22 August 2013

The Gospel According to Saint John, Chapter 6: A Parallel of the Passover and the Exodus of Israel

This chapter parallels the story of the Passover and Exodus of Israel from Egypt in several important ways.

These parallels show that Christ our God is the fulfillment of the old covenant, and that the breaking of His Body and the shedding of His Blood, which free mankind from the slavery of sin, fulfill the sacrifice of the Passover lambs , which brought the people out of slavery into the Promised Land. (John 1:29 reads: On the morrow John seeth Jesus coming to him, and saith, "Behold the Lamb of God Who taketh away the sin of the world.")

I will break this 6th chapter up into 6 sections, and then follow-up with a 7th section with Early Church commentary and a comparison of Orthodox Christianity and various new churches invented in the last millenium.

6:1-14 Feeding of the Five Thousand
In the Exodus account, God first performed His signs against Pharaoh, then gave instructions on how to be saved at the time of the Passover (Exodus 11:1, 12:3-14 reads: And the Lord said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; and after that he will send you away hence: and whensoever he shall send you away with everything, he shall surely thrust you out. Speak ye unto all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, In the tenth of this month let them take each man a sheep, according to the houses of their families, every man a sheep for each household. And if they be few in a household, that there be not enough for a sheep, he shall take with him his neighbour that liveth next unto him according to the number of souls; every man according to that which sufficeth him shall make a reckoning for the sheep. It shall be unto you a sheep without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it of the lambs, and of the kids. And it shall be kept for you up until the fourteenth day of the month: and the whole multitude of the congregation of the sons of Israel shall kill it toward evening. And they shall take of the blood, and put it on the two doorposts and on the upper door post in the houses, wherein they shall eat them. And they shall eat the flesh in this night roast with fire, and they shall eat unleavened bread with bitter herbs. Ye shall not eat of it raw, nor sodden in water, but only roast with fire; the head with the feet, and with the entrails. Thou shalt not leave any of it until the morning; and a bone of it shall ye not break; but that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it: your loins girded, and your sandals on your feet, and your staves in your hands; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is a Passover to the Lord. And I will pass through the land of Egypt in that night, and will smite every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am LORD. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and I will see the blood, and will protect you, and the plague of destruction shall not be upon you, whensoever I smite the land of Egypt. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout all your generations; ye shall keep it a feast for a perpetual ordinance.). In this chapter, the multitudes follow Christ because of His signs (John 6:2 reads: And a great crowd was following Him, because they had been seeing the signs which He brought about upon those who were sick.), and this too takes place at Passover (John 6:4 reads: And the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was near.).

Christ tests Philip to increase his faith (John 6:5 reads: Then Jesus, having lifted up His eyes and having beheld that a great crowd was coming toward Him, saith to Philip, "From what place shall we buy loaves, that these might eat?"), for Philip needed help in understanding Him (John 14:8-10 reads: Philip saith to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and is sufficeth us." Jesus saith to him, "Am I so long a time with you, and you hast not known Me, Philip? The one who hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou, 'Show us the Father'? Believest not thou that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words which I speak to you I speak not from Myself; but the Father Who abideth in Me, He doeth the works."). Andrew has greater faith than Philip: knowing the prophet Elisha had multiplied bread for 100 men (4th Kingdoms[2nd Kings] 4:42-44 reads: And there came a man over from Baal-shalisha, and brought the man of God of the firstfruits twenty barley loaves, and cakes of figs. And he said, Give unto the people, and let them eat. And his servant said, Why should I set this before an hundred men? And he said, Give unto the people, and let them eat: for thus saith the Lord, They shall eat, and shall leave thereof. And they did eat, and left thereof, according to the word of the Lord.), he offers the food brought by a certain lad. Nevertheless, Andrew is still weak in faith, questioning what a mere five loaves could do for the number of the people there (John 6:9 reads: "There is one little boy here who hath five barley loaves and two small fish; but what are these for so many?").

In the Exodus, the Jews were said to eat unleavened bread because they were hastily driven out of Egypt and had brought no provisions for themselves (Exodus 12:39 reads: And they baked the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, unleavened bread baked in ashes, for it was not leavened; because the Egyptians thrust them out, and they could not remain, neither had they prepared for themselves provision for the journey.). Here, Jesus feeds the multitudes with earthly bread because they had brought no provisions, having rushed out to see Him.

