The Meaning of John 6:35 Explained

John 6:35

KJV: And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

YLT: And Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of the life; he who is coming unto me may not hunger, and he who is believing in me may not thirst -- at any time;

Darby: And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger, and he that believes on me shall never thirst at any time.

ASV: Jesus said unto them. I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall not hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

What does John 6:35 Mean?

Context Summary

John 6:30-40 - The Father's Will Jesus' Law Of Life
On the day following, our Lord had to encounter, first the demand of the people for a continuation of the miracle of the preceding night, John 6:25-40; second, the murmur of "the Jews," that is, their religious leaders, John 6:41-51; third, the growing heat of His opponents, John 6:52-59; and lastly, the failure of many of His disciples, John 6:60-71. But His mountain prayer had prepared Him, John 6:15.
The manna was only a type of His mission to meet the hunger of the human spirit for truth, and love, and hope. He is the true bread from heaven, God's best gift (of the reality of which all material substances are but emblems), not only satisfying passing hunger but imparting life, and only waiting to be appropriated by any that will. Let us come to Him, turning from all else. To come is to cease to hunger, to trust is to lose our thirst. Jesus suffices for heaven; shall he not suffice also for earth? Note the identical clauses of John 6:37. All whom the Father gives to Christ come to Him; and all who come to Him prove that they are included in the Father's gift, bestowed before the worlds were made. See John 10:28-29; John 17:6. [source]

Chapter Summary: John 6

1  Jesus feeds five thousand men with five loaves and two fishes
15  Thereupon the people would have made him king;
16  but withdrawing himself, he walks on the sea to his disciples;
26  reproves the people flocking after him, and all the fleshly hearers of his word;
32  declares himself to be the bread of life to believers
66  Many disciples depart from him
68  Peter confesses him
70  Judas is a devil

Greek Commentary for John 6:35

I am the bread of life [Εγω ειμι ο αρτος της ζωης]
This sublime sentence was startling in the extreme to the crowd. Philo does compare the manna to the τειος λογος — theios logos in an allegorical sense, but this language is far removed from Philo‘s vagueness. In the Synoptics (Mark 14:22; Matthew 26:26; Luke 22:19) Jesus uses bread He is the bread of life in two senses: it has life in itself, the living bread (John 6:51), and it gives life to others like the water of life, the tree of life. John often has Jesus saying “I am” As also in John 6:41, John 6:48, John 6:51; John 8:12; John 10:7, John 10:9, John 10:11, John 10:14; John 11:25; John 14:6; John 15:1, John 15:5. He that cometh to me The first act of the soul in approaching Jesus. See also John 6:37. Shall not hunger Strong double negative ου με — ou me with first aorist (ingressive) active subjunctive, “shall not become hungry.” He that believeth on me The continuous relation of trust after coming like πιστευητε — pisteuēte (present tense) in John 6:29. See both verbs used together also in John 7:37. Shall never thirst So the old MSS. the future active indicative instead of the aorist subjunctive as above, an even stronger form of negation with πωποτε — pōpote (John 1:18) added. [source]
I am the bread of life []
A form of expression peculiar to John. See John 6:41, John 6:48, John 6:51; John 8:12; John 10:7, John 10:9, John 10:11, John 10:14; John 11:25; John 14:6; John 15:1, John 15:5. [source]
Cometh - believeth []
Faith in its active aspect and in its resting aspect. [source]
Never [οὐ μὴ]
Rather, in nowise, or by no means. Rev., shall not. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for John 6:35

