The gospel of John records seven miracles of Jesus. Each of these miracles displays different types of authority that Jesus has over each situation. The last time we were together, I preached on Jesus being the master of time in answer to man's disability. Through the miracle of Jesus healing the man at the pool of Bethesda, we were able to see that it is when we stop limiting God; when we stop making excuses, that we begin to see God's hand doing mighty works in our lives.
Prior to that we looked at Jesus being the master of nature in answer to man's despair. Through the miracle of Jesus walking on the water we were able to see that no matter what situation we are in, Jesus has the authority and the power to move us out of our troubles, and to calm the storm. All our troubles are under his feet.
As I stated before, the cruise we went on really brought my focus to bear upon seven miracles that Jesus performed in the gospel of John. And today, without exception, I have yet another reminder of one of the miracles that Jesus performed. As my wife and I were on the cruise we experienced the overflowing bounty of massive quantities of food. For breakfast and lunch we would sit down to a buffet style meal. There was every type of food and imaginable. And there was no running out anywheres. If you wanted biscuits for breakfast that's what you had. If you wanted serial that's what you had. Eggs. Potatoes. Quiche. Salad. They had it all! And That was just for breakfast. For lunch you could do cheeseburgers, french fries, chicken tenders, Asian food, grilled sandwiches, Rubens, turkey wraps. Or you could do a bigger meal with fish, turkey, mashed potatoes, then they had special dishes which I don't even know what they were, but they were good. And then they had the dessert bar, where you have 5 to 10 different, made from scratch, gourmet pies and cake's, fruit and cookies, and they would always have a different diabetic cake each day. Then for supper, you'd go to a sit down restaurant and had your choice of different courses. Usually you would do five courses-bread, salad, appetizer, main course, dessert. Most of the time, I would do six courses and have myself to desserts. But each plateful was completely full, I would get a different type of steak each night, and it was so good. I never left a meal feeling hungry. Which is also probably why I weighed 5 pounds more when I got back from the cruise. So you're probably asking yourself what does this have to do with one of Jesus’ miracles? Well, one of the miracles that John talks about is found in John chapter 6. This is the miracle where Jesus feeds the 5000 with five loaves and two fishes. Through this miracle we will be able to see that Jesus is the master of quantity in answer to man's desires.
I. John 6:1-4 We begin with chapter 6, verses one through four: “After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. 2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased. 3 And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. 4 And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh.”
II. Who is there
D. 5000 men heading for Jerusalem
1. Matthew 14:21 “And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.”
III. Where is there?
A. On a mountainside
B. Outside Bethsaida (Thought to be at the North end of the sea, a short distance east of Capernaum)
1. Luke 9:10 “And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida”
C. Sea of Galilee
1. About 70 miles North of Jerusalem
2. About 8 miles wide and 15 miles long
D. Sea of Tiberias
1. On the Western shore of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus came from there and crossed the sea to go to Bethsaida.
2. Parts of the sea were named after the area that bordered the sea.
IV.John 6:5-9 “When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him, There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?”
V. The Test
1. Why Philip?
a) Philip was raised in this area and might have known where to get supplies
b) Leader of the second group of four disciples Philip’s responsibility.
c) Jesus asked Philip to test him__ (John 6:6).
d) Analytical nature.
2. Philip’s response suggests he failed the test. Rather than realizing he was in the presence of the Son of God who turned water to wine, Philip became over whelmed. Jesus was looking for faith and got facts.
3. Andrew is always bringing people to Jesus.
4. 200 denari – denarius was a Roman coin worth a day’s wages for a common laborer.
5. Andrew, a small boy with a small lunch.
6. Fish – they were probably a couple of small pickled fish_ that were caught in abundance there.
a) Generally considered inferior by the people of the day.
b) It is low in protein as compared to wheat.
c) It was called the food fit for beasts.
d) Barley bread would have insulted some.
