Note This is third of a series of articles I’m writing regarding the 7 miracles of Jesus as seen in the book of John. You can read the prior ones in Part 1 and Part 2.
Perhaps one of the best known miracles, Jesus feeds thousands with just a few loaves and fish by the power of God.
John 6.1 Some time 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. 3 Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. 4 The Jewish Passover Festival was near.
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.
7 Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages[a] to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
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?”
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.
12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. 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.
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.
1. What does this story say to you about people?
First, it shows that hey, we all get hungry. 🙂 Honestly, it shows that we all depend on God, each and every day, for our existence and sustenance. Next, it shows we lack faith more times than not. And, finally, in the last part, it touches how we always seek to put someone in charge, especially in religious matters. We saw this same issue when Israelite wanted a king instead of the judge system God had set up. Instead of taking personal responsibility for our spiritual matters, we find someone who excels in that area, and put them in charge of us.
2. What does this story say to you about Jesus?
Jesus loves us and has authority and power to sustain us. Like the bread, Jesus overflowing love for us completely satisfied and strengthens us.
3. What does this story have to say about you?
I forget, many times, that God ultimate takes care of all my needs, including the physical ones. If the money gets a little tight, or something along those lines, I panic and immediately look to my own ways to resolve the issue. I need to have more faith in Him, as he is more than sufficient to take care of me. Furthermore, if I do experience a crisis in that area, it is his wisdom and for his glory that it happens.
4. Who needs to hear this story?
Everyone, of course 🙂