The description of Christ as He took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them (John 6:11 reads: And Jesus took the loaves; and after He gave thanks, He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those reclining; and likewise the fish, as much as they wished.) prefigures the celebration of the Eucharist.

This miracle, reported by all four evangelists, shows Jesus feeding a great multitude of His people as He fed the Israelites in the desert in Exodus Chapter 16. The Church Fathers see in this an image of the Eucharist, an idea made clear throughout John Chapter 6. In Matthew 15:32-39 another miracle is mentioned in which Jesus feeds four thousand men with seven loaves and a few small fish. While certain modern scholars have attempted to say that these are merely the same story, the witness of the gospel is clear that they are two distinct accounts, with Christ Himself referring to both of them separately (Matthew 16:8-10 reads: But Jesus, having known it, said to them, "Why reason ye among yourselves, O ye of little faith, because ye did not take bread" Do ye not perceive, nor remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many large provision baskets ye took up?).

A spiritual interpretation given by the Fathers teaches that the five loaves indicate the five books of the Law (Genesis through Deuteronomy), which are broken open in Christ and thus feed the universe. The two fish represent the Gospel Book and the Epistle Book, the teaching of the fishermen. The gathering of leftovers by the apostles shows that the teachings that the faithful are unable to grasp are nevertheless held in the consciousness of the Church. (John 6:12-13 reads: And when they were filled, He saith to His disciples, "Gather together the fragments which remain over, that nothing might be lost." Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five loaves of barley which remained over to those who had eaten.)

6:15-21 Walking on Rough Seas
In the Exodus, Moses leads the people across the Red Sea, walking on dry ground in the midst of the water (Exodus 14:19-22 reads: And the Angel of the Lord, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud also removed from before them, and stood behind them. And it went between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel, and stood; and there was darkness and blackness: and the night passed, and they came not near to one another during the whole night. And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord carried back the sea with a strong south wind all the night, and made the sea dry land, and the water was divided. And the sons of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry land: and the water thereof was a wall on the right hand, and on the left.). Here, Christ sends His disciples across the sea (John 6:17 reads: And having embarked into the ship, they were going across the sea to Capernaum. And already it had become dark, and Jesus had not come to them.) and then He walks on the sea (John 6:19 reads: Then after they had rowed about twenty five or thirty stadia, they see Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the ship; and they became afraid.) as if it were dry ground.

This is the second time Christ permits His disciples to be caught in a storm (Matthew 8:23-27 reads: And after He embarked into the ship, His disciples followed Him. And behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, so that the ship was covered by the waves; but He was sleeping. And His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, "Lord, save us; we are perishing." And He saith to them, "Why are ye cowardly, O ye of little faith?" Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. And the men wondered, saying, "What manner of man is this One, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?"). The first time He was with them; here He had left them alone. In this way, Christ strengthens their faith that He will always be with them in the midst of the storms of life.

"I AM", is the divine Name of God (Exodus 3:14 reads: "And God spake unto Moses, saying, I AM WHO AM: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the sons of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.") and Jesus lets the Jews know that He is the same One Who spoke to Moses in the Burning Bush here (John 6:20 reads: But He saith to them, "I AM; cease being afraid.") and will in the future tell all the Jews (John 8:58 reads: Jesus said to them, "Verily, verily, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM."); Christ reminds the fearful disciples of His absolute and divine authority over their lives.

6:22-29 Work for Heavenly Bread
Though Jesus had performed greater signs than this, these crowds were so desirous of an earthly Messiah that they declared Jesus to be the expected Prophet (Deuteronomy 18:15-19 reads: The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet of thy brethren, like unto me; ?Him shall ye hear; according to all that thou desirest of the Lord thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, We will not hear again the voice of the Lord thy God, neither will we see this great fire any more: and we shall not die. And the Lord said unto me, They have spoken rightly all that which they have spoken unto thee: I will raise them up a Prophet of their brethren, like unto thee, and will put My word in His mouth; and He shall speak unto them as I shall command Him. And what man soever will not hearken unto whatsoever words that Prophet shall speak in My name, I will take vengeance upon him.) only when they were filled with earthly things (John 6:26 reads: Jesus answered them and said, "Verily, verily, I say to you, ye seek Me, not because ye saw signs, but because ye ate of the loaves and were filled.). Because of this misunderstanding, Jesus departed from them.

