Heavenly Father, enable us to draw close to You in a personal encounter today. Enrich our lives with Your living Word, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
John 6: 1-15, Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish, the 4th Sign.
VV 1-2, 1 Sometime after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), 2 and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick.
This miracle is recorded in all four gospels. It is believed to have taken place in Bethsaida Galilee (Tabgha). The Sea of Tiberius (Sea of Galilee), is named after Roman Emperor Tiberius Caesar. A great multitude followed Jesus because He healed the sick where ever He went.
VV 3-4, 3 Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. 4 The Jewish Passover Festival was near.
Passover is a yearly Spring festival of the Jews to commemorate the exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt under Moses.
VV 5-6, 5 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
Jesus had compassion for the multitude. They were hungry, thirsty, tired, and it was getting late. Jesus asked Philip, who was from Bethsaida, where could they buy bread to test his faith. Jesus knew what to do. When Jesus asked you to do something impossible, He may be testing your faith.
V 7, Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
Philip failed the test. He calculated the cost of bread to be 200 denarii. 1 denarius was one day’s wage and 200 denarii was 200 day’s wage. Philip did not add Jesus into his equation. Philip did not have faith. Are you like Philip? Do you have faith in Jesus?
VV 8-9, 8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
Andrew also was from Bethsaida. Andrew connected a small boy to give Jesus his 5 barley loaves and 2 small fish. But he said this would not be enough. Andrew also did not have faith. The was a poor boy because barley bread was poor people’s bread. The Greek word for fish means small fish like sardine. When the boy’s mother packed lunch for his son, she was packing lunch for Jesus! Whatever you do, do it for Jesus.
VV 10-11, 10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
According to Mark, Jesus organized the crowd into groups of 50s and 100s and highlighted that the grass was green. In Galilee during Passover, grass is green because it is spring. The number of men excluding women and children was 5000. Jesus took the loaves, looked to heaven, and prayed to His Father. He broke the bread, distributed the broken pieces to the disciples, who distributed the pieces to the crowd. He did the same thing with the fish. Jesus organized the crowd and said grace. Jesus’ performed the miracle and the disciples distributed the miracle. Psalm 23: 1, ‘’the Lord is my shepherd I shall not be in want, He makes me lie down in green pasture.’’
VV 12-13, 12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are leftover. Let nothing be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
The disciples collected leftovers so as not to contaminate the environment or waste the food. They collected back 12 baskets full of leftovers. Jesus’ provision was superabundant. Ephesians 3:20, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think”. Imagine how excited the boy’s mother would be when her son came home and told her about the lunch box miracle!
VV 14-15, 14 After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.
When the Jewish leader saw this, they remembered Duet. 18:15, ‘’The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you”. They concluded that Jesus was the prophet. They intended to make Him their King by force to fight against the Romans. They did not know that Jesus came to free them from bondage to sin and not to Rome. He left the crowd and withdrew to a mountain.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love, mercy, compassion, and superabundant grace, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.