Summary: Message 12 from John covering the feeding of the five thousand event.
Pastor David Welch
“Lessons to Weather the Storms of Life”
God chose to put his truth to music. You have words and music. The lyrics are the words of truth communicated by God through the Bible. The music is the practice of that truth in life and relationships. Much of the truth in the Bible is communicated by both words and music as God chose to reveal the largest portion of His truth in the context of relationships with His people. The music of the Gospel flowed out of Jesus. His whole life was a symphony. We have four powerful renditions of the symphony of Jesus composed by the Holy Spirit. Each rendition highlights a different theme or aspect of Jesus and his ministry. The dazzling thing about this music is that all four pieces can be played together at one time in perfect harmony producing a quadraphonic rendition of the life and ministry of Jesus found nowhere else.
Today we resume listening to John’s symphony in chapter six where we listen to a most powerful theme developed; Jesus as the bread of life. This theme becomes the underlying theme for the entire chapter. When played together, these four symphonies of the truth of God as lived and spoken through Jesus penetrate the depths of the hungry heart. Sometimes Matthew and John join forces to bring a different dynamic to the music. At times just one writer carries the melody alone. At other times three may join together. There are a few times, though somewhat rare, where all four composers play all at one time for a grand rise in the music that captures our full attention and interest and produces a most powerful impact. The account of Jesus feeding the 5,000 plus hungry people from man’s limited resources is one of those splendid occasions.
As we stand in the middle of these four gigantic speakers and listen to not only the words, but also the music of the gospel as heard through this historical event put to music by the four gospel writers, I hope you will be able to hear the voice of God speaking to your need. Here we will hear lessons to bring us through the storms of life. Until we learn and apply the lessons taught here, we will continue to struggle and resist the storm of life intended to deepen our trust in the presence of Christ. We continue to live in fear and perhaps anger, denial, avoidance, numbness rather than the victorious growth God offers us today.
I. Initial presentation of the Word and His witness 1:1-34
A. John presents the Eternal Word, Jesus 1:1-5
B. John presents the witness to the Word, John 1:6-8
C. John presents the relationship of the Word to men 1:9-18
D. John presents John the Baptist’s eye witness testimony 1:19-34
E. John presents some core disciples to the Word 37-51
II. The Public ministry and Teaching of the Word 2-12
A. Jesus ministers at Cana 2:1-12
B. Jesus teaches and cleanses the Temple 2:13-25
C. Jesus teaches Nicodemus concerning the way to eternal life 3:1-21
D. John the Baptist declares his final testimony 3:22-36
E. Jesus ministers and teaches in Samaria 4:1-42
F. Jesus ministers in Galilee 4:43-54
G. Jesus ministers in Jerusalem by the pool of Bethesda 5:1-47
H. Jesus teaches concerning the Bread of Life 6:1-71
1. Jesus feeds 5,000+ people 6:1-14
2. Jesus walks on the water 6:15-21
3. Jesus teaches the people about the bread of life 6:22-40
4. Jesus confronts the Jews concerning the bread of life 6:41-65
5. Peter expresses confidence in the bread of life 6: 66-71
This whole movement builds to paint a powerful portrait of Jesus as the bread of life. Beginning with the living illustration of real bread Jesus provides opportunity to practice what they should have learned through a raging storm. Following the object lesson and test, Jesus specifically amplifies the concept of him being the bread of life. Mark provides a very important clue to understanding and applying the truths of this passage. After the test of the storm Mark recounts that the disciples “were filled with amazement and awe for they had not gained any insight from the loaves, but their heart was hardened.”
The object Lesson – Feeding of the 5,000 plus people
Now the apostles on returning gathered together with Je¬sus, and reported to him all the things they had done and taught.
This incident follows an intense ministry excursion where Jesus had sent them out to preach the kingdom of God. Upon their return, they reported to Him what happened. There is a place for accountability and reporting in ministry.
Two areas: 1) Things they had done 2) Things they had taught
Lesson: Everyone needs accountability
Then said he to them, “Come away by yourselves to a wilderness place and rest for a little while.” For there were many coming and going and they had no leisure time even to eat. And he took them and withdrew privately in the boat to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (or Sea of Tiberias) to a wilderness spot belonging to a city called Bethsaida.