6:30-42 Jesus, the Bread of Life
Christ was crucified in the flesh and His Blood was shed on the Cross, and on the third day He was raised in a glorified state. We receive the grace of Christ's sacrificial offering by coming to Him in faith (John 6:35 reads: But Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; the one who cometh to Me in no wise shall hunger; and the one who believeth in Me in no wise shall thirst at any time.) and by receiving Holy Communion in Faith.

Since Christ has two natures, He has two wills—the divine will and a human will. These two wills of Christ do not work contrary to one another, but rather His human will follows, not resisting nor reluctant, but subject to His divinity and to His omnipotent will. (John 6:38-40 reads: "For I have come down out of the heavens, not in order that I may do Mine own will, but the will of the One Who sent Me. And this is the will of the Father Who sent Me, that all that He hath given Me I should not lose anything of it, but should raise it up in the last day. And this is the will of the One Who sent Me, that everyone who seeth the Son and believeth in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up in the last day.")

The divine will is common to the three Persons of the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—for all fully share the same divine nature. When the Son is said to obey the Father, this refers to His human will, which Christ assumed at His Incarnation. Christ freely aligned His human will in every aspect with the divine will of the Father, and we are called to do likewise.

6:43-59 Eat His Flesh, Drink His Blood
The eucharistic significance of this passage is indisputable. Our Lord's declaration that He is Himself the living bread that gives life reveals the Mystical Supper of the New Testament Church. John never reports the details of the Last Supper such as the "words of institution" recorded in Luke (Luke 22:19-20 reads: And He took bread and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave to them, saying, "This is My body which is being given for you; be doing this in remembrance of Me." In like manner also the cup, after having supped, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is being poured out for you."); instead, he reveals the significance and truth of these events, events that were already known to his hearers, by reporting here Christ's own words. Included in this is Jesus quoting the prophets (Isaiah 54:13 reads: And I will make all thy sons to be taught of God, and thy children to be in great peace.) (John 6:45 reads: "It hath been written in the prophets, 'And they shall be taught of God.' Everyone then who hath heard and hath learned from the Father, cometh to Me.").

In the Exodus, God fed His people manna and gave them drink  from a miraculous water source (Exodus 16:4, 15, 16 reads: And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven upon you; and the people shall go out, and shall gather their daily portion for the day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in My law, or no. And when the sons of Israel saw it, they said, What is this?; for they wist not what it was: and Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat.) (Nehemiah 9:15 reads: And Thou gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and brought forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and bade them go in to inherit the land, over which Thou stretched forth Thine hand to give it them.) (Psalm 77:25-26[78:23-24] reads: And He commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven, and rained on them manna to eat, and gave them bread of heaven.). Here, Christ declares Himself  to be the true food and drink, the true bread that has come down from heaven (John 6:48-53 reads: "I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate manna in the wilderness, and died. This One is the bread, the One coming down out of the heavens, in order that anyone might eat of it and not die. I am the bread, the living One, the One having come down out of the heavens; if anyone should eat of this bread, he shall live forever. And indeed the bread that I will give in My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." Then the Jews began quarreling with one another, saying, "How is this One able to give us His flesh to eat?" Then Jesus said to them, "Verily, verily, I say to you, unless ye should eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, ye are not having life in yourselves.").

In Communion, we truly eat His flesh and drink His blood, and this grants the faithful eternal life (John 6:54-58 reads: "The one who partaketh of My flesh and drinketh My blood hath eternal life; and I will raise him up in the last day. For My flesh is true food and My blood is true drink. The one who eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood abideth in Me, and I in him. Even as the living Father sent Me forth, and I live because of the Father, also the one who eateth Me, even he shall live because of Me. This One is the bread, the One having come down out of the heavens—not as your fathers ate the manna and died. The one who eateth this bread shall live forever."). This invitation is first stated in Proverbs, where God the Son is represented as Holy Wisdom. (Proverbs 9:5 reads: "Come, eat of My bread, and drink wine which I have mingled for you.")

