Lectionary Year B
August 6, 2000
John 6:24-35

Step II: Disposition


A (mixed-type) didactic exchange that resembles something like a rabbinic discussion - manna in the wilderness reference with scripture quotation - and a pronouncement story. It lacks, of course, the controversial aspect of the former and there is no real sense of the pithy, triumphant conclusion that enables the "hero" to outdo anyone, as in the latter genre. It feels a bit like a piece of a fourth gospel version of the sermon on the mount. There are specific johannine features, e.g. vocabulary and one of the famous "I am" words, which, like the rest of this gospel, engage the reader as participant in the account.


1) As pericope the passage poses a rather weak beginning. What is the question in v. 25 really all about?

2) One really should ask: are the limits of the pericope well chosen here? Why start at v. 24? The Nestle text wants to push it back at least to v. 22 or even further. Granted, linking it to the feeding story at the beginning of the chapter is both compelling and difficult because of the johannine choice to insert the walking-on-the-water story between them. One must in some way, nonetheless, link narrational elements in ch. 6 as a whole (step III issue).

3) What is the "seal" set upon the Son of Man by God the Father in v. 27? Is that typical johannine language? What is the connection to the "apostello" of v. 29? Is it a t.t. there?

4) Is this a word-play in vv. 27-30 to put "work" in both verbal and substantive forms? What is the theological connection?

5) If they did not seek/need "signs," what is the significance of the questions in v. 30?

6) Manna, bread come down from heaven, Eucharist: what are the connections? Are we to jump to another "I am" word - the true vine - to complete the eucharistic link here?

7) The NRSV translates in vv. 33 -34 "world" and "Sir." Are these good choices for "kosmos" and "kurie"?

8) What exactly is the "bread of life" which is linked to coming and believing in Jesus as the One who is such? What does it mean never to hunger and never to thirst?

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