Let’s start with a question. What is your greatest need? What is your deepest longing? I know mine. And I am certain you know yours.
This question is related to today’s takeaway. Today we must come to understand that Jesus is able. And He is able to fulfill your greatest need and your deepest longing.
We are in a lesson series, pursuing the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. We want to see the glory of Jesus. Initially, we are looking at the seven signs performed by Jesus and recorded in the gospel of John.
So far we examined 3 signs.
- The turning of water into wine
- The healing of the nobleman’s son
- The healing of the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda
Today we will watch as Jesus feeds the 5,000. And like the others, Jesus will reveal something about Himself.
Turn to John 6 and let’s get right to it. John 6:1-15 “After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. Then a great multitude followed
After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased. And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples.
Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.
Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.”
One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”
Then Jesus said, “Make the people 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 them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.
So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten.
Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.
A couple of observations. Why did Jesus and His disciples cross over the Sea of Galilee? John does not tell us, but Mark does. In Mark 6:31 we see that the people were constantly coming to Jesus and the 12. So Jesus crossed the sea so that they could have some peace and some rest.
Well, it did not work, for as soon as Jesus crosses, the people were there.
Another observation. How does Jesus react when He sees the crowd? Again, not in John but in Mark, we see that Jesus was moved to compassion. For me, compassion is like that of pity. But it’s more than that. Compassion is an emotion that is followed by an action. When we are compassionate we act.
What action did Jesus attach to His compassion? He fed them. He fed them though not just to feed them. He fed them so that they would come to understand who He was and what He could give to them.
Before we get to that, Jesus also uses this moment to test Philip and the 12. Look at John 6:5-6 again.
Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” 6 But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.
What was the test? I believe Jesus wanted to see if Philip and the 12 believed that Jesus was able. Is Jesus able to provide for these people? Is Jesus able to meet this need?
Philip fails the test. But Andrew comes to the rescue when he brings a boy who happens to have 2 fish and 5 loaves.
Whenever Jesus performs a sign in John it is to reveal something about Himself. Here He wants the crowd to understand who He is. He wants the people to know Him as Jehovah God.
Jehovah is the name of God. There are many ways we can understand Jehovah.Here are three.
1. Jehovah is the God who is near to them who call on Him for deliverance. Psalm 145:18-19
The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them.
Jehovah hears our cry and brings deliverance. From what do you need deliverance? Overwhelming emotion? The strong grip of sin? Anxiety? Whatever it is Jehovah is near and Jehovah hears your cry. He will deliver you.
2. Jehovah is there for the brokenhearted. Look at Psalm 34:18
The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
Why do you have a broken heart? Have you lost a spouse to death or divorce? Is your child far from you and further from God? Is there some loss in your life? Jehovah is near. Call on Him. Only He can truly heal a broken heart.
Finally, let’s look at Psalm 31:3. Speaking to Jehovah, David writes, For You are my rock and my fortress; Therefore, for Your name’s
For You are my rock and my fortress; Therefore, for Your name’s sake, Lead me and guide me.
So number 3 – Jehovah provides guidance.
Now how do I make the link between the feeding of the 5000 and Jehovah? That’s a great question. Look at Exodus 16. In Exodus 16 the people of Israel are complaining to Moses.
In Exodus 16 the people of Israel are complaining to Moses. Basically, they are saying that they were better off in Egypt where at least they had food. You should know the story. Moses goes to Egypt. He secures the release of the Israelites from slavery. They depart Egypt, cross through the Red Sea. And now here they are in the middle of the desert with nothing to eat. And the people are complaining. So Jehovah God hears their cries and provides both bread and quail.
Let’s read Exodus 16:12.
I have heard the complaints of the children of Israel. Speak to them, saying, “At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. And you shall know that I am the LORD your God.”
Jehovah heard their cries. And He delivered them from hunger. Jehovah is always near and Jehovah is always able to provide your greatest need and fill your deepest longing.
How do the people respond to Jesus miracle with the fish and the bread? Do they accept Jesus as Jehovah God? Sadly no.
On your own read John 6:25-the end of the chapter. You will see that they do not accept Jesus as Jehovah God. Nor are they interested in the eternal life which He offers. They just want free food. They reject Him. They reject salvation. They then leave Him and return to their former lives.
Even today I see this. People are told of Jesus. They are offered eternal life through Christ. But they reject Him and continue down the same path they have always traveled. That same path which is far from God.
Today, Jesus is using the Word of God and your circumstances to reveal that He is God. He wants to save you from your sin. He wants to give you eternal life. But yet, many of you still reject Jesus. Many of you turn your back on Jesus.
Today, do not turn away. Rather, turn your back on sin and turn to Jesus. Ask Him to save you. Ask Him to take away your sin and to give you eternal life. Tell the truth to Jesus. Tell Him your sins. Believe on Jesus, that He died and rose again for your salvation. Call on Christ to save you. Do not turn away from Him who wants to save you. Do not turn away from Jehovah God, Jesus Christ.
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