Summary: When we follow Jesus... 1. He will stretch our faith (vs. 1-7). 2. He will show us great things (vs. 8-11). 3. He will supply us (vs. 11-13).
When We Follow Jesus...
The Gospel of John
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - September 28, 2016
(Revised August 5, 2019)
*Please open your Bibles to John 6. Tonight, we will study the Lord's great miracle of feeding the 5,000. But before we begin, there are some interesting things to notice about how the Holy Spirit put the New Testament together.
*The Bible is the one and only inspired, infallible Word of God. Human authors were led by God's Spirit to write exactly what they wrote. Peter confirmed this truth in 2 Peter 1:20-21, where he said that we should be:
20. knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,
21. for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
*God's Holy Spirit wrote this Book, and it's interesting to see how He put the pieces together. For example, there's a time gap in John's Gospel between the end of chapter 5 and the beginning of chapter 6. John simply described this gap in vs. 1 by saying, "AFTER THESE THINGS Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias."
*We don't know exactly how long the time gap was, but it must have been months, because all of the events in John 1-4 took place in the Lord's first year of ministry, the healing miracle in John 5 took place at the beginning of the second year, and here in John 6, we are near the beginning of the third year. (1)
*That's pretty amazing to me. Why did the Holy Spirit skip over that time gap? God knows! Praise the Lord.
*There is a similar gap in Matthew's Gospel. This gap is in Matthew 4, and it's between vs. 11 and 12. Verse 11 took place at the end of the Lord's temptation and says, "Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him. Then vs. 12 says, "Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee."
*The gap between those verses is almost a year long. The Holy Spirit led Matthew to leave out almost the whole first year of the Lord's ministry. Then decades later, God led John to fill in the gap by writing John 1-4. Praise the Lord for that too! (2)
*Another interesting thing to notice here is that this feeding of the 5,000 and the Lord's resurrection are the only two miracles recorded in all four Gospels. The resurrection is understandable. But of all the Lord's other wonderful miracles, this is the only one in all four Gospels (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-13). Why did the Holy Spirit do that? God surely knows!
*And there is a remarkable variety in the four Gospels. Matthew starts with the Lord's birth. Mark starts with the Lord's baptism. Luke starts with John the Baptist's birth and tells us more about Jesus' birth. John starts before the creation of the universe! To sum it up, yes, there is a glorious harmony among the four Gospels but there is also an interesting variety that would be missing, if these books were written by mere men.
*With that background in mind, let's read about Jesus miraculously feeding thousands of people. This miracle can help us be better followers of Jesus Christ. So, please think about that as we read John 6:1-13.
*Some of us here tonight have been following the Lord for 50 years or more, and no doubt, you have learned a lot along the way. But as long as we are in this world, there is always more to learn. And tonight's Scripture teaches us a whole lot about following the Lord.
1. FIRST: WHEN WE FOLLOW JESUS, HE WILL STRETCH US.
*Jesus will stretch our faith. That's what the Lord did to Philip in tonight's Scripture. And we can see the stretch in vs. 1-7:
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.
3. And Jesus went up on a 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.''