Essential question

John 6:56-69

For five weeks the lectionary journey through the Gospel of Mark is interrupted by a brief sojourn into the sixth chapter of John. The chapter opens with two familiar stories from the synoptic Gospels: the feeding of the multitude (a story so important that it appears six times in the four Gospels) and Jesus walking on the water. Then there are dialogues, first with the crowd and then with “the Jews” (probably better understood as Judean officials) about the meaning of the miracle of the feeding and about Jesus’ true identity. As is often the case with John, small, ordinary words such as bread and life are freighted with theological meaning. Jesus provided bread, but his bread is not like the manna that God provided in the wilderness; this bread is himself, his very life; and those who eat it “will live forever.”


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