him and make him their king by force, quickly left and went up the mountainside alone.[fm]
Jesus Walks on Water
16–17 After waiting until evening for Jesus to return, the disciples went down to the lake. But as darkness fell, he still hadn’t returned, so the disciples got into a boat and headed across the lake to Capernaum.[fn] 18 By now a strong wind[fo] began to blow and was stirring up the waters. 19 The disciples had rowed about halfway[fp] across the lake when all of a sudden they caught sight of Jesus walking on top of the waves, coming toward them. The disciples panicked, 20 but Jesus called out to them, “Don’t be afraid. You know who I am.”[fq]
21 They were relieved to take him in, and the moment Jesus stepped into the boat, they were instantly transported to the other side!
Jesus, the Living Bread
22–23 The next morning, the crowds were still on the opposite shore of the lake, near the place where they had eaten the bread he had multiplied after he had given thanks to God.[fr] Yet Jesus was nowhere to be found. They realized that only one boat had been there and that Jesus’ hadn’t boarded, and they concluded that his disciples had left him behind. 24 So when the people saw on the shoreline a number of small boats from Tiberias and realized Jesus and the disciples weren’t there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum to search for him.
25 When they finally found him, they asked him, “Teacher, how did you get here?”
26 Jesus replied, “Let me make this very clear,[fs] you came looking for me because I fed you by a miracle, not because you believe in me. 27 Why would you strive for food that is perishable and not be passionate to seek the food of eternal life, which never spoils?[ft] I, the Son of Man, am ready to give you what matters most, for God the Father has destined me for this purpose.”[fu]
28 They replied, “So what should we do if we want to do God’s work?”
29 Jesus answered, “The work you can do for God starts with believing in the One he has sent.”
30–31 They replied, “Show us a miracle so we can see it, and then we’ll believe in you. Moses took care of our ancestors who were fed by the miracle of manna[fv] every day in the desert, just like the Scripture says, ‘He fed them with bread from heaven.’[fw] What sign will you perform for us?”
32 “The truth is,”[fx] Jesus said, “Moses didn’t give you the bread of heaven. It’s my Father who offers bread that comes as a dramatic sign[fy] from heaven. 33 The bread of God is the One who came out of heaven to give his life to feed the world.”
34 “Then please, sir, give us this bread every day,” they replied.
35 Jesus said to them, “I am the Bread of Life.[fz] Come every day to me and you will never be hungry. Believe in me and you will never be thirsty. 36 Yet I’ve told you that even though you’ve seen me, you still don’t believe in me. 37 But everyone my Father has given to me, they will come. And all who come to me, I will embrace and will never turn them away. 38 And I have come out of heaven not for my own desires, but for the satisfaction[ga] of my Father who sent me. 39 My Father who sent me has determined that I will not lose even one of those he has given to me, and I will raise them up in the last day. 40 For the longing of my Father is that everyone who embraces the Son[gb] and believes in him will experience eternal life and I will raise them up in the last day!”
41 When the Jews who were hostile to Jesus heard him say, “I am the Bread that came down from heaven,” they immediately began to complain, 42 “How can he say these things about himself? We know him, and we know his parents. How dare he say, ‘I have come down from heaven?’ ”
43 Jesus responded, “Stop your grumbling! 44 The only way people come to me is by the Father who sent me—he pulls[gc] on their hearts to embrace me. And those who are drawn to me, I will certainly raise them up in the last day.”
45 Jesus continued, “It has been written by the prophets, ‘They will all be taught by God himself.’[gd] If you are really listening to the Father and learning directly from him, you will come to me. 46 For I am the only One who has come from the Father’s side, and I have seen the Father!
47 “I speak to you living truth: Unite your heart to me and believe—and you will experience eternal life! 48 I am the true Bread of Life.[ge] 49 Your ancestors ate manna in the desert and died. 50 But standing here before you is the true Bread that comes out of heaven, and when you eat this Bread you will never die. 51 I alone am this living Bread that has come to you from heaven. Eat this Bread and you will live forever. The living Bread I give you is my body, which I will offer as a sacrifice so that all may live.”
52 These words of Jesus sparked an angry outburst among the Jews. They protested, saying, “Does this man expect us to eat his body?”
