Summary: This chapter reveals Jesus to be the provision for every human and material need. In this chapter, Jesus will feed the 5,000 and calm the stormy sea.nNo matter how small the need or how stormy the problem, Jesus is the Provision.
Tonight we enter chapter 6 of the Gospel of John. This chapter reveals Jesus to be the provision for every human and material need. Note again Jesus’ pattern. He first demonstrated the truth, then He began to preach and teach it. In this chapter, Jesus will feed the 5,000 and calm the stormy sea.
No matter how small the need or how stormy the problem, Jesus is the Provision. In verses 1-15, we focus on Jesus providing for human and material needs. Keep in the back of your mind as we study this passage that trying to meet human needs by any other source than Christ is doomed to failure and will not satisfy.
Note also that believing and trusting are essential for God to meet human need. But there are several levels of faith and trust and that’s a lesson that man must learn in order to see that Christ is the Bread of Life. READ verses 1-6.
Jesus had just healed the paralytic man and then gave a good lecturing to the religionists about His authority and power. Some time after this (we don’t know for sure how much time), Jesus crossed over the sea or lake of Galilee.
For a side note, the “some time” is the time during Jesus’ Galilean ministry. Covered in Mat. 4:12-14:12. These events are not covered by John. John concentrated on Jesus’ Judean ministry. Read thru Jn. 5, skip to Matt. 4:12-14:12 then to John 6.
(Explain Galilee vs. Tiberias as compared to Lake Corpus Christi and Mathis Lake.)
The Sea of Galilee is about 13 miles long and 8 miles wide. The crowds watched where Jesus was heading and rushed around the lake by foot. Their journey would have been about 9 miles.
The Greek words in the original manuscript for the words “following and “saw” are in the imperfect tense meaning they had been following Jesus for a long time and kept on following Him, seeing the ministry of His miracles.
Jesus was tired from the pressure of facing the crowd day after day. He tried to find some privacy to get away. When that didn’t work, He took His disciples and went on top of some unknown mountain. He needed time to be alone with God and His disciples. It was the Passover season, a time when thousands flooded Jerusalem and surrounding areas.
The picture we are given is that of Jesus sitting on the mountainside, lifting up His eyes from resting upon His knees and seeing a great crowd of thousands streaming across the fields and up the mountain toward Him. This great crowd included those who had followed Him around the lake and pilgrims who were caught up in the excitement of hearing about Jesus.
So Jesus uses this occasion to demonstrate two concerns.
1. His concern for meeting the needs of man, even the most minute need of a meal, telling us that there is no need that Jesus doesn’t want to meet. This crowd had been following Jesus for days and now had just journeyed 9 miles. They were not only hungry but they were out of food. Here they are in the middle of nowhere and there was no place to buy food. Jesus was filled with compassion for them and in His attempt to provide He asks His disciple, “Where can be buy some bread for these people?”
2. His 2nd concern was to strengthen the disciples. Jesus already knew what He was going to do, but He used this occasion to test and strengthen the disciples, teaching them a tremendous lesson on faith. They were just like we are as Jesus’ disciples—we are in need to grow in faith.
READ v. 7. Here we see the pessimistic faith of Philip. Either the disciples had 8 months’ wages (200 denarii) in their treasury or else Philip was just pulling a figure out of the air. Let’s talk a minute about pessimistic faith.
1. A pessimistic faith sees money and human resources and that is all. A pessimistic faith sees only the available resources. It stresses the hopelessness the impossibility of the situation.
2. A pessimistic faith doesn’t see God or His power. A pessimistic faith professes God and Christ to be the Son of God. It professes the belief that Christ has the power to meet the needs of man. It even witnesses the miraculous working of Christ in other instances.
But when a problem arises, the immediate response is to see the problem, not the power of God—that seems to be forgotten.
a. A pessimistic faith forgets God’s glorious power in the past.
b. It fails to think of God’s power. Its mind is on earthly things, not on spiritual things. It’s carnal, not spiritual.
c. A pessimistic faith feels that the problem is too big for God’s power or too little for God to be interested in.