Matthew 2:1 Bethlehem []
Hebrew, House of Bread, probably from its fertility. The birthplace of him who calls himself the Bread of Life (John 6:35), and identified with the history of his human ancestry through Ruth, who was here married to Boaz, and was the ancestress of David (Matthew 1:5, Matthew 1:6), and through David himself, who was born there, and anointed king by Samuel (compare Luke 2:11, city of David )Wise men, or Magi ( μάγοι )Wycliffe renders kings. A priestly caste among the Persians and Medes, which occupied itself principally with the secrets of nature, astrology, and medicine. Daniel became president of such an order in Babylon (Daniel 2:48). The word became transferred, without distinction of country, to all who had devoted themselves to those sciences, which were, however, frequently accompanied with the practice of magic and jugglery; and, under the form magician, it has come to be naturalized in many of the languages of Europe. Many absurd traditions and guesses respecting these visitors to our Lord's cradle have found their way into popular belief and into Christian art. They were said to be kings, and three in number; they were said to be representatives of the three families of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and therefore one of them is pictured as an Ethiopian; their names are given as Caspar, Balthasar, and Melchior, and their three skulls, said to have been discovered in the twelfth century by Bishop Reinald of Cologne, are exhibited in a priceless casket in the great cathedral of that city. [source]
Matthew 2:1 In Bethlehem of Judea [εν ητλεεμ της Ιουδαιας]
There was a Bethlehem in Galilee seven miles northwest of Nazareth (Josephus, Antiquities XIX. 15). This Bethlehem (house of bread, the name means) of Judah was the scene of Ruth‘s life with Boaz (Rth 1:1.; Matthew 1:5) and the home of David, descendant of Ruth and ancestor of Jesus (Matthew 1:5). David was born here and anointed king by Samuel (1 Samuel 17:12). The town came to be called the city of David (Luke 2:11). Jesus, who was born in this House of Bread called himself the Bread of Life (John 6:35), the true Manna from heaven. Matthew assumes the knowledge of the details of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem which are given in Luke 2:1-7 or did not consider them germane to his purpose. Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem from Nazareth because it was the original family home for both of them. The first enrolment by the Emperor Augustus as the papyri show was by families Possibly Joseph had delayed the journey for some reason till now it approached the time for the birth of the child.In the days of Herod the King (εν ημεραις ηρωιδου του ασιλεως — en hēmerais Hērōidou tou Basileōs). This is the only date for the birth of Christ given by Matthew. Luke gives a more precise date in his Gospel (Luke 2:1-3), the time of the first enrolment by Augustus and while Cyrenius was ruler of Syria. More will be said of Luke‘s date when we come to his Gospel. We know from Matthew that Jesus was born while Herod was king, the Herod sometimes called Herod the Great. Josephus makes it plain that Herod died b.c. 4. He was first Governor of Galilee, but had been king of Judaea since b.c. 40 (by Antony and Octavius). I call him “Herod the Great Pervert” in Some Minor Characters in the New Testament. He was great in sin and in cruelty and had won the favour of the Emperor. The story in Josephus is a tragedy. It is not made plain by Matthew how long before the death of Herod Jesus was born. Our traditional date a.d. 1, is certainly wrong as Matthew shows. It seems plain that the birth of Jesus cannot be put later than b.c. 5. The data supplied by Luke probably call for b.c. 6 or 7.Wise men from the east The etymology of Μαγι — Magi is quite uncertain. It may come from the same Indo-European root as (megas) magnus, though some find it of Babylonian origin. Herodotus speaks of a tribe of Magi among the Medians. Among the Persians there was a priestly caste of Magi like the Chaldeans in Babylon (Daniel 1:4). Daniel was head of such an order (Daniel 2:48). It is the same word as our “magician” and it sometimes carried that idea as in the case of Simon Magus (Acts 8:9, Acts 8:11) and of Elymas Barjesus (Acts 13:6, Acts 13:8). But here in Matthew the idea seems to be rather that of astrologers. Babylon was the home of astrology, but we only know that the men were from the east whether Arabia, Babylon, Persia, or elsewhere. The notion that they were kings arose from an interpretation of Isaiah 60:3; Revelation 21:24. The idea that they were three in number is due to the mention of three kinds of gifts (gold, frankincense, myrrh), but that is no proof at all. Legend has added to the story that the names were Caspar, Balthasar, and Melchior as in Ben Hur and also that they represent Shem, Ham, and Japhet. A casket in the Cologne Cathedral actually is supposed to contain the skulls of these three Magi. The word for east (αποανατολων — apo anatolōn) means “from the risings” of the sun. [source]
John 6:33 He which cometh down [ὁ καταβαίνων]
So it may be rendered; but also that which, referring to ἄρτος , bread: and so, better, as Rev., since Jesus does not identify Himself with the bread until John 6:35. [source]
John 1:4 In Him was life [ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν]
He was the fountain of life - physical, moral, and eternal - its principle and source. Two words for life are employed in the New Testament: βίος and ζωὴ . The primary distinction is that ζωὴ means existence as contrasted with death, and βίος , the period, means, or manner of existence. Hence βίος is originally the higher word, being used of men, while ζωὴ is used of animals ( ζῶα ). We speak therefore of the discussion of the life and habits of animals as zoo logy; and of accounts of men's lives as bio graphy. Animals have the vital principle in common with men, but men lead lives controlled by intellect and will, and directed to moral and intellectual ends. In the New Testament, βίος means either living, i.e., means of subsistence (Mark 12:44; Luke 8:43), or course of life, life regarded as an economy (Luke 8:14; 1 Timothy 2:2; 2 Timothy 2:4). Ζωὴ occurs in the lower sense of life, considered principally or wholly as existence (1 Peter 3:10; Acts 8:33; Acts 17:25; Hebrews 7:3). There seems to be a significance in the use of the word in Luke 16:25: “Thou in thy lifetime ( ἐν τῇ ζωῇ σου ) receivedst thy good things;” the intimation being that the rich man's life had been little better than mere existence, and not life at all in the true sense. But throughout the New Testament ζωὴ is the nobler word, seeming to have changed places with βίος . It expresses the sum of mortal and eternal blessedness (Matthew 25:46; Luke 18:30; John 11:25; Acts 2:28; Romans 5:17; Romans 6:4), and that not only in respect of men, but also of God and Christ. So here. Compare John 5:26; John 14:6; 1 John 1:2. This change is due to the gospel revelation of the essential