53 Jesus replied to them, “Listen to this eternal truth: Unless you eat the body of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will not have eternal life. 54 Eternal life comes to the one who eats my body[gf] and drinks my blood, and I will raise him up in the last day. 55 For my body is real food for your spirit and my blood is real drink. 56 The one who eats my body and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him.[gg] 57 The Father of life sent me, and he is my life. In the same way, the one who feeds upon me, I will become his life. 58 I am not like the bread your ancestors ate and later died. I am the living Bread that comes from heaven. Eat this Bread and you will live forever!”
59 Jesus preached this sermon in the synagogue in Capernaum.
Many Disciples Became Offended
60 And when many of Jesus’ followers heard these things, it caused a stir. “That’s disgusting!” they said. “How could anybody accept it?”[gh]
61 Without anyone telling him, Jesus knew they were outraged and told them, “Are you offended over my teaching? 62 What will you do when you see the Son of Man ascending into the realm from where he came?[gi]
63 “The Holy Spirit is the one who gives life, that which is of the natural realm[gj] is of no help. The words I speak to you are Spirit and life. But there are still some of you who won’t believe.” 64 In fact, Jesus already knew from the beginning who the skeptics were and who his traitor would be.
65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one embraces me unless the Father has given you to me.”
Peter’s Confession of Faith
66 And so from that time on many of the disciples turned their backs on Jesus and refused to be associated with him.[gk] 67 So Jesus said to his twelve, “And you—do you also want to leave?” 68 Peter spoke up and said, “But Lord, where would we go? No one but you gives us the revelation of eternal life. 69 We’re fully convinced that you are the Anointed One, the Son of the Living God,[gl] and we believe in you!”
70 Then Jesus shocked them with these words: “I have hand-picked you to be my twelve, knowing that one of you is the devil.”[gm] 71 Jesus was referring to Judas Iscariot,[gn] son of Simon, for he knew that Judas, one of his chosen disciples, was getting ready to betray him.
Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles
7 After this Jesus traveled extensively throughout the province of Galilee, but he avoided the province of Judea, for he knew the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem were plotting to have him killed. 2 Now the annual Feast of Tabernacles[go] was approaching. 3 So Jesus’ brothers[gp] came to advise him, saying, “Why don’t you leave the countryside villages and go to Judea where the crowds are,[gq] so that your followers can see your miracles? 4 No one can see what you’re doing here in the backwoods of Galilee. How do you expect to be successful and famous if you do all these things in secret? Now is your time—go to Jerusalem, come out of hiding, and show the world who you are!” 5 His brothers were pushing him, even though they didn’t yet believe in him as the Savior.[gr]
6 Jesus responded, “My time of being unveiled hasn’t yet come, but any time is a suitable opportunity for you to gain man’s approval. 7 The world can’t hate you, but it does me, for I am exposing their evil deeds. 8 You can go ahead and celebrate the feast without me—my appointed time has not yet come.”
9–10 Jesus lingered in Galilee until his brothers had left for the feast in Jerusalem. Then later, Jesus took a back road and went into Jerusalem in secret. 11 During the feast, the Jewish leaders kept looking for Jesus and asking around, “Where is he? Have you seen him?”
12 A controversy was brewing among the people, with so many differing opinions about Jesus. Some were saying, “He’s a good man!” While others weren’t convinced and insisted, saying, “He’s just a demagogue.”[gs] 13 Yet no one was bold enough to speak out publicly on Jesus’ behalf for fear of the Jewish leaders.
14 Not until the feast was half over did Jesus finally appear in the temple courts and begin to teach. 15 The Jewish leaders were astonished by what he taught and said, “How did this man acquire such knowledge? He wasn’t trained in our schools—who taught him?”
16 So Jesus responded, “I don’t teach my own ideas,[gt] but the truth revealed to me by the One who sent me. 17 If you want to test my teachings and discover where I received them, first be passionate to do God’s will,[gu] and then you will be able to discern if my teachings are from the heart of God or from my own opinions. 18 Charlatans praise themselves and seek honor from men, but my Father sent me to speak truth on his behalf. And I have no false motive, because I seek only the glory of God. 19 Moses has given you the law, but not one of you is faithful to keep it. So if you are all law-breakers, why then would you seek to kill me?”