6:60-71 The Words of Eternal Life
Even his disciples took Christ's teachings on His Body and Blood as a hard saying (John 6:60 reads: Many of His disciples, therefore, after they heard this, said, "Hard is this saying; who is able to hear it?"), and many walked with Him no more (John 6:66 reads: From this time on, many out of His disciples went away to the things left behind, and no longer walked about with Him.). As of the last 500 years, there are still those who reject Christ's own words concerning the sacramental eating of His Body and drinking of His Blood, and thus do not fully walk in His teaching. Because of the difficulty of grasping the depth of this Mystery, many attempt either to define its nature rationally or to explain away Christ's words altogether, giving them a purely metaphorical meaning. Either extreme is dubious; to reject this sacramental teaching is to reject the witness of the Scriptures and the unanimous teaching of the Church throughout history.

Commentary from the Early Church
We go to the apostolic traditions and teachings of the holy teachers before us as the Holy Bible teaches us.(Acts 8:29-31 reads: And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and join thyself to this chariot.” And Philip ran up and heard him reading the Prophet Esaias, and said, “So then dost thou really understand what thou readest?” But he said, “No. How can I, unless someone should guide me?”) (1st Corinthians 11:2 reads: Now I praise you, brethren, that ye have remembered me in all things; and even as I delivered to you, ye are holding fast the traditions.) (2nd Thessalonians 2:15 reads: So then, brethren, be standing firm and holding fast the traditions which ye were taught, whether by word or by our epistle.) (1st Timothy 6:3-5 reads: If anyone teach differently and draw not near to sound words—those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the teaching according to piety— he hath been puffed up with pride, knowing nothing, but is sick concerning questions and disputes about words, out of which cometh envy, strife, blasphemies, evil suspicions, wasting time with wearing disputations of people who have been corrupted in mind and deprived of the truth, supposing piety to be a means of gain. Be withdrawing from such.) (2nd Peter 1:20-21 reads: Knowing this first, that every prophecy of Scripture cometh not out of private explanation, for prophecy was not brought about at any time by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke while borne along by the Holy Spirit.)

The Didache [50-90 AD] says: ”Now concerning the Eucharist...let no one eat or drink of your Eucharist, except those Baptized into the Lord’s name; for in regard to this the Lord hath said: Give not that which is holy to the dogs.

Saint Justin Martyr [100-165 AD] says: "Among us the food is called Eucharist, of which no one is allowed to partake but the one who believes the things we teach are true, and who has also been washed (Holy Baptism) with the washing that is for the forgiveness of sins and unto regeneration, and who is living as Christ has taught us. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but as Jesus Christ our Saviour, made flesh by the Logos of God, took flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught, that the food which is consecrated by the prayer of His words, and by which our own flesh and blood by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of the Jesus Who became flesh and blood." ["The Faith of Christians," First Apology, PP65-67, P.G. 6, in Toal, III:109 ss2.]

Saint Irenaeus of Lyons [130-202 AD] says: "For we offer to Him His own, announcing consistently the fellowship and union of the flesh and the Spirit. For as bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly, so also our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity." [Against Heresies, Bk. IV, Ch. XVIII, P 5, in Ante-Nicene Fathers, I:486]

Saint Hilary of Poitiers [300-368 AD] says: "As to the verity of the flesh and blood there is no room left for doubt. For now both from the declaration of the Lord Himself and our own faith, it is verily flesh and verily blood. And these, when eaten and drunk, bring it to pass that both we are in Christ and Christ in us." [On the Trinity, Bk. VIII, ss 14, in Nicene, 2ns Ser., IX:141.]

Saint Ambrose of Milan [340-397 AD] says: "Let us seek the mystery which the miracle represents. Those five thousand, like the body's five senses, seem to have received from Christ food similar to corporeal, the image of the two Testaments is to be understood from the fish." [Exposition Bk. VI ss 80, 81.]

