Summary: In the miracle of the loaves and fishes there are five valuable lessons applicable for daily Christian living.
Lesson of the Loaves
Pastor Billy G. Lobbs
Theme: Lessons learned from the feeding of the Five Thousand
Text: John 6: 1-13, (KJV)
"After these things Jesus were over the sea of Galilee which is the sea of Tiberius. And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased. And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. And the Passover of the Jews was nigh. When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he said unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said unto him. There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down: and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten."
I want us to look at a very special day in the life of Jesus where two important things took place that the disciples were witness to. First - Jesus fed five thousand with five loaves and two fishes. Second - Jesus walked on water.
The feeding of the five thousand is the only miracle of the Lord that is recorded in all four gospels. This is really unusual when you think of all the miracles that Jesus performed in three and one half years of ministry. The miracle is recorded in Matthew 14, Mark 6, Luke 9 and John 6. Each of the gospel writers has something to say about this miracle feeding that perhaps the others might have omitted in their telling of the story. When they are all put together, an interesting story begins to unfold before us.
I want us to consider the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand as being more than just a demonstration of the power of God by Jesus. It's more than the Lord Jesus looking upon a group of people who had followed him all day listening to his teaching and were now tired and hungry and he was going to feed them miraculously. There's much more to be discovered in this than that.
Before looking at John's version of the feeding of the five thousand, we need to first read Mark's story of what happened afterwards when Jesus walked on the water in the midst of a storm.
Reading: Mark 6: 45-52 (KJV)
"And straightaway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship and to go to the other side before into Bethsaida, while he sent the people away. And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit and cried out: for they all saw him and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them and saith unto them, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased; and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure and wondered. For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened."
This is the story of what followed the miracle of the loaves. The disciples enter into a boat to cross over to the city of Bethsaida. Jesus was going to meet them there. When out in the lake, a storm arose that threatened to capsize their boat and endanger their lives. Fear and anxiety gripped the disciples hearts and they began to panic in the throes of the strong wind and waves.
Now notice in verse 52 that Mark tells us that something that had happened that afternoon should have helped them that night on the sea. Verse 52 reads, "They considered not the miracle of the loaves." I strongly suggest to you that in the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus was teaching them something that would be a help to them in the midst of life's storms. When Jesus performed this miracle, it was not for show, nor was he performing to impress the disciples. He was teaching them. They were being given a lesson in God's School of Higher Learning.