I may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. :) Click here to go to my disclosure policy.
The last time we met we discussed the problem, if people don’t believe what is written about Jesus, how will they ever believe the Words he says? Today we will discuss a bunch of people fed in John 6:1-15.
After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. 2 And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. 3 Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. 4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. 5 Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” 6 He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. 7 Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, 9 “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. 11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” 13 So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. 14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!”
15 Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
So people wanted to believe in Jesus because of the things they saw rather than because of the things they heard. Jesus decided to withdraw from where he was, over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. BUT the crowd followed him. They were enamoured of him because of what he was doing with the sick. Even when Jesus went up the mountain to sit with his disciples the people came on.
Jesus’ Reaction to the crowd
Jesus saw them coming, and he asked a question “where can we buy bread so we can feed these people”. He knew the Passover was coming, these folks would need to eat. He knew what his plans were but wanted to see what the disciples would do.
Two options were presented to him.
- Buy food, but a problem 200 denarii wouldn’t buy enough to feed them.
- There’s a boy with five loaves and two fish, again a problem it’s not enough to feed the crowd.
Do you see what happened?
The disciples found potential solutions immediately, but just as immediately found reasons to discount them. Not enough money, not enough food. They didn’t though, say “HEY, it’s impossible.” They looked for answers to the question posed to them. Looked for answers before finding fault with their solutions.
What to do though, isn’t that still the question?
What Jesus Did.
Jesus didn’t question them, instead he instructed his disciples to have the crowd take a seat. It was a grassy place, nice for sitting, so the people did as they were asked. 5,000 men sat down.
Then Jesus took the loaves, and the fish, and gave thanks. He then distributed them to the seated crowd. He was able to piece out the bread and fish so well that the people were able to eat their fill. They were so full they had 12 baskets of food left over. Can you imagine it? Five loaves and two fish with 12 baskets leftover after feeding 5,000 men and their families. The people were amazed and said “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” They were so excited and happy about this that look what happened in v.15 “they were about to come and take him by force to make him king,“. This wasn’t the plan was it? It wasn’t in Jesus’ purview to become a physical king of Israel. So he left, withdrawing into the mountains.
I can understand it you know? The excitement of the people seeing this great miracle of a small meal becoming such a large satisfying one. Having seen all the miracles Jesus had already performed. Do you blame them for wanting Jesus to be their king? They had been waiting for a Messiah for so long and here was this man doing miraculous things!
But I can also understand Jesus. Knowing this wasn’t what he was called to. Not making a fuss, just quietly disappearing.
I don’t know what to take out of this. I don’t. I just feel like my understanding of the Lord has been deepened. Just by the simple fact of him not making a fuss and trying to explain, just going off by himself to let people calm down on their own.