Yougotwhatittakes John 6
Title: You got what it takes
Text: John 6:1-13
Introduction: The average size of a church is only about 100 members. This number seems small compared to the number of needs that the local church has to tend to. With a number of this size, the amount of resources can be some what limited. Funds for programming can be limited. The skill set in each church will only have a small pool to draw from. However, size is never an issue when it comes to God. Any amount offered to God in faith and for service in His kingdom always becomes abundance. Small becomes surplus when it committed into the master hands his use. Today’s story depicts this thought. In this passage, Christ typifies what the church should be and how the church should respond to the needs of those who come for help. The church is a special place and is designed for a special purpose. The Church is the embodiment of Christ. The Church is Jesus’ hands and feet. Everything that is in Christ can operate in the church. Therefore, if Christ is the Lord without limits, His church should be without limit also. The Church has what it takes to meet the needs of the people. But the problem is that we limited our effectiveness because we don’t have the right kind of faith to be effective. But our passage today shows us how the church should operate meeting the needs that come for help.
Around the time of Passover after Jesus had a discourse with the Pharisees about who He is, He travels across the Sea of Galilee to retire in the mountains with the disciples for a time of teaching and refreshing. However, he would be alone with his students for long. There was a large crowd following him. They did not follow him because who he was. The text says that they followed him because what He did. He performed miracles that healed the sick. The reaction of this crowd who followed a man who had the power to heal the sick was just an expression of our human nature. By nature we look for things that are beyond or outside of us for help. People will follow you if you are doing something especially if it is meeting a need. This leads us into our first point.
I. People come to church because of what the church does v. 1-4
People will come to a church that is about something. That is also why we have to be the church that has an agenda to build the Kingdom of God. People are waiting and watching for us to do something that gives them what they need. The text states that the crowd traveled to get to Jesus. Looking at the geography it took about 4 miles by foot. Think about that. It had to be something for anybody to do that type of traveling on foot just to see a man. Would walk 4 miles for nothing? This tells me something about the church. It the church is about something, people will come. A church that is alive is worth the drive! If the church is effectively representing Christ people will come. But you know what the problem is. The church does not always do what Jesus does. We do too much other stuff. We don’t act like Jesus. We don’t love like Jesus. In these days, people are smart and they are not going to come to mess. Therefore, in the church there must be some healing, deliverance and victory in Jesus in here. People are drawn to what Jesus can offer. But can we, as a church, offer them Jesus?
II. The Church should always see the needs of the people who come to it vv. 5-6a
When Jesus looked out and saw that a large crowd had arrived, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy bread to feed these people?” Here Jesus demonstrates his “Godness” by knowing the need of the crowd that was coming to him. He knew the people were hungry do to their travel. He understood there circumstance corporately. He didn’t look for a single type of people. All he saw was sheep without a shepherd and he was ready and willing to bring them into His fold. As Christ saw the need of the crowd that was coming, the Church should see the need of those that are coming. How? First, we have to know that people are coming after what we have to offer. They want hope that they can’t find anywhere else. Second, we have to know what they really need. They may want money but what they really need is training to get a job. They may want to stop being abused but they need empowerment. Thirdly, we have to know like Jesus our purpose. Every church has its own purpose to fulfill. We know by seeking the Lord. Like Jesus, in order to see the needs we have to look. But the problem is we can’t see the real needs of people because we are being blinded by things that don’t even matter in the advancement of God kingdom. Everything in church is not Jesus and we can no longer be blind by it because there some needs out there that need to be meet and only the Church can offer i.e. salvation of the lost.
III. The Church looks like these disciples vv. 6b-9
When Jesus asked his disciple Phillip “where are we going to buy food for all these people?” He was only asking him to test him. Jesus knew the answer. Just like when God asked Adam in the Garden of Eden, “where art thou?” That was not for God to know, that was for Adam to tell God where he was in his relation to God. Likewise, Jesus just wanted to know where Phillip was with Him. When God asks us a question it is an opportunity for us to state our faith; where we are with Him. Not only did Phillip respond to this question but another disciple did also. Andrew responded but with a different type of faith. Phillip response was that they did not have enough money to buy enough food. He said they only had 200 pennyworth or denari which was 8 months wage which was not nearly enough. His faith was on what he had. Andrew’s faith caused him to look and find a boy with five loathes of bread and fish. But it also caused him to raise a question, “what is this among so many people”. Though it was optimistic it was also a questioning faith. When it comes to faith the Church looks like these two disciples. Most of the time the Church has a faith like Phillip, a pessimistic faith which is not really trusting. His faith sees money and that was all. A pessimistic faith sees only the available resources. It stresses the impossibility. It is in despair due to lack. It is swamp by hopelessness of answer that is not favorable. A pessimistic faith does see God or the power of God. It forgets about what God has done in the past. It does not think of God’s power. It thinks earthly and not spiritually. It feels that the problem is too big for God. It fears that God will fail. It fails to see God’s concern even for the details. It fails to trust God for the miracles. It looks to others instead of going to God first. This is what the Church looks like. We are with Jesus like Phillip was but our faith is limited due to our pessimism. Also the Church is like Andrew who has an optimistic questioning faith. This faith loves the Lord and is committed to him. It lays what it can before the Lord no matter how simple or how small. It knows that the Lord will put it to use. However, this type of faith does question what the Lord can do. Questioning does not believe. Questioning can lead to complaining, anxiety, murmuring and grumbling. It looks at the need and looks at the meager resources and then it questions God, “What are going to do with this little bit?” This is also a picture of the Church’s faith. We question God about what we lack or what is not available. We doubt his ability. But we forget that there is nothing impossible for Him!
