Summary: The bread (manna) that the Israelites were fed in the desert foreshadowed Christ, the true bread from heaven.
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Jesus took a little boy’s lunch and miraculously multiplied it to feed a crowd of five thousand men, plus women and children (John 6:1-13). Lesson: God can use anyone to do great things.
The people’s reaction to the miracle: They believed Jesus was “the Prophet” (v. 14; cf. Deuteronomy 18:15) and wanted to “make him king by force” (v. 15a). Jesus’ response: He left the crowd (v. 15b). His mission was to die for the sins of the world, not to drive out the Romans.
In this chapter, the people compared Jesus to Moses:
• Moses fed the Israelites with manna; Jesus fed the multitude with bread.
• Moses parted the Red Sea (Exodus 13-15); Jesus walked on water.
16When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, 17where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. 18A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. 19When they had rowed three or three and a half miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were terrified. 20But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” 21Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.
22The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples, but that they had gone away alone. 23Then some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search for Jesus (John 6:16-24).
Preacher Franck Kabele, from Gabon, West Africa, told his congregation that he could repeat Jesus’ miracle of walking on water. One eyewitness said, “He told churchgoers he’d had a revelation that if he had enough faith, he could walk on water like Jesus.
“He took his congregation to the beach saying he would walk across the Komo estuary, which takes 20 minutes by boat. He walked into the water, which soon passed over his head and he never came back.” (worldnetdaily.com)
This is one of the reasons why the slogan “What would Jesus do?” is a bit faulty.
MANNA AND JESUS
“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry…” (John 6:35).
To understand this statement, we must go back to Exodus 16, which tells us how God provided bread for the Israelites in the desert following the Exodus from Egypt.
“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day’” (Exodus 16:4; see also v. 5, 13-18, 35).
The people called the bread “manna”: supernatural bread, means “What is it?”, called “angels’ food” (Psalm 78:25 NKJV).
The manna was “Wonder Bread,” but Jesus is a greater kind of “Wonder Bread.”
25When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
26Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.
28Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
29Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
30So they asked him, “What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
32Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34“Sir,” they said, “from now on give us this bread.”
35Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. 36But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:25-40).