Saint John Chrysostom [347-407 AD] says: "What is He saying? He either wants to say that this is true food which saves the soul, or to assure them that they might not think the words spoken are an enigma or even a parable, but that they might especially know that it is needful to eat the body." [Hom. 47, P.G. 59:275 (col. 263).]

Saint Cyril of Alexandria [376-444 AD] says: "O sublime condescension! The Creator gives Himself to His creatures, for their delight. Life bestows Itself on mortals, as food and drink. 'Come, eat My body,' He exhorts us, 'and drink the wine I have mingled for you. I have prepared Myself as food. I have mingled Myself for those who desire Me. Of Mine own will I became flesh, and have become a partaker of your flesh and blood. Eat of Me Who am Life, and live, for this is what I desire. Eat My bread, for I am the life-giving grain of wheat, and I am the bread of life. Drink the wine I have mingled for you, for I am the draught of immortality. I am the true vine (John 15:1); drink the wine which I have mingled for you (Proverbs 9:5).'" [Mediation on the Mystical Supper, Hom. 10, P.G. 77, in Toal, III:155-157.]

Saint Bede the Venerable [673-755 AD] says: "Although the mystery of salvation received its start by being declared by the Lord, it was confirmed in us by those who heard it from Him. Thus it is appropriate that the Lord administered the loaves and fishes to His disciples, and the disciples then administered them to the crowd. He broke up the five loaves and two fish, and distributed them to His disciples, when He opened their minds to understand everything that had been written about HIm in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms. This unquestionably signifies that there are many hidden mysteries of the divine tidings that the minds of ordinary people do not grasp, but they are able to understand once they are explained by teachers. Those more able should then gather these mysteries up, and, by their speaking or writing, make them a guide for the less learned."

Saint Theophylact of Ohrid [1050-1107 AD] says: "He says, I AM,' that is, 'I ever abide, and as God, I AM THAT AM.'"

What the different churches believe:
Notice how the further away from from the Apostolic Era that the founding of a new church is, the more its teaching change from the original teaching of Christ's Apostles and the Early Church Fathers.
  • Orthodox Christianity (founded by Jesus Christ & His Apostles in 33 AD) teaches that the Sacrament of the Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ through a Mystery of the Holy Spirit.
  • Roman Catholicism (Created by Pope Leo IX & Cardinal Humbert in 1054 AD) teaches that the Sacrament of the Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ through a defined process of Transubstantiation.
  • Lutheranism (Created by Priest-Monk Martin Luther in 1517 AD) teaches that the Sacrament of the  Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ through a defined process of Consubstantiation.
  • Anglicanism (Created by King Henry VIII of England in 1534 AD) teaches that the Sacrament of the  Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ through a process other than Transubstantiation.
  • Calvinism (Created by John Calvin in 1536) teaches that the Sacrament of the Eucharist is Pneumatically/Spiritually the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
  • Presbyterianism (Created by Priest John Knox in 1560 AD) teaches that the Sacrament of the Eucharist is Pneumatically/Spiritually the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
  • Baptist Protestantism (Created by John Smythe in 1605 AD) teach a variety of things today, but originally in the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith (Written in 1677), Chapter 30, Articles 3 & 7 taught that the Ordinance of the Eucharist is Pneumatically/Spiritually the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Many modern Baptists are starting to call the modernist idea of the Eucharist being only a Memorial Meal made up of crackers and grape juice, a 19th century novelty and a grave error, and returning to their original teaching and original elements of actual bread and actual wine.

The feeding of the multitude is the 4th of the seven our Lord's signs reported by John and is recorded in all four Gospels (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17). The 7 signs are:

  1. Changing the water into wine (John 2:1-11)
  2. Curing the nobleman's son (John 4:46-54)
  3. Healing the paralytic (John 5:1-15)
  4. Feeding the five thousand (John 6:1-14)
  5. Walking on water (John 6:15-21)
  6. Opening the eyes of a blind man (John 9:1-7)
  7. Raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:38-44)

Of course, John admits that there were much more than these written 7 signs that Jesus did. (John 20:30 reads: Then indeed Jesus also did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book.) (John 21:35 reads: And there are also many other things, which if as much as Jesus did may be written one by one, I suppose even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.)