connection of sin with death, and consequently, of life with holiness. “Whatever truly lives, does so because sin has never found place in it, or, having found place for a time, has since been overcome and expelled” (Trench). Ζωὴ is a favorite word with John. See John 11:25; John 14:6; John 8:12; 1 John 1:2; 1 John 5:20; John 6:35, John 6:48; John 6:63; Revelation 21:6; Revelation 22:1, Revelation 22:17; Revelation 7:17; John 4:14; Revelation 2:7; Revelation 22:2, Revelation 22:14, Revelation 22:19; John 12:50; John 17:3; John 20:31; John 5:26; John 6:53, John 6:54; John 5:40; John 3:15, John 3:16, John 3:36; John 10:10; John 5:24; John 12:25; John 6:27; John 4:36; 1 John 5:12, 1 John 5:16; John 6:51.Was the Light of men ( ἦν τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων )Passing from the thought of creation in general to that of mankind, who, in the whole range of created things, had a special capacity for receiving the divine. The Light - the peculiar mode of the divine operation upon men, conformably to their rational and moral nature which alone was fitted to receive the light of divine truth. It is not said that the Word was light, but that the life was the light. The Word becomes light through the medium of life, of spiritual life, just as sight is a function of physical life. Compare John 14:6, where Christ becomes the life through being the truth; and Matthew 5:8, where the pure heart is the medium through which God is beheld. In whatever mode of manifestation the Word is in the world, He is the light of the world; in His works, in the dawn of creation; in the happy conditions of Eden; in the Patriarchs, in the Law and the Prophets, in His incarnation, and in the subsequent history of the Church. Compare John 9:5. Of men, as a class, and not of individuals only. [source]
John 6:37 All that [παν ο]
Collective use of the neuter singular, classic idiom, seen also in John 6:39; John 17:2, John 17:24; 1 John 5:4. Perhaps the notion of unity like εν — hen in John 17:21 underlies this use of παν ο — pān ho Giveth me For the idea that the disciples are given to the Son see also John 6:39, John 6:65; John 10:29; John 17:2, John 17:6, John 17:9, John 17:12, John 17:24; John 18:9. I will in no wise cast out Strong double negation as in John 6:35 with second aorist active subjunctive of βαλλω — ballō Definite promise of Jesus to welcome the one who comes. [source]
John 6:41 Murmured [εγογγυζον]
Imperfect active of the onomatopoetic verb γογγυζω — gogguzō late verb in lxx (murmuring against Moses), papyri (vernacular), like the cooing of doves or the buzzing of bees. These Galilean Jews are puzzled over what Jesus had said (John 6:33, John 6:35) about his being the bread of God come down from heaven. [source]
John 6:48 I am the bread of life [εγω ειμι ο αρτος της ζωης]
Jesus repeats the astounding words of John 6:35 after fuller explanation. The believer in Christ has eternal life because he gives himself to him. [source]
John 6:51 The living bread [ο αρτος ο ζων]
“The bread the living.” Repetition of the claim in John 6:35, John 6:41, John 6:48, but with a slight change from ζωης — zōēs to ζων — zōn (present active participle of ζαω — zaō). It is alive and can give life. See John 4:10 for living water. In Revelation 1:17 Jesus calls himself the Living One For ever Eternally like αιωνιον — aiōnion with ζωην — zōēn in John 6:47. I shall give Emphasis on εγω — egō (I). Superior so to Moses. Is my flesh See note on John 1:14 for σαρχ — sarx the Incarnation. This new idea creates far more difficulty to the hearers who cannot grasp Christ‘s idea of self-sacrifice. For the life of the world Over, in behalf of, υπερ — huper means, and in some connexions instead of as in John 11:50. See John 1:30 for the Baptist‘s picture of Christ as the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. See also John 3:17; John 4:42; 1 John 3:16; Matthew 20:28; Galatians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 5:14.; Romans 5:8. Jesus has here presented to this Galilean multitude the central fact of his atoning death for the spiritual life of the world. [source]
1 Corinthians 15:45 Quickening spirit [πνεῦμα ζωοποιοῦν]
Rev., life-giving. Not merely living, but imparting life. Compare John 1:4; John 3:36; John 5:26, John 5:40; John 6:33, John 6:35; John 10:10; John 11:25; John 14:6. The period at which Christ became a quickening Spirit is the resurrection, after which His body began to take on the characteristics of a spiritual body. See Romans 6:4; 1 Peter 1:21. [source]
1 Corinthians 10:3 The same spiritual meat [το αυτο πνευματικον βρωμα]
Westcott and Hort needlessly bracket to αυτο — auto ρωμα — Brōma is food, not just flesh. The reference is to the manna (Exodus 16:13.) which is termed “spiritual” by reason of its supernatural character. Jesus called himself the true bread from heaven (John 6:35) which the manna typified. [source]
1 John 1:1 Of life [τῆς ζωῆς]
Lit., the life. See on John 1:4. The phrase ὁ λόγος τῆς ζωῆς , the Word of the Life, occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. The nearest approach to it is Philemon 2:16; but there neither word has the article. In the phrase words of eternal life (John 6:68), and in Acts 5:20, all the words of this life, ῥήματα is used. The question is whether λόγος is used here of the Personal Word, as John 1:1, or of the divine message or revelation. In the four passages of the Gospel where λόγος is used in a personal sense (John 1:1, John 1:14), it is used absolutely, the Word (compare Revelation 19:13). On the other hand, it is often used relatively in the New Testament; as word of the kingdom (Matthew 8:19); word of this salvation (Acts 8:26); word of His grace (Acts 20:32); word of truth (James 1:18). By John ζωῆς oflife, is often used in order to characterize the word which accompanies it. Thus, crown of life (Revelation 2:10); water of life (Revelation 21:6); book of life (Revelation 3:5); bread of life (John 6:35); i.e., the water which is living and communicates life; the book; which contains the revelation of life; the bread which imparts life. In the same sense, John 6:68; Acts 5:20. Compare Titus 1:2, Titus 1:3. Though the phrase, the Word of the Life, does not elsewhere occur in a personal sense, I incline to regard its primary reference as personal, from the obvious connection of the thought with John 1:1, John 1:4. “In the beginning was the Word, - in Him was life.” “As John does not purpose to say that he announces Christ as an abstract single idea, but that he declares his own concrete historical experiences concerning Christ, - so now he continues, not the Logos (Word), but concerning the Word, we make annunciation to you” (Ebrard). At the same time, I agree with Canon Westcott that it is most probable that the two interpretations are not to be sharply separated. “The revelation proclaims that which it includes; it has, announces, gives life. In Christ life as the subject, and life as the character of the revelation, were absolutely united.”-DIVIDER-
[source]

