John Chapter 6
Feeding the five thousand:
(Read John 6:1-14)
Throughout this chapter, John describes Jesus in a way that reminds us of the Old Testament story of Moses and the exodus. He wants us to see Jesus as the greater saver than Moses. Moses led Israel from Egypt to the promised land. Jesus came to provide us the deliverance from sin. Jesus decided to go away with his disciples for a needed rest. Their destination was the hill country above the Sea of Galilee. And a large crowd was following him. Jesus saw a crowd and moved with compassion because they were like sheep without a shepherd. This chapter begins with the feeding of the 5000. This happened just before the Passover feast. John wants us to see a connection between the meal that Jesus provided and how Israel was fed in the wilderness. Jesus is the bread of life. Bread represents life. Jesus made this claim to show that He is the only one who can satisfy our spiritual hunger. Also Jesus used this incident to prove His deity. This happened at the peak of Christ’s popularity. The people wanted to make him king. They were looking for a political kingdom rather than a spiritual kingdom. Many people don't believe in Christ because he does not meet their expectations. Jesus said to Philip "Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?" Jesus asked this question to test his faith. The Lord knew what he was going to do. Philip said that 200 days of wage would not be enough to feed this crowd. Andrew found a lad with five loaves of bread and two fishes. Andrew always brings someone to Christ. The boy gave all he had to Christ. Nothing is mentioned about the boy except that he gave all he had to Jesus. Jesus gave thanks and fed the five thousand. Like the lamp that was sacrificed to save lives at Passover, Jesus himself became the Passover meal to save us (1 Corinthians 5:7). He wants to satisfy our spiritual needs. By giving thanks for food, Christ acknowledges that God is the source of all blessings (James 1:17). Only Jesus can satisfy our spiritual hunger. Jesus told his disciples to gather the leftovers and there were twelve baskets full. Do you feel compassion toward the needy and lost as Jesus felt? Are you willing to give yourself to Christ so that he can use you to meet the spiritual needs of others? On Jesus Christ, we feed and are nourished today. Jesus is the King of kings.
Walking on the water:
(Read John 6:15-21)
John continues to draw connections between Jesus and the exodus story. The people thought that Jesus is the prophet who came to save them (Deuteronomy 18:15-18). But He withdrew to a mountain to be alone. Jesus longed for fellowship with His Father in solitude. He knew that His kingdom was not of this world (John 18:16). Jews wanted to make Jesus their king. It is so easy for men to seek Christ for the wrong reasons. Jesus asked the disciples to go to the other shore of the Sea of Galilee. They were hindered by darkness and storms. Sometimes God will allow storms in our life to test our faith. Trials are common to all people. God is faithful, who will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to endure, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). Jesus is able to deliver us from the storms of life. When Israel faced the crisis at the Red Sea God brought Israel to safety at the Red Sea. In a similar way, Jesus miraculously rescued the disciples from a dangerous situation. Disciples saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming toward their boat. They were frightened. Jesus said to them “It is I, do not be afraid". Jesus is the ever-present help in trouble. Jesus who met the need of five thousand people now met the need of twelve disciples. Immediately the sea became calm, and the boat was at the other side of the lake. Thus, Jesus demonstrated his deity. Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior?
Jesus is the Supreme Teacher:
(Read John 6:22-40)
Jesus did many miracles to authenticate his message and deity. They were meant to teach divine truth that He is God. The phrase "Truly I tell you”Is used more than 100 times in the gospel account. Jesus alone claimed such authority. Someone has suggested that at least 45 times Jesus is called, teacher in the gospel account. He seized the opportunities to teach individuals and large crowds. People recognized Jesus as a different kind of teacher from scribes. He taught them with authority (Matthew 7:28, 29). His words were gracious words (Luke 4:22). Never a man spoke like Him (John 7:46). His teaching transformed lives and shaped the course of history. In Jesus is hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge ( Colosians 2:3). He knows our motives and desires. When people sought Jesus, He said to them "Do not seek me for the food that perishes”. God provided manna for Israel in the wilderness. Jesus said "I am the bread of life" (6:35). Only Christ could ultimately satisfy our spiritual hunger. This is the first of the seven "I am" statements that Jesus made about himself. It is a reference to his deity (Exodus 3:14). People asked "What should we do to receive eternal life"? Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” (6:29). We can't earn salvation with our good works. Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross is the basis of our salvation. This question is often asked by people who try to earn salvation by good work. A rich ruler once asked Jesus this question. His wealth could not earn his salvation (Mark 10:21). A lawyer asked the same question. Jesus said "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:270). Salvation is humanly unattainable by anybody. In Acts 2:37-38 and 16:30-31 we see the same question. Natural man seeks bread now rather than the eternal Word of God. Jews demanded Jesus to perform a miracle that was greater than what Moses did so that they may believe him. Jesus said "He is the living bread sent by the Father to give life to the world. Those who ate manna perished but those who believe in Him will have eternal life". Christ identified himself as the bread of life. The miracles can be misleading (Revelation 13). Those who believe in Him will be spiritually satisfied. Jesus said, “All those the Father gives me will come to me and I will never reject them" (John 6:37). This verse describes God's sovereignty and human responsibility in salvation. Believers are Father's gift to His Son. Seeing is not believing. Jesus said "Whoever comes to me, I will never turn away". Sinners are saved by faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31). Believing in Christ means experiencing new life in Christ. This relation begins through repentance and faith in Christ. When we trust in Christ, we are doing the work of God. Do not give into our natural desire to find acceptance outside of God’s way.
Many Disciples Desert Jesus:
(Read John 6:41-71)
Jesus said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven” (John 6:41). The Jews murmured at this unusual claim of Christ because they knew His heritage. He gave enough proof of his divine authority through his sinless life, miracles, and his teaching. He claimed equality with God. So, people were offended by Jesus' claim. They did not believe him. Jesus said, "Unless Father draws, no one can come to me". Moses gave Israel Manna to meet their physical needs. Christ is the bread of life who gives eternal life. To reject the Son is to reject the Father. Jesus said, "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you cannot have eternal life within you" (John 6:53). Jesus was making a spiritual statement here. Believing in the body and blood of Christ who became our sacrifice on the cross is the basis for eternal life. Being a Christian means having assurance of salvation by believing in Christ. This confidence is not based on our feelings but on God's faithful promises. Jews were offended at His teaching because they misunderstood the message. The gospel is offensive to many because it reveals their sins. Those who trust in their cleverness resist God's grace. He did not want them to eat His flesh or drink His blood. He was using physical things to teach spiritual truth. Jesus was not speaking of physical cannibalism but a spiritual truth. He is the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He shed his blood on the cross to cleanse our sins. Here eating and drinking simply means identifying with Christ and his death on the cross. Eating means to trust Christ and his promises. His flesh clearly refers to His vicarious death on the cross. The Word Jesus spoke was spirit and life (6:63). Only the Holy Spirit can give life. But unbelief prevented Jews from coming to Christ. They no longer followed Jesus. Christ now turned to the twelve disciples and asked, " Do you also want to go away"? Simon Peter answered “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the Words of eternal life. We have believed and know that you are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68, 69). Assurance comes when we know that we are saved by grace and live in obedience to Christ. We should never forget what we deserve is hell, but instead He gave us heaven. We are kept by the power of God (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 8:38-39; John 10:27-29). Even our faith is a grace gift. We are predestined to be conformed to Jesus Christ (Rom 8:29