Bible Verses Mentioned but not Quoted in Full Above:
Matthew 14:13-21 reads: And after Jesus heard it, He withdrew from that place by ship privately to a desolate place, And when the crowds heard of it, they Him on foot from the cities. And Jesus, having gone out, saw a great crowd, and was moved with compassion toward them, and He cured their sick. And evening having come to pass, His disciples came to Him, saying, "The place is desolate, and the time is already past; dismiss the crowds in order that they might go away into the villages and buy food for themselves." But Jesus said to them, "They have no need to go away; give ye to them to eat." But they say to Him, "We have nought here except  five loaves and two fish." And He said, "Bring them here to Me." And He commanded the crowd to recline on the grass. And having taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to the heaven, and blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples to the crowds. And all ate and were filled, and they took up of the fragments
that which was over and above—twelve baskets full. And they that ate were about five thousand men, apart from the women and children.

Matthew 15:32-39 reads: But Jesus called to Himself His disciples and said, "I am moved with compassion toward the crowd, because they continue with Me now three days, and have nothing that they might eat. And I am not willing to dismiss them fasting, lest they should be faint in the way. And His disciples say to Him, "From what place should come so many loaves in a wilderness, as to fill so great a crowd?" And Jesus saith to them, "How many loaves have ye?" And they said, "Seven, and a few small fish." And He commanded the crowds to recline on the ground. And having taken the seven loaves and the fish, He gave thanks and broke them and gave to His disciples, and the disciples to the crowd. And they did all eat, and were filled; and they took up of the fragments that which was over and above—seven large provision baskets full. And they who ate were four thousand men, apart from women and children. And He dismissed the crowds, and embarked into the ship, and came to the borders of Magdala.)

Mark 6:30-44 reads: And the apostles were gathered together to Jesus, and related to Him all things, both as much as they did and as much as they taught. And He said to them, "Come ye yourselves privately to a desolate place, and rest yourselves a little." For those coming and those going were many, and they did not even have an opportunity to eat. And they went away by the ship privately to a desolate place. And the crowds  saw them going, and many recognized Him, and ran together there on foot from all the cities, and went out before them, and came together to Him. And Jesus, after He came out, saw a great crowd and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things. And much time already having elapsed, His disciples came to Him and said, "The place is desolate, and already it is a late hour. Dismiss them in order that they might go away into the fields and villages about, and buy bread for themselves; for they have not what they might eat." But He answered and said to them,  "Give ye them to eat." And they say to Him, "Shall we go away and buy bread worth two hundred denarii and give them to eat?" But He saith to them, "How many loaves have ye? Go and see." And having known, they say, "Five, and two fish." And he enjoined them to make all recline by companies upon the green grass. And they laid back in rows, like beds in a garden, up to a hundred and up to fifty. And having taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to the heaven and blessed and broke the loaves, and kept on giving them to His disciples that they might set them before them; the two fish He divided to all. And all ate and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of fragments, and from the fish. And they who ate of the loaves were five thousand men.

Luke 9:10-17 reads: And having returned, the apostles set forth in detail to Him whatsoever they did. And He took them and withdrew privately to a desolate district of the city which is called Bethsaida. But the crowds, having known it, followed Him; and having received them, He was talking to them about the kingdom of God; and those having need of cures He was healing. And the day began to wane; and the twelve approached and said to Him, "Dismiss the crowd, in order that they might go away into the villages and the fields round about, and lodge and find provisions; for we are here in a desolate place." But He said to them, "Give ye to eat." And they said, "There are no more than five loaves and two fish with us, unless, indeed, we should go and buy food for all this people." For there were about five thousand men. And He said to His disciples, "Make them recline in companies by fifties." And they did so, and made sll to recline. nd having taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to the heaven and blessed them and broke them, and kept on giving them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And they ate and all were filled. And there was taken up that which was over and above to them of fragments—twelve baskets.

