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.
II. THE DILEMMA, 5- 7.
Verse 5 indicates an un-summoned crowd follow Jesus. Therefore Jesus, lifting up His eyes and seeing that a large crowd was coming to Him, said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat?”
These words convey that Jesus’ compassion was not simply for man’s lostness and sickness. He also has practical concern for people. He turns to Philip for a course of action. If anyone knew where to get food for the multitude that sought Jesus out it would have been Philip. Philip was from Bethsaida, a town about nine miles away (1:44). Jesus was testing Philip to strengthen his faith. By asking for a human solution (knowing that there was none), Jesus high lighted the powerful and miraculous act that He was about to perform
Jesus knew the solution to the dilemma before He involved Philip as we learn from verse 6. This He was saying to test him, for He Himself knew what He was intending to do.
Jesus wanted to see what Philip would say. What plan of action would feed this large crowd? Phillip would never forget this lesson.
Verse 7 contains Philip’s reply. Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, for everyone to receive a little.”
When Jesus asked Philip where they could buy a great amount of bread (verse 6), Philip started assessing the probable cost. He was the logical thinker of the group, the dollars and cents man. His reply stress the hopelessness of the situation judged from the meager resources of the group. Two hundred denarii or eight months wages would not buy enough bread to give this crowd a little taste. Philip does not come up with a solution, but points out the hopeless impossibility.