Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews.
Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades.
Here a great number of disabled people used to lie--the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.
One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.
When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?"
"Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me."
Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk."
At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath,
and so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, "It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat."
But he replied, "The man who made me well said to me, `Pick up your mat and walk.'"
So they asked him, "Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?"
The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.
Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, "See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you."
The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him.
Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working."
For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these.
For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.
Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son,
that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.
I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.
For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself.
And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.
"Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice
and come out--those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.
By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.
"If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid.
There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is valid.
"You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth.
Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved.
John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light.
"I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me.
And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form,
nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent.
You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me,
yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
"I do not accept praise from men,
but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts.
I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.
How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God ?
"But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set.
If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.
But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?"
Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias),
and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick.
Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples.
The Jewish Passover Feast was near.
When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?"
He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
Philip answered him, "Eight months' wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!"
Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up,
"Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?"
Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them.
Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted."
So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, "Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world."
Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.
When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake,
where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them.
A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough.
When they had rowed three or three and a half miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were terrified.
But he said to them, "It is I; don't be afraid."
Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.
The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples, but that they had gone away alone.
Then some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks.
Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus.
When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, "Rabbi, when did you get here?"
Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.
Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval."
Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"
Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."
So they asked him, "What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do?
Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: `He gave them bread from heaven to eat.' "
Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.
For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."
"Sir," they said, "from now on give us this bread."
Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.
But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.
For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.
And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.
For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."
At this the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven."
They said, "Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, `I came down from heaven'?"
"Stop grumbling among yourselves," Jesus answered.
"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.
It is written in the Prophets: `They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me.
No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.
I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.
I am the bread of life.
Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died.
But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"
Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever."
He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
On hearing it, many of his disciples said, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?"
Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, "Does this offend you?
What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before!
The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.
Yet there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him.
He went on to say, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him."
From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
"You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve.
Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."
Then Jesus replied, "Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!"
(He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.)
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
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