John 6:1-29 - After this, Jesus crossed over to the far side of the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias. 2 A huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miraculous signs as he healed the sick. 3 Then Jesus climbed a hill and sat down with his disciples around him. 4 (It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration.) 5 Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” 6 He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do. 7 Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!” 8 Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. 9 “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?” 10 “Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. 12 After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.” 13 So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves. 14 When the people saw him do this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, “Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!” 15 When Jesus saw that they were ready to force him to be their king, he slipped away into the hills by himself. 16 That evening Jesus’ disciples went down to the shore to wait for him. 17 But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn’t come back, they got into the boat and headed across the lake toward Capernaum. 18 Soon a gale swept down upon them, and the sea grew very rough. 19 They had rowed three or four miles when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified, 20 but he called out to them, “Don’t be afraid. I am here!” 21 Then they were eager to let him in the boat, and immediately they arrived at their destination! 22 The next day the crowd that had stayed on the far shore saw that the disciples had taken the only boat, and they realized Jesus had not gone with them. 23 Several boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the Lord had blessed the bread and the people had eaten. 24 So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went across to Capernaum to look for him. 25 They found him on the other side of the lake and asked, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” 26 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. 27 But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.” 28 They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?” 29 Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”
I. They missed it
- You can miss who Jesus is when he’s giving you bread.
- Secondly, he did not come to be useful, but to be precious.
- How many of us Christians receive him as useful?
- He is the bread. He is the treasure.
- To be satisfied in Him. To love Him. To follow Him. To live for Him. To make much of Him in everything you do. That is the main reason we exist.
It may take a perception shift for you to get this. We all have a destiny. Our destiny is in Him. He has a plan, but that plan is in Him. If we can shift this perception I think we can leap forward in our walk with Him.
II. A Story About Bread
- Verses 1-15 is the story of the feeding of the five thousand and the rest of the 71 verses is all about bread.
- Jesus as the bread.
- He shows His glory in this miracle. And the people fixate on the product of the miracle not the person of the miracle.
John 6:25 - They found him on the other side of the lake and asked, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” 26 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs.
- Can you imagine Jesus being angry that somebody wanted to be with Him?
- It is because they were seeking him as useful, useful for the bread, the money, the health, the prosperity. He is useful to my stuff. Teach me these things for my sake.
John 6:15 - When Jesus saw that they were ready to force him to be their king, he slipped away into the hills by himself.
- They didn’t see him as precious. They saw his gifts as precious. what a useful king he will be!
- Jesus came into the world to bless us in some measure now. But His main mission is to forgive our sins, clothe us with righteousness, make himself our treasure, seal our eternity forever and then put us to work in the world. To bring the kingdom.
- To lead everyday people to new life and new possibilities.
The point of the miracle of feeding the 5000 is to see the glory of the one who, with a simple word and a prayer, can feed five thousand people with a little basket full of food. To See him, love him, know him, make him your treasure.
III. Walking on the Water
John 6:16-21 - That evening Jesus’ disciples went down to the shore to wait for him. 17 But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn’t come back, they got into the boat and headed across the lake toward Capernaum. 18 Soon a gale swept down upon them, and the sea grew very rough. 19 They had rowed three or four miles when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified, 20 but he called out to them, “Don’t be afraid. I am here!” 21 Then they were eager to let him in the boat, and immediately they arrived at their destination!
Jesus walks on water.
- But here is a couple of puzzling things. The miracle of the feeding of the five thousand is unpacked in 71 verses in chapter six.
- This miracle has no unpacking. It is never mentioned again in this chapter or in this gospel.
- What is the purpose of this miracle here in this bread story? That is one question.
- Here is a second one. When they see him, the wind is blowing. They are three miles out from land.. It is dangerous. Jesus comes walking on that tortured sea and they see him and he says, “I AM HERE / It can be translated The I am is here.”
- There is not a word said about the storm stopping like in the other gospels.
- There is not a word said about this storm being conquered by Jesus.
- The point is he got in the boat. The I AM got in the boat in the storm, no comment about the storm. And as soon as he is in the boat the story is over.
Baskets and Boats.
Philippians 4:19 - And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
- I think the reason for following the basket lesson with the boat lesson is to underline the basket lesson. The basket lesson is: You join Jesus in his ministry and there will always be just enough for you.
- You join him in his cause, he looks on you as an individual. I know what your need is tonight in the hospital. I know what your need is in the dormitory. I know what your need is tonight. There will be a basket for you tonight and tomorrow and the next day and the next day.
The truth of these stories for the followers of Jesus is that you get a basket when you need it, just one, for you, tailor-made. And in the moment when you think that there can’t be any basket for me here because the waves are slopping over the side of my boat and Jesus is three miles away, he comes walking on the water and gets in the boat. This is not a story about getting people out of storms. This is a story about getting Jesus in the boat.
IV. The work of Faith
John 6:27-29 - Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” 28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
Don’t work for the food that spoils
- Get your eyes off the bread
- Get your eyes on Jesus the Christ.
Work for eternal food
- Does this mean work for salvation? No! JESUS SAYS THE WORK OF God is to believe in me.
- I am the Christ, the Savior. I want to save your relationships, from your anger, your bitterness. Your past that has chained you down. Your fear that holds you back!
The work of God is to continue to believe Jesus as your Savior. Don’t believe in the miracle but the miracle worker.
John 6:32-35 - Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. 33 The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 “Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.” 35 Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
He is the Bread. Never forget who he is. Once he is your Savior he is always your savior. He is your true Treasure. Is he your teacher? Or is he your Savior? As the song says. He is the chain breaker. He doesn’t teach you to break your chains. He is the pain taker. He doesn’t teach you to deal with the pain. It is not about what he can do for you but who he is to you. Believe. Invite the I AM into your boat.