Given with love, it seemed to multiply. John begins the story (6:1): “After these things Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias).” The last time note in John (5:1) mentioned an unnamed “feast of the Jews.” If it was the Feast of Tabernacles, five to six months have passed. 4 The Jewish Passover Festival was near. But how often we throw up our hands and conclude that we can’t do something for the Lord because we calculate based on our inadequate resources! Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. Through his actions he reveals how God is towards us: nourishing, caring, lavish, and concerned for all our needs. When is it right to say “no” to the demands of needy people? Choose the size of the text for your daily prayer. But he does show how Jesus involved Philip and Andrew and it’s only from John that we learn that the five loaves and two fish came from a boy’s lunch. Rather, Jesus was in complete control. But this also shows how the Lord provides for those who serve Him. But in this case, although Jesus could have called for manna to float down from heaven, He didn’t do that. There were about 20,000 people out in a remote place (Luke 9:12), with many needing healing. Jesus once said that he came so that we may have life and life in abundance, and this is so evident in this miracle: Everybody ate as much as they wanted, and there were twelve baskets of leftovers, much more than the amount they started with. We should learn from this to be frugal with what the Lord supplies. without him. But what are they among so many people?’ Jesus said, ‘Make the people sit down.’ Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. pours the living water into that space and speaks an eternal word. The miracle Jesus performed with the loaves and fishes convinced the large crowds who were following him that he was the prophet they were seeking. One of the most attractive characteristics of Jesus is his generosity in sharing all he has and is with us. I didn’t know whether I could come up with new sermons week after week without running dry. or their loved ones, the political liberation they thought he had come to But Andrew’s comment accentuates the obvious inadequacy: “What are these for so many people?” So people are needy, but the Lord’s people are inadequate to meet those needs. How do you think it will go when you stand before the holy God at the judgment?” It’s only when people see how spiritually needy they are that they will cry out to Jesus to save them. Others needed miraculous healing for themselves or their loved ones. those with faith in him into true freedom. The five loaves symbolized the five books of the Torah and the twelve tribes of Israel. As Passover approaches he moves the people he meets on the hillside to appreciate its meaning in a profoundly new way, one that would connect them, not just with the past, but with their neighbours and with a broader community. For Jesus, it was a threshold to prayer, an invitation to spend time with God. Meanwhile, they got word that Herod had beheaded John the Baptist. 4:19), “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”. But Christ was concerned for them. Then, along comes Andrew who says (6:9), “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish ….” So far so good. When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, ‘Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.’ So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. John adds (6:3-4): “Then Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat down with His disciples. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, ‘This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.’. God can make much of what we offer. So you’re saying that you’re a liar, a thief, a blasphemer, a murderer, and a multiple adulterer! He can meet those needs and He often does. So it’s also a miracle that points to salvation. John shows this by Jesus asking Philip (6:5), “Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat?” The other gospels report that the disciples had asked Jesus to dismiss the multitude so that they could go buy their own food. It’s not just a literal miracle witnessed by thousands of people. God also expects us to come to the aid of one another, and to share what little we have. But Jesus pointedly told the disciples (Mark 6:37), “You give them something to eat!” Here, John adds (6:6), “This He was saying to test him, for He Himself knew what He was intending to do.” Jesus was showing Philip and the other disciples their woeful inadequacy to meet this need, along with His all-sufficiency. He fulfilled what the Passover lamb typified. John 6:15. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Even so, today people come to Jesus because they need physical healing or they need a job or they need Him to solve some pressing problem. When the Sun Sets: Jacob Meets God (Gen. 27:41-28:22), Jacob: When God Turns Darkness into Dawn (Expository Sermons On O.T. It is, of course, a symbol of the Eucharist; there are deliberate signals that this is so.
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