Summary: Christ always has been the provider of His people’s needs. He will always be. The question is will we see our true needs & look to Him to provide them. Jesus is the hope of the 2nd Exodus, which will lead to freedom from slavery to sin, self & satan.
JOHN 6: 1-15
JESUS FEEDS THE FIVE THOUSAND
The feeding of the five thousand is the one miracle along with the resurrection that is included in all four Gospels (Mt.14:13-21; Mk. 6:30-44; Lk. 9:10-17; Jn. 6:1-13). It held strong appeal, especially for those who had learned of Israel’s experience in the wilderness when God “rained down manna upon them to eat, and gave them food from heaven” (Ps. 78:24).
It still holds strong appeal for this sign shows Jesus to be the supplier of men’s needs (1 Cor. 10:3-5). He is the Living Bread (6:51), the True Bread of God (v. 33), the True Bread out of heaven (v. 32). He is the one who daily feeds the whole world by creating harvest fields from a few grains. [Morris, John, 340-341]
Christ always has been the provider of His people’s needs. He will always be. The question is will we see our true needs and look to Him to provide them. Jesus is the One who is the hope of the Second Exodus, which will lead to freedom from mankind’s slavery to self, sin, and Satan. This miracle, rightly understood, points to Jesus as the Messiah and to a heavenly kingdom. The crowd that experienced the miracle wanted an earthly kingdom.
I. THE FOLLOWING, 1-4.
II. THE DILEMMA, 5- 7.
III. THE SOLUTION, 8-11.
IV. THE RESULTS, 12-16.
Verse 1 points out the leaving of Jerusalem and the return to Galilee. After these things Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias).
Jesus has returned to Galilee from Jerusalem. The setting of the story is the Sea of Galilee, which John clarifies for those readers who may not know Israel, calling it also the Sea of Tiberias (probably the official Roman name). Tiberias was a new city on the west shore of the sea (named after the emperor), founded in about A.D. 26 by Herod Antipas (the regional ruler of Galilee and son of Herod the Great).
Jesus continue to show compassion to the sick as verse 2 indicates. A large crowd followed Him, because they saw the signs which He was performing on those who were sick.
The multitude continually followed [imperfect tense] Jesus. The reason they kept following was because they continually saw signs. Jesus performed a great number of miracles of which we have no record (Jn. 20:30).
One of the fascinating features of Christ’s earthly ministry was His way with crowds of people. Again and again He is followed by multitudes, or speaking to multitudes. [Though the salvation experience is an individual encounter and people enter the kingdom one by one, yet Christ also appeals to the crowds.]
Verse 3 relays where the event took place and verse 4 indicate the time of year. Then Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat down with His disciples. (4) Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was near.
At the time it was evident that people knew where “the mountain” was located. Today we are uncertain. The approaching Passover means it is the springtime. This reference to Passover (2:13, 23) is John’s second, which gives us the idea that Jesus observed the requirement of Judaism to recognize and celebrate these feasts.