IV. The Church must establish authority v. 10
After Andrew’s question to Jesus on what is he going to do with 5 loaves of bread and two fish that a little boy had, Jesus now establishes authority. He is about to host a dinner party. As any good host, He set the order of the day. The text says tell the men to sit down. The text says it was about 5,000 thousand. This one man tells 5000 men to sit down and they sit. He has authority. Also, He distinctly told the men to sit down. This statement suggests that there were not only men there but women and children also. So it is more than 5,000 people subject to His authority. But Jesus tells the men to sit down. Metaphorically, the ones with strength, who protect and provide for their families, are instructed to take a seat. Because of His authority, Jesus can command certain behavior and people do it! We are subjected to and subordinate to His authority. The Church must establish it authority. The church has to take its rightful position and speak truth to power. It must call the world into submission to the divine authority of the Lord. We have the power and the authority. We have to command multitudes, like Jesus to sit while we serve! The Church has to use what we have because we have what it takes! If the church does to have anything else, it must have the power of the Holy Ghost in full measure!
V. Results: Christ multiples what the Church gives to him vv.11-13
Look what happens next. Jesus takes the five barley loaves of bread and the two fish looks up to God and gives thanks. Jesus took what he had and shows his appreciation to God for it. We initially saw the disciple pessimistic and their questioning faith. However, here we see a third type of faith in this text. It is the positive faith of Jesus. This is the type of faith the Church must have. As meager as the bread and the fish was, He thanked God for it. This is a lesson for no matter how little you have of anything, thank God for it. Thank Him for that little bit of bank account you got. Thank him for that little bit of job you got. Thank Him for that little bit of peace you got! In all things give thanks! Jesus did not look at the lack of what He had and questioned God about it. He looked up and thanked God for provision that was available. He lifted it up to God believing that God will meet the need. This is positive faith. Despite of how little you have and what you don’t have, you still have to believe that God will meet your needs. Church, what kind of faith you do you have? We have that that kind of faith that thanks God for all things. The kind of faith that says I know He will make a way some how. That is the kind of faith that God loves. He rewards those who come to his feet with whatever they have knowing that God is going to do it for them! The Church has to have the positive faith. Your faith will produce the miracle that you need!
After Jesus blessed the 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, He then gives it to the disciples to give to people. This is a message for us who serve in the church. Jesus will give us what to people to need and we have to give it out. But something must have happened when the bread and fish touched Jesus’ hand. They started to multiply. Jesus math is different from our math! He will take our little bit and make it much! Therefore, whatever needs to be done or needs to be meet, put it in the hands of Jesus and watch what He does. All the people gather on that day were full and there were leftovers. Jesus then instructs the disciples to “gather up what was left so that nothing is lost”. The text says that they gathered 12 baskets of the fragments of the bread. Each of the 12 baskets was full! He does the exceedingly abundant above all we ask of think!
For a deeper meaning to this passage we have to look at this passage numerically. 12 is the number of God’s government. God’s government is His kingdom. It was filled with according to the text barley loaves which is bread (sustenance) in which it was 5 which is the number of grace. This tells us that you will be sustained in the Kingdom of God by His grace! And the disciples (us) are the ones carrying grace to give to others in need! Church, whatever we have to offer to meet somebody needs not matter how small and insignificant it may be we have to give it to Jesus. When give it to Him, He does the miraculous. And there is a promise when we give to the Lord. Luke 6:38 “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.” Church you have what it takes. Now give it to the Lord.
Close: You got what it takes. You have what it takes to establish the kingdom. You have positive faith, you have authority and you have the power of God. Give it and it will become a miracle for somebody! It doesn’t take much but whatever you got lay at the master feet. Put it in His hand. Commit your way to the Lord. Give your gift. Give your service. Make a commitment. Jesus will take that little and make it much. I got something give! Jesus will make it a miracle! You have to know that you got what it takes! You got what it takes to heal the sick, give sight to the spiritually blind, to raise those dead to sin, to make your family functional, a community of believers, and world of peace that loves Jesus!