What Happened To The Crowd
Sermon shared by Richard Tow
Summary: This sermon examines the crowds reaction to Jesus’ miracle of feeding the 5000 and his teaching that followed. Their transition from an "excited" crowd to a "grumbling" crowd to an "offended" crowd is traced.
Audience: General adults
Then, instead of seizing the momentum of the crowd, Jesus withdrew to the mountain by himself. This crowd saw Jesus send the disciples away on the only boat to the other shore.
They knew Jesus had not gone with them.(6) They did not know about Jesus walking on the waterand rescuing the disciples in the storm. They did not know about how the boat miraculously, immediately arrived at the other side as soon as Jesus joined the disciples.(7)
Eventually the crowd got into boats in search of Jesus. They are looking for Him everywhere.
“How, Jesus, are we going to make you our king when we can’t even find you?
It is a good thing when people search for Jesus. I’m glad for every person sitting in a church this morning. But if there is one thing this chapter teaches us it is this—why we are there searching for Jesus is also important. These people were not apathetic. They were passionately and aggressively trying to find Jesus. They are an excited crowd. You and I would like their church services—lots of energy in the air, lots of enthusiasm, lots of expectation.
When they find Jesus they ask Him a question. It’s not exactly the question they want to ask.
They want to ask, “Why did you leave?” They want to ask, “How in the world did you get over here without a boat?” But instead they ask a safer question—one that might yield the answers they seek without much risk. John 6:25, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
If you look closely at verse 26, you’ll find that Jesus didn’t even bother to answer that question.
Instead Jesus addresses the much more important issue—the issue of why they were seeking Him in the first place. “...You are looking for me, not because you saw the miraculous signs, but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.” You are excited about all the wrong things.
You are seeking me for all the wrong reasons. I gave you a miraculous sign. Within that miracle was a message about who I am. You totally missed the point.
In December 1903, after many attempts, the Wright Brothers were finally successful in getting their "flying machine" off the ground. Thrilled, they telegraphed this message to their sister Katherine back home in Ohio. "We have actually flown 120 feet. Will be home for Christmas."
Katherine hurried to the editor of the local newspaper and showed him the message. He glanced at it and said, "How nice. The boys will be home for Christmas."
He totally missed the big news! Man had flown!(8)
Jesus has given the sign of the provision of bread. It was a revelation of Him as the Bread of Life. It was a revelation of Him as the spiritual provision every person needs. It was a revelation of Him as the compassionate Messiah that He is. But these people were blind to the true message. They had preconceived ideas of what God through Jesus should and would do for them. They were very busy trying to push Jesus into the mold they had prepared for Him.
I have seen this many times in people’s lives—excited about Jesus—not the real Jesus but the Jesus they have assumed. It is a very unstable form of excitement.
So Jesus confronts it. He addresses their motive for following Him. Jesus always does that in our lives one
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