Jesus, The Creator & The Bread of Life
Here’s chapter 6, verses 1 through 15.
After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
Several motives, needs and reactions come to an intersection in John chapter six. Large crowds are following Jesus, having either witnessed His power to heal, or they have heard about His signs. On the calendar, the Passover feast was “at hand.” And, it was time for people to have a meal. There was not, however, sufficient food for this large group.
After a very brief discussion about how to feed the crowd, Jesus took a little food from a boy in the crowd – fed the boy and everyone else! Verse 10 says, “five thousand.” And, there were leftovers!
Two reactions are documented: (1) “When the people saw the sign that He had done, they said, ‘This is indeed the Prophet who is come into the world!” (2) Some tried to “take” Jesus “by force,” to make him King. Jesus, however, withdrew to the mountain by Himself.
One thing I want my listeners to understand. In this miracle, Jesus created! I mean, He brought into existence something that had no previous existence. Jesus, as in the beginning, exercised divine creative power, in providing all this food. Jesus didn’t plant, cultivate, reap and then bake. He called into existence food that had no previous existence. And this, of course, becomes another sign or evidence – that Jesus is who John claimed Him to be, back in chapter one.
Today, Jesus is the Bread of Life – and by believing in Him and following Him, we are nourished, find our purpose and we are filled with hope.