Revelation 22:17 Let him come [ερχεστω]
Change of person and this verb applied not to Christ as just before, but to the one who wishes to greet Christ. The thirsty man is bidden to come himself before it is too late. See Revelation 5:6 for διπσαω — dipsaō used for spiritual thirst, and in particular John 6:35; John 7:37 for one thirsting for the water of life (Revelation 21:6; Revelation 22:1). Cf. Isaiah 55:1.He that will (ο τελων — ho thelōn). Even if not yet eagerly thirsting. This one is welcome also. For this use of τελω — thelō see Philemon 2:13.Let him take Second ingressive aorist active imperative of λαμβανω — lambanō In accordance with the free promise in Revelation 21:6, “freely” (δωρεαν — dōrean) here as there. This gracious and wide invitation is cheering after the gloomy picture of the doomed and the damned. The warnings against the dragon and the two beasts with all their dreadful consequences are meant to deter men from falling victims to all the devil‘s devices then and now. The door of mercy still stands wide open today, for the end has not yet come. The series of panoramas is over, with the consummation pictured as a reality. Now we drop back to the standpoint before we saw the visions through John‘s eyes. In Revelation 22:17 we hear the voice of the Spirit of God inviting all who hear and see to heed and to come and drink of the water of life freely offered by the Lamb of God. [source]
Revelation 7:16 Neither thirst any more [ουδε διπσησουσιν ετι]
Future tense of διπσαω — dipsaō the two strong human appetites will be gone, a clear refutation of a gross materialistic or sensual conception of the future life. Cf. John 6:35.Neither shall strike (ουδε μη πεσηι — oude mē pesēi). Strong double negative ουδε μη — oude mē with second aorist active subjunctive of πιπτω — piptō to fall. They will no longer be under the rays of the sun as upon earth.Nor any heat Old word from καιω — kaiō to burn, painful and burning heat, in N.T. only here and Revelation 16:9 (picture of the opposite condition). The use of the negative with παν — pān (all) for “not any” is common in N.T. Cf. Psalm 121:6. [source]

