The Fourth Sign-The Feeding of the 5,000-July 11, 2012
Scripture: John 6:1-15, 25-35
In looking at the signs being performed by Jesus on those that were sick were gaining Jesus a following. Crowds began to gather to find out more about Jesus and who he was. It is interesting how our desire to look for the great things sometimes blind us from seeing a deeper truth. We learn that the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Remember here is well one of the themes is Jesus’ taking the Passover meal with His disciples on the last night and instituting it as His (the Lord’s Supper). There is understood both in this sign and in that Passover time as well that there is always more than adequate provisions when we trust God, whether to meet our earthly needs or in terms of our salvation.
Jesus notices the crowd forming and asks Philip “Where are we to buy bread, that these may eat?” Notice Jesus didn’t ask how much it would cost, but where was the supply to come from? He asked Philip as a test, because Jesus already had different intentions. Philip goes back to viewing things in human terms and begins to reason the financial cost of what it would take to feed them not to mention how very little each would get. It could hardly be considered a meal.
Then Andrew says, there is a boy here with his lunch, five small loaves and two fish, but what would that really do to help feed so many? Jesus instructed the people to have a seat, and there were so many that the men numbered about five thousand. There was not any mention of how many more there were or if this number included women and children. Jesus then took the loaves and the fish blessed them and He distributed to those that were seated to have as much as they wanted.
And when they were filled, He asked the disciples to gather up what was left so that none would be lost or wasted. They each had a full basket from the remains of the five loaves and two fish after feeding the multitude. After the people had seen the sign performed, they said, “This is of a truth the Prophet who is to come into the world.”
Jesus withdraws to solitude but when next the crowd finds Him on the other side of the sea, they asked Him, “Rabbi, when did You get here? Jesus ignores their question and instead confronts their hearts. He told them that they were not seeking Him because they saw the sign, but because they thought they had a meal ticket. He instructs them not to work for the food that perishes, but for that which endures to eternal life which the Son of Man will give.
They ask about doing the work of God, and Jesus response is that you believe in Him whom He has sent. They work is really not a work but a trusting of the work already done by God through faith. The people then ask for a sign (as if their last meal was not enough), and they said God have their father bread from heaven to eat. Jesus reminds them it was not the work of Moses, but rather of God who give the true bread from heaven, and this bread give life to the world.
Then they say, “Lord, evermore give us this bread.” Jesus tells them that He is the bread of life and none shall be hungry, and he who believes will never be thirsty.