Summary: Faced with an impossible situation, Jesus’ disciples responded with human calculation rather than the faith Jesus requires in those who follow Him.
“Looking for Supper”
CLBC January 11, 2004 a.m.
Subject: Christ’s Almighty Power
Theme: His Power over Nature
As we return to the gospel of John, Jesus is at the height of his popularity. Vast crowds
are flocking to hear him. It appears that a great revival is taking place. Surely we are on the brink
of a great reformation of religion within the nation of Israel.
So great was his popularity, that “many were coming and going that Jesus and his disciples
had no leisure so much as to eat.” “Come apart into a desert place and rest awhile
But guess what! When he took the disciples to the other side of the “Sea” of Galilee to
rest, a great multitude followed him because they had seen the signs which he did on those who
were sick. More people followed him than live here in the Cowichan Lake area. Can you imagine
that?I want you to get a picture in your mind of everyone in Lake Cowichan and Youbou, and
Honeymoon Bay, and Skutz Falls all coming rushing up the hill to this church. Imagine how they
would fill the field behind the church. What was he to do?
He did what he always did, He had compassion on them, because they were as sheep,
not having a shepherd, and he began to teach them many things. Mark 6: 34; He Had
compassion on them and healed their sick; Matthew 14: 14; He welcomed them and spoke to
them of the kingdom of God; Luke 8:11
Tell me, is that how you feel about every person in these communities? Do you have
compassion on every one of them. Do you see them as sheep without a shepherd?
All day long he kept at it, teaching, preaching, healing, and they hung on every word. Late
in the afternoon, his disciples came to him with concern. “Send them away that they may go into
the country and the villages and buy food.” And this gives the setting for this morning’s message:
for this crowd were “Looking for Supper!” John. 6: 1 - 13
Now we have to remember as we read this story that Jesus is training the 12 disciples.
coming with this concern, In John’s Gospel, you will notice that Jesus asks Philip where they were
going to buy enough food to feed this crowd. In both cases, the answer is given that 200
pennyworth of bread would give each of them only a little. It helps us to understand this if we
realize that a penny was the wage of a man for a day, so they are saying that in the wages of that
day, a man would have to work for over six months to buy enough food for this crowd.
In John’s gospel, we find that Andrew had been doing some checking and all the food that
he could find was a boy’s lunch: 5 barley loaves or flat cakes and 2 small fish. How do you like
the idea of a pot luck supper where only one little boy brings something?
Now, notice the reaction of the disciples:
1. Send them away
2. We do not have enough money to supply this need
3. What we do have is entirely inadequate
1. In other words the best the disciples could do was to calculate the need, and their calculations
were probably quite accurate.
2. Human calculation showed the impossibility of the situation.
3. Human calculation leads to fear and worry.
4. Human calculation leaves God out of the picture.
And all of this reveals:
1. The Bankruptcy of Human Calculation
Now is that not a parable about human nature? Does that not describe our nature? This is
our normal problem isn’t it? The only way we know to approach a situation is to estimate, to
calculate, and God often does with us exactly what he did with these disciples. He lets us get into
situations in which our need far outstrips our ability to meet that need. In the case of Philip. we
read in 6: 6 “And this He said to prove Him.” Jesus saw this as an excellent opportunity to test
the faith of Philip and his fellow disciples. He also saw it as a wonderful opportunity to teach them
more about His own almighty power and to increase their faith in Him.
For now we shall see:
2. The All Sufficiency of Divine Provision.