Feeding 5000, Walking on Water, The Bread of Heaven
Highlight: Jesus feeds the 5000 – the only miracle recorded in all 4 of the Gospels. Jesus asked Phillip what they should do about feeding the crowd. Jesus never asks questions because he doesn’t know the answer. He wants to prepare them for the impossible task ahead of taking the Gospel to the multitudes. One little boy had 5 loaves of barley bread and 2 fish. That is all that he had. It doesn’t matter if that is all you have. It just matters if you give Jesus all you have and put it in his hands. We know that Jesus takes 5 loaves and 2 fishes to feed 5000. Everything about this story points to a divine miracle, an act of God. The people are led to remember how Moses provided manna in the wilderness for the people of God. Jesus corrects them – Moses did not send the bread from heaven. That was a God thing. Only God can send bread from heaven, and Jesus now declares He is the true bread from heaven. He is the only one who can truly feed and nourish the heart and souls of men and women and give them eternal life.
In the next scene the disciples are in the boat out on the Sea of Galilee, straining at the oars as they winds really picked up. In the midst of their concern about the rough seas, they see something/someone walking towards them on the water. They went from concern to FEAR. What in the world is coming towards us. Jesus calmed them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” John shares the story in such simple detail, and yet it is nothing short of a powerful sign and miracle. Jesus says, “It is I” – literally “I AM…” Jesus is calling Himself the Great I AM – the OT personal name of the Self Sufficient God and Creator of the Universe who had called Israel to be His people. They suddenly now welcome Jesus into the Boat. His Presence overcomes all of their fear. It says they immediately found themselves on the other side of the lake. Straining for hours at the oars, the presence of Jesus brings grace to cross over to the other side. Why strain alone at the oars. We need to fully welcome Jesus into our boats and lives.
On the other side, the people are still hung up on the whole bread and fish miracle. Finally Jesus tells them, “I am the Bread of Life.” The Gospel of John has 7 I AM Statements which connect Jesus to the being the Great I AM even more deeply. I am the Bread of Life means I am the bread which gives life. This bread will only be found and received by those who believe fully in Jesus. We will find that some do not understand Him and His claims. Some will reject Him, even walk away from Him. Yet many will turn to HIm and find life. The disciples near the close of the chapter say, “Where else shall we turn? Who else has the words to eternal life?” Well, No one. Jesus is the best bet you will ever take or make. His resurrection was the first-fruits for all who will dare to follow Him that we might find new life, life again, and eternal life. Thank you Jesus.
Apply: I do not have much, but I want to trust and give to Jesus all that I have. He can take what little I have and do miracles with it. I trust you Jesus with all that I have.
Jesus, you revealed you were God – a God who could bring bread from heaven. And the one who is bread from heaven. You walked on water showing authority over nature – as the Great I AM. You are self sufficient, independent, Lord of All, Creator of All, and no one has to prop you up. I need you in my boat. I trust you will lead and guide me to the other side – the other sides I need to find in this life, and the really great OTHER SIDE in the life to come.
Respond: I need to make sure I am trusting Jesus with all that I have. I can let insecurity arise at times feeling I do not have enough to offer, or I am not gifted enough, but all that I have in the hands of Jesus is more than enough. He can use people like me for great things. I need to quit rowing without Jesus. In this season, I am seeking HIm for many things, but above all I need to make sure that I am focused on Him. My greatest need is Him. Amen.
Those who leave everything in God’s hands, eventually see God’s hand in everything