8. We need to bring to Jesus what we have and let Him bless it.
a) Jesus will use the weakest people.
9. Reasons for the feeding of the 5,000.
a) They were hungry and had traveled a long way.
b) He wanted to show God’s love and care.
c) An opportunity to teach.
d) He wanted to contrast his ministry with the emptiness of the Jews in Jerusalem.
VI.John 6:10-13 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.
1. Principles of spiritual operation.
a) The order – God is the God of order and not confusion. 1 Cor. 14:33, 40. “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the saints. But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.”
(1) Luke 9:14-15 For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company. And they did so, and made them all sit down.
b) Jesus gave thanks.
(1) Luke 9:16 Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude.
(2) Eucharistesas – The source of the word eucharist means thanks referring to the Jewish custom of saying grace before meals. “Blessed are thou Jehovah our God, King of the World, who causes to come forth bread from the earth.”
c) The law of _division of labor____ is emphasized – God does not do for us what we can do for ourselves and reserves for Himself that task that only he can do.
(1) It was customary for the guest at a feast to leave some _some for the servants_.
(2) Kophinoi – bottle shaped basket used by traveling Jews.
d) God is always willing to use what we willingly give Him____________________.
e) No one ever goes away _hungry__ from the Lord, God always meets your needs.
2. God is concerned with preservation in both _spiritual_ and _physical realms___.
3. Where did the miracle take place?
a) Some say in _Jesus’ hands____________ the more He broke the more there was. Would Jesus have broken this 5,000 + times?
b) Some say in the _hands of the disciples___________________.
c) Some say in the _hands of each man______. The bread multiplied in his hands.
d) Scriptures do _not say__________________. As Jesus spoke bread filled each basket, the miracle took place in the baskets. Jesus filled them and they stayed filled.
4. Left over
a) Bottle basket used in travel.
b) One basket left over for _each of the twelve_________.
5. Principle – give to others first and there will be plenty _left over for you___.
VII. John 6:14-15 Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.
1. Some say the crowd identified Jesus as the prophet __like unto Moses__. Deut. 18:15. “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him.”
2. Note: It does not say the crowd believed on Him, but that His miracles fulfilled the prophecy. They have a very shallow interpretation of the miracle.
3. Some say the crowd identified Jesus as _Jeremiah_____ who would find the Ark of the Covenant and give the people manna from the pot in the Ark.
4. They however were quick to identify Jesus as the messiah and tried to start a political revolt.
5. The leaders of the group were already starting the movement. We can fight and Jesus can feed us and we can defeat the Romans.
so who really is this Jesus that everyone was in such an uproar about? Jesus, is the master of quantity in answer to man's desires. You see in this miracle the people had a need, but did not expect it to be met. When the disciples began to distribute the loaves and fishes, the people were expecting a morsel of food, and instead they got a feast. Jesus met their needs. They needed to eat something, so he fed them. Jesus not only met their needs, but he satisfied their desires. He fed them so that everyone was full. One of our potentially greatest desires of all is to eat. Now don't get me wrong, we have a need to eat, but we also have a desire to eat. We don't need the chocolate cake, the ice cream, the barbecue ribs, the Dunkin' Donuts coffee. We don't need any of them, but we desire them. Jesus not only provided a little bit for what they needed, he provided an abundance for what they desired. It is written in Psalm 37 verse 4-"delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." I think that is what these people did. If we take and examine the two key words in this verse-delight and desires we can see the condition of the heart's of these Israelites. The word the light comes from the Hebrew word awnag which suggests a softening or a delicateness. The word desire is from the Hebrew word mishalaw which means to request. So what this verse is really saying is that our hearts must be soft in the Lord and he shall give us the requests of our hearts. You see, it's a heart issue. We need to be soft, pliable. We need to be able to let Jesus work with us, in us, and through us. When we do that he will answer the requests of our hearts abundantly. Jesus is the master of quantity in answer to man's desires.