Summary: Number 18 in a series on John's Gospel. In this sermon I play off the comedian Bill Engvall's popular skit, and use it to point to Jesus
Here’s Your Sign! (Gospel of John Part 18)
Text: John 6:1-15
A few years back, the comedian, Bill Engvall had some success with a style of jokes where the punchline was – “Here’s your sign.” And basically what they were, were jokes in which he described a scene or event that was painfully obvious what happened, but people, for whatever reason, couldn’t get it. And so they needed a literal sign to tell them… or a literal sign to let everyone know that they were a bone head.
Let me give you a couple of examples:
He tells the story of how he and a friend had gone fishing, and they had just pulled the boat up into the dock. He lifted up a stringer full of bass, and some guy up on the dock says, “Hey, did ya’ll catch all them fish?” And Engvall says, “Nope, I talked them into giving up.” And then the punchline – “Here’s your sign.”
Or the time he had a flat tire, and pulled his truck into the Walmart tire repair center. The attendant walked out, looked at the truck, and then asked, “Tire go flat?” -- -- -- “Nope, I was driving around town and the other three just swelled right up on me.” “Here’s your sign.”
Well we’re in John’s Gospel, and so far John has given us sign after sign, after sign, and they’re all saying, “Hey – Jesus is God! He is literally and truly God! Jesus turns water into wine – Here’s your sign. Jesus heals the sick – Here’s your sign. Jesus knows everything about you – Here’s your sign.” And today’s text is another sign that points to Jesus being God in the flesh.
Let’s go ahead and look at it… It’s in John chapter 6:1 – 15 (READ).
So what we have here is another miraculous event. Jesus is doing something that only God could do. And I know there are some liberal theologians and pastors out there who like to twist this… I heard a “pastor” say, “The miracle here was that everyone shared.” He said, “Most of the people in the crowd had food, only the boy’s food was mentioned… and they all took their food and shared with one another.” Well I hate to burst that guys bubble, but he’s flat out wrong. This isn’t some kind of liberal text advocating Socialism. The Bible is clear that Jesus takes the FIVE barley loaves and TWO fish and miraculously increases them to feed the entire crowd. It’s not a miracle of everyone sharing… it’s a miracle of God’s CREATIVE POWER!
And also; in this instance, it’s not necessarily an issue of Jesus being compassionate. Though He was compassionate… that’s not necessarily why He performs this miracle. So it wasn’t like these people were all starving to death. And we know that for a couple of reasons. #1. Because they had followed Jesus around the Sea of Galilee… in other words, they had maybe missed one meal, two at the most; but they weren’t starving, like children in North Korea or other places. And #2… Look with me at verse 4 (READ)… Jesus is wanting to celebrate Passover. He wants to have bread in order to break it, in remembrance of the Passover…
So Jesus wants to celebrate Passover, and He sees the opportunity to do some teaching to His disciples in this as well. So He asks Phillip where they can buy bread – Again; you need bread in order to celebrate Passover. And if you remember; we talked about this way back when we first started this series on John. Remember; we looked at both Phillip and Andrew, and we talked about how these two guys needed help when it came to walking by faith and not by sight.
And so, Jesus is going to miraculously multiply the bread so that He and the crowd can celebrate Passover, and then… and this is what’s cool to me… He’s going to multiply the fish, so that they can eat after they do Passover.
And I think this tells us something about not only the POWER of God, but also the CHARACTER of God. Here’s what I mean by that… Jesus’ #1 concern is honoring God, and glorifying God, through celebrating the Passover… but at the same time, He is concerned with things; that to us, would seem insignificant and unimportant. Like providing a meal to these people. Like I said, they weren’t starving, they weren’t destitute. He could’ve said to them, “Go home and eat, and come back tomorrow, and I’ll do more teaching.”
But instead He’s like, “I’m going to bless these people. I’m not only going to make enough bread so that we can celebrate the Passover together, but I’m going to make enough fish, so that we can all have a meal together.”