John 2:1-11 reads: And on the third day a marriage took place in Cana of Galilee, and the Mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus also was invited, and His disciples, to the marriage. And after they fell short of wine, the Mother of Jesus saith to Him, "They have no wine." Jesus saith to her, "What is it Me and to thee, woman? Mine hour is not yet come." His Mother saith to the servants, "Whatsoever He saith to you, do it." And there were standing there six stone waterpots, according to the purification of the Jews, containing two or three measures each. Jesus saith to them, "Fill the waterpots with water." And they filled them up to the top. And Jesus saith to them, "Draw out now, and bear it to the master of the feast." And they brought it. Now when the master of the feast tasted the water that had become wine, and knew not from what place it was—but the servants who had drawn the water knew—the master of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith to him, "Every man first setteth forth the good wine, and whenever they have drunk freely, then the inferior. As for thee, thou hast kept the good wine until now. This did Jesus in Cana of Galilee as the beginning of the signs, and it made manifest His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.

John 4:46-54 reads: Jesus then came again to Cana of Galilee when He made the water wine. And there was a certain king's officer whose son was sick in Capernaum. After this one heard that Jesus had come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went off to Him, and was entreating Him that He would come down and heal his son, for he was about to die. Then Jesus said to him, "Unless you see signs and wonders, in no wise will ye believe." The king's officer saith to Him, "Sir, come down before my little child die." Jesus saith to him, "Go thy way; thy son liveth." And the man believed the word which Jesus said to him, and started on his way. But already, as he was going down, his slaves met him and brought tidings, saying, "Thy child liveth." The he learned from them the hour in which he got better. And they said to him, "Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him." So the father knew that it was at the hour in which Jesus said to him, "Thy son liveth." And he himself believed, and his whole house. Again, this second sign Jesus did, having come out of Judaea into Galilee.

John 5:1-15 reads: After these things there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the gate a sheep pool, which is surnamed in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these was lying a great multitude of the infirm, blind, lame, withered, awaiting the moving of the water. For an angel used to come down from time to time into the pool and trouble the water; and after the troubling of the water, the one who first entered became well of whatsoever disease he was held by. And a certain man was there, who had been thirty and eight years in his infirmity. Jesus saw this one lying there, and knew that he had already been much time in that condition, and He said to him, "Dost thou wish to become well?" The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man in order that whenever the water is troubled he may put me in the pool; but while I am coming, another goeth down before me." Jesus saith to him, "Rise, take up thy bed and be walking." And straightway the man became well, and took up his bed, and went on walking. And on that day it was a sabbath. The Jews therefore were saying to him who had been healed, "It is a sabbath; it is not lawful for thee to take up the bed." He answered them, "The One Who made me well, the same said to me, 'Take up thy bed and be walking.'" Then they asked him, "Who is the Man Who said to thee, 'Take up thy bed and be walking?'" But the one who was healed knew not Who it was, for Jesus turned aside, because a crowd was in place. After these things Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said to him, "Behold, thou hast become well; no longer go on sinning, lest a worse thing should befall thee." The man went away, and told the Jews that Jesus was the One Who made him well.

John 9:1-7 reads: And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this one or his parents, that he should be born blind?" Jesus answered, "Neither this one nor his parents, but in order that the works of God be made manifest in him. It is needful for Me to be working the works of the One Who sent Me while it is day' night cometh when no one is able to be working. Whenever I may be in the world, I am the light of the world." Having said these things, He spat on the ground, and made clay out of the spittle, and anointed the eyes of the blind one with the clay, and said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which is interpreted, Sent forth). He went therefore and washed, and came seeing.

John 11:38-44 reads: Then Jesus, again rebuking His deep feelings in Himself, cometh to the sepulcher. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying upon it. Jesus saith, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of the one who was dead, saith to Him, "Lord, already he stinketh, for it is the fourth day." Jesus saith to her, "I said to thee that if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God, did I not?" Then they took away the stone where the dead one was laid. And Jesus lifted His eyes upwards, and said, "Father, I give thanks to Thee that Thou hearest Me. But I know that Thou hearest Me always; but on account of the crowd which stood around I said it, that they might believe that Thou didst send Me forth." And after He said these things, He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth." And the one who was dead came forth, his feet and hands having been bound with grave clothes; and his face had been bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith to them, "Loose him, and let him go."

  1. The Explanation of the Holy Gospel According to Saint John

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