What do the individual words in John 6:35 mean?

Said to them - Jesus I am the bread - of life the [one] coming to Me never not shall hunger and believing in no shall thirst at any time
Εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ἰησοῦς Ἐγώ εἰμι ἄρτος τῆς ζωῆς ἐρχόμενος πρὸς ἐμὲ οὐ μὴ πεινάσῃ καὶ πιστεύων εἰς οὐ διψήσει πώποτε

Εἶπεν  Said 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: λέγω  
Sense: to speak, say.
αὐτοῖς  to  them 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Dative Masculine 3rd Person Plural
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.
  - 
Parse: Article, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
Ἰησοῦς  Jesus 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: Ἰησοῦς  
Sense: Joshua was the famous captain of the Israelites, Moses’ successor.
ἄρτος  bread 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: ἄρτος  
Sense: food composed of flour mixed with water and baked.
τῆς  - 
Parse: Article, Genitive Feminine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
ζωῆς  of  life 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Feminine Singular
Root: ζωή  
Sense: life.
  the  [one] 
Parse: Article, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
ἐρχόμενος  coming 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Middle or Passive, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: ἔρχομαι  
Sense: to come.
ἐμὲ  Me 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Accusative 1st Person Singular
Root: ἐγώ  
Sense: I, me, my.
οὐ  never 
Parse: Adverb
Root: οὐ  
Sense: no, not; in direct questions expecting an affirmative answer.
πεινάσῃ  shall  hunger 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Subjunctive Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: πεινάω  
Sense: to hunger, be hungry.
πιστεύων  believing 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: πιστεύω  
Sense: to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in.
οὐ  no 
Parse: Adverb
Root: οὐ  
Sense: no, not; in direct questions expecting an affirmative answer.
διψήσει  shall  thirst 
Parse: Verb, Future Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: διψάω  
Sense: to suffer thirst, suffer from thirst.
πώποτε  at  any  time 
Parse: Adverb
Root: πώποτε  
Sense: ever, at any time.