Summary: A Christian's life is based on faith. Even the Apostles lacked it at times. This is hard to understand since they were eyewitnesses. We all have evidence that Jesus works in our lives today so when our faith is weak we are no different than them!
Story of Faith
I. Matt. 14:22-33/Mk. 6:30-52/Luke 9:10-17/Jo. 6:1-15
A. Prelude to The Story
1. Prior to Jesus coming to His own hometown Mark tells us He had cast out the demon, Legion and raised a little girl from the dead. Upon arrival to Nazareth He teaches in the synagogue and is promptly rejected.
Matt. 13:57 “Only is his own hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” Can you imagine the feelings this must have invoked?
a. Reminds me of the reception many of the Viet Nam war veterans received when they returned. They did not get the ticker tape parades the veterans in past wars had received.
b. Vs. 58 tells us that He did not do many miracles because of their lack of faith. From a human standpoint, this went against Jesus’ nature of wanting to help others and it did nothing to further His cause in a place
He loved and held dear to his heart. Did you ever have good news to share and no one wanted to hear it?
2. Jesus sends out the 12. Mk. 6:7-13. Can you imagine how Jesus felt when He heard the stories about the exorcisms and the healings?
a. The highs and lows of being a Christian-he had not long been rejected in Nazareth.
b. The lives of God’s children on earth, including Christ’s have always been rollercoaster rides.
1. Remember Paul in Acts 17 on Mars Hill? In the chapters preceding 17 his life was pretty rocky but he still proclaimed the gospel.
2. What about John, even though he was the only Apostle to die a natural death he still suffered.
3. Jesus had the Civil and the Spiritual leaders in a stir.
a. Herod – thought he was John the Baptist resurrected.
b. Others thought he was Elijah.
c. Like the prophets of old.
d. Matt. 14: 34-36 – People came from everywhere to experience Jesus.
e. Jesus hears about John the Baptist and has removed himself from the masses.
II. The Story
A. Story-Part One
1. Read Matt.14:13-21
2. Jesus removes himself from Herod the Tetrarch’s territory. This happens four times in Jesus’ ministry.
a. You have to read the different Gospels to get the whole picture.
b. Luke’s account tells us He went to Bethsaida.
1. Jesus and the disciples crossed the Sea of Galilee (4 other names)
a. OT-Lake Chennerith, Lake Chenneroth
b. NT-Lake Gennesaret, Sea of Tiberius
2. In the mountains at the northeast corner of Galilee.
3. Jesus saw them coming and went to them. Christ met the multitude in the area between the foot of the mountain and the sea. Jesus meets us today the same way.
c. These people had followed on foot to catch Him. Why in the boat?
Solitude is why Jesus got in the boat.
a. This happened during the Passover so there were many people moving.
b. God leaves no detail unattended. Not only did God provide Jesus; He provided the crowds.
c. God let civilization evolve before he brought the gospel to the world.
d. If the word was to be spread to the entire world, then the entire world had to be accessible. The Romans did a lot of that.
4. Jesus feeds the five thousand.
a. The apostle solution was to dismiss them so that they could find food.
1. They find themselves in an all to familiar circumstances – short on money and short on faith. Would have taken eight mo. wages
2. Jesus didn’t miss this opportunity to glorify God.
3. Jo. 6:5-6 – Read - Jesus was a step ahead of them.
b. Jesus performs the miracle.
c. Twelve baskets of broken pieces.
1. There was superstition of the day that had folks believing that demons were found in the crumbs of food.
2. This also signifies Jesus’ power over the demons to the people even though it was just superstition.
3. What happened to the twelve leftovers? Apostles gathered them but did they keep them for themselves? Some scholars believe that the baskets may have gone to the little boy.
5. Jesus dismisses the crowd. If you only read one or two accounts you may miss a key factor that explains Jesus’ behavior.
a. Read Mat. 14:22 & Mk. 6:35
b. Gr. word for “made” is “anankazo” which means to compel or constrain with authority.
c. Why would Jesus do this?
1. Jo. 6:14-15 – Read
2. Jesus wanted to keep them from siding with the multitude in forcing Him to be the King. Many Jews didn’t grasp the concept of Jesus as the king. This is further evidenced in Mk. 11- Triumphant Entry.
3. God’s plan wasn’t man’s plan. Jesus didn’t take the short cut to the throne. Jesus had to protect Himself from His closest friends.