20 Then some in the crowd shouted out, “You must be out of your mind![gv] Who’s trying to kill you?”
21 Jesus replied, “I only had to do one miracle,[gw] and all of you marvel! 22 Yet isn’t it true that Moses and your forefathers[gx] ordered you to circumcise your sons even if the eighth day fell on a Sabbath?[gy] 23 So if you cut away part of a man on the Sabbath and that doesn’t break the Jewish law,[gz] why then would you be indignant with me for making a man completely healed on the Sabbath? 24 Stop judging based on the superficial.[ha] First you must embrace the standards of mercy[hb] and truth.”
25 Then some of the residents of Jerusalem spoke up and said, “Isn’t this the one they’re trying to kill? 26 So why is he here speaking publicly and not one of the Jewish leaders is doing anything about it? Are they starting to think that he’s the Anointed One? 27 But how could he be, since we know this man is from Galilee, but no one will know where the true Messiah comes from, he’ll just appear out of nowhere.”[hc]
28 Knowing all of this, Jesus one day preached boldly in the temple courts, “So, you think you know me and where I come from? But you don’t know the One who sent me—the Father who is always faithful.[hd] I have not come simply on my own initiative. 29 The Father has sent me here, and I know all about him, for I have come from his presence.”[he]
30 His words caused many to want to arrest him, but no man was able to lay a hand on him, for it wasn’t yet his appointed time. 31 And there were many people who thought he might be the Messiah. They said, “After all, when the Anointed One appears, could he possibly do more signs and wonders than this man has done?”
32 So when the Pharisees[hf] heard these rumors circulating about Jesus, they went with the leading priests and the temple guards to arrest him.
33 Then Jesus said, “My days to be with you are numbered. Then I will return to the One who sent me. 34 And you will search for me and not be able to find me. For where I am,[hg] you cannot come.”[hh]
35 When the Jewish leaders heard this, they discussed among themselves, “Where could he possibly go that we won’t be able to find him? Is he going to minister in a different land where our people live scattered among the nations? Is he going to teach those who are not Jews?[hi] 36 What did he really mean by his statement, ‘You will search for me and won’t be able to find me. And where I am you can’t come’?”
Rivers of Living Water
37 Then on the most important day of the feast, the last day,[hj] Jesus stood and shouted out to the crowds—“All you thirsty ones, come to me! Come to me and drink! 38 Believe in me so that rivers of living water will burst out from within you, flowing[hk] from your innermost being, just like the Scripture says!”[hl]
39 Jesus was prophesying about the Holy Spirit that believers were being prepared to receive.[hm] But the Holy Spirit had not yet been poured out upon them, because Jesus had not yet been unveiled in his full splendor.[hn]
Divided Opinions about Jesus
40 When the crowd heard Jesus’ words, some said, “This man really is a prophet!” 41 Others said, “He’s the Messiah!” But others said, “How could he be the Anointed One since he’s from Galilee? 42 Don’t the Scriptures say that he will be one of David’s descendants and be born in Bethlehem, the city of David?”[ho] 43 So the crowd was divided over Jesus, 44 some wanted him arrested but no one dared to lay a hand on him.
The Unbelief of Religious Leaders
45 So when the temple guards returned to the Pharisees and the leading priests without Jesus, they were questioned, “Where is he? Why didn’t you bring that man back with you?”
46 They answered, “You don’t understand—he speaks amazing things like no one else has ever spoken!”
47 The religious leaders mocked, “Oh, so now you also have been led astray by him? 48 Do you see even one of us, your leaders, following him? 49 This ignorant rabble swarms around him because none of them know anything about the Law! They’re all cursed!”
50 Just then, Nicodemus, who had secretly spent time with Jesus, spoke up, for he was a respected voice among them. 51 He cautioned them, saying, “Does our law decide a man’s guilt before we first hear him and allow him to defend himself?”
52 They argued, “Oh, so now you’re an advocate for this Galilean! Search the Scriptures, Nicodemus, and you’ll see that there’s no mention of a prophet coming out of Galilee!”[hp] So with that their debate ended, 53 and they each went their own way.