Summary: In the feeding of the 5,000, we discover that the Lord is our Provider who is able to meet our spiritual and physical needs. We also see the call to radical discipleship, living a life of serving and giving.
SIGNS AND WONDERS #3: JESUS IS THE BREAD OF LIFE
REVIEW THE INTRO TO THE GOSPEL OF JOHN:
• The Gospel of John is one of four accounts of the life of Jesus in the New Testament.
• Purpose: “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” (20:30-31).
• We see this in John’s seven “I am” claims of Jesus, seven miracles, and seven sermons.
THE BIBLE STORY: (John 6:1-14).
“1 After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. 2 Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased.
• This is the only miracle recorded in all 4 Gospels – that tells me it’s important.
• This miracle would meet the needs of the large crowd of healthy but hungry people.
• Jesus cares about meeting our physical needs, too!
“And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, "This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.” (Matt. 14:14-15).
• CONTRAST: Jesus had compassion & healed people; disciples said, “Send them away.”
Ghandi said, “I like your Christ, but I don’t like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.”
3 And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples. 4 Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. 5 Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?" 6 But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do. 7 Philip answered Him, "Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little."
• Philip tried to figure it out from a logical perspective but it didn’t work.
8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to Him, 9 "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?"
• Andrew on the other hand was thinking outside of the box, but still had doubts.
• Note that this boy was carrying his own personal lunch, and he was most likely poor.
• Barley was the cheapest grain and only eaten by the poorest people.
10 Then Jesus said, "Make the people sit down." Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. (Add women & children = 10-20,000 people!)
• QUOTE: “It is indeed blessed to note the response of the disciples to this command of their Master. Their faith had failed, but their obedience did not.” (AW Pink).
• They might not have understood how it would work, but they obeyed anyway.
• It’s like with tithing. How can God make 90% go further than 100%? With His blessing.
• Don’t eat the lunch! If you put it in Jesus’ hands, He can multiply it…
11 And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, "Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost." 13 Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. 14 Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, "This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world." (John 6:1-14).
THE BIG IDEA: In the feeding of the 5,000, we discover that the Lord is our Provider who is able to meet our spiritual and physical needs. We also see the call to radical discipleship, living a life of serving and giving.
I. JESUS IS OUR PROVIDER:
• The first thing we learn from this story is that Jesus is the Lord our Provider.
• “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19).
• God cares about our physical needs as well as our spiritual needs! See the Lord’s Prayer: “Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matt. 6:11).