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John 6:25-69

Have someone read John 6:1-24 aloud, slowly and with expression.

As you listen to the reading, try to imagine the scene in as much detail as possible. What does it look like, sound like, smell like, taste like and feel like?

  • What stood out to you as you imagined this scene?

  • How is Jesus described in this passage - what sort of mood does he seem to be in at this point of his ministry?

We will be reading the rest of this (very long!) chapter in bite-sized pieces, discussing each section as we go along. Try to get through as much of it as you can, while still leaving time for prayer at the end.

Read John 6:25-29

  • What do you think Jesus meant when he spoke of “food that endures to eternal life, which the son of man will give you”? (v26)

  • What about “on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval”? (v27) [1]

  • What do you think the crowds would have thought of those two statements?

  • What about the phrase, "food that endures to eternal life"? What do you think Jesus means by that? In what way has Jesus given you food that endures?

Read John 6:30-40

  • What sign do you think they were hoping to get from Jesus?

  • Reread verse 35. These are very famous words from Jesus. But are they true in your experience? Why/why not?

  • What does it mean to you that Jesus 'will never drive you away' and that he will 'lose none of all those He has given me'? Do you believe that?

Read John 6:41-51

  • Look at verses 41-42. What was it that the Jewish leaders had heard Jesus say? What were they focused on? What (if anything) had they misunderstood?

  • What do you notice about Jesus’ response to their grumbling? What did he want them to focus on? Do you think this re-framing helped? [2]

Read John 6:52-59

  • These words must have been shocking to the people there: “…eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood…” What did Jesus mean by that? What do you think the people listening would have thought he meant? [3]

  • What do you do to "feed on the bread of life" in your life? What does that phrase mean for you? Are there other ways to do it?

Read John 6:60-69

  • Why do you think people stopped following Jesus at this point?

  • How do you think Jesus would have felt about that?

  • What sorts of ‘hard teaching’ stops people today from following Jesus?

  • What sorts of ‘hard teaching’ do you find it hard to accept?

  • Reflect on the words of Peter: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” Are you willing to make this same commitment, in spite of what you find hard to accept about Jesus?

Spend some time praying for one another

  • Pray for faith to trust in Jesus

  • Pray for a deeper sense of satisfaction in Jesus - that He is enough

  • Pray for the needs of your Connect Group, that Jesus would provide himself as our 'daily bread' for those situations we are each facing.

[1] Colin Kruse explains:

He uses a technical term, ‘to certify’ or ‘to place a seal upon’ (sphragizo). It is found in commercial documents among the papyri where it denotes the sealing of letters and sacks to guarantee that no-one tampers with the contents... Here it is used figuratively as a seal of approval, i.e. as God’s imprimatur upon Jesus.

[2] N. T. Wright explains what Jesus means by "eternal life" in verse 47:

‘Eternal life’ is the quality of life, sharing the inner life of Jesus, that is on offer at once to anyone who believes. ‘Eternal’ tells you what sort of life it is, as well as the fact that it goes on after death: it is the life of the age to come, the new life which God has always planned to give to his world. But the form that this eternal life will take in the end is not that of the disembodied spirit that so many people today assume is what Christians think about life after death. The eternal life that begins in the present when someone believes, and continues in the future beyond death, will eventually take the form of the resurrection life already spoken of in 5.25–29. The entire story John is telling is designed to end with Jesus pioneering the way into this newly embodied life, and the promise of the present chapter is that this life will be shared by all who taste of the living bread.

[3] The most well-read audience members might have thought of the story of David in 1 Chronicles 11:15-19. In it, David refuses to drink water that was drawn from the well of Bethlehem at great risk by three of David's mighty warriors, because to drink it would be 'drinking the blood of these men who went at the risk of their lives'. Jesus invites us to drink his blood, who didn't just risk his life, but willingly gave it up for us to give us eternal life.

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