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Feeding of the Five Thousand


John 6:1-14

The verses that were read are commonly referred to as the “Feeding of the Five Thousand” and this is one of the most familiar stories in the Bible.

Well it is. This is another sermon on the feeding of the 5000. But this story is important for several reasons.

And this miracle that Jesus performs is massive because of the sheer number of people who were participants of this miracle.

This miracle has never been denied until more modern times when critics have decided that it really wasn’t a miracle at all. They say that what happened is a little boy gave up his lunch and said, “Wow, let’s all share.” And so everybody reached into their knapsacks and pulled out whatever they had and you had this great experience of sharing. (Mark 6:38)

All four gospel writers use this miracle of feeding of the 5 thousand to show and prove that Jesus is who He claimed to be.

Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

So this is a very familiar story; it is a massive miracle; it is an undeniable miracle; it is a very important story because is proves who Jesus is;

Now, in vs. 1, Jesus is no longer in Jerusalem like He was in chapter 5. He is now in Galilee and in this story He has gone to the “other side of the Sea of Galilee.”

One, He is very much aware that the Jewish leaders back in Jerusalem want to kill Him; He is also aware that John the Baptist has been executed (Matthew 14:13) so to avoid an untimely death He leaves Jerusalem and comes to Galilee.

And when they get there vs. 3 tells us that Jesus went up on the mountain and there sat with His disciples.”

 And John says in vs. 4 that “the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand.”

But, then in vs. 2, we are told that Jesus was being followed by a great multitude.

Notice in vs. 2 why these people are following Jesus: because they were seeing the signs which He was performing on those who were sick.

So, if someone came along who could heal all their diseases; and then feed them too…

So, that is what these people do.

Now, look at vs. 5:   Jesus therefore lifting up His eyes, and seeing that a great multitude was coming to Him, said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, that these may eat?”

  6 And this He was saying to test him; for He Himself knew what He was intending to do.

 Look at vs. 8:  One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, 9 “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?”

So, in vs. 10 Jesus tells His disciples to have the people sit down. (In Matthew, Mark and Luke’s accounts the disciples wanted to send the people away.)

Then In vs. 11 Jesus takes the loaves and fish, gives thanks for them, then He distributed the fish and loaves to those who were seated; and they all had as much as they wanted.

And crackers that were never baked; 5 crackers in which the grain had never been crushed.

And in vs. 12, when the people were filled, Jesus told the disciples to “Gather up the leftover fragments that nothing may be lost.”

This is a stunning miracle! How in the world could any of these people possibly exhibit any lack of faith in Jesus? He had healed their sick; He had fed them all; this was a massive miracle!

In fact, look at vs. 14: When therefore the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, “This is of a truth  the Son of God, the Savior of the world.”

 No, they said, “This is of a truth God in human form; teach us and we will obey!”

 Look at what it says: When therefore the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, “This is of a truth the Prophet who is to come into the world.”

And look at vs. 15: Jesus therefore perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force, to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone.

Here in this story Jesus demonstrates His power to show that He is deity hoping these people would listen to and obey His word; but it seems that no one did?

Perhaps years later when some of these people saw this man who had fed them from 5 loaves and 2 fishes being crucified and then 3 days later be raised from the dead; maybe then they realized who He really is. I hope so. But it wouldn’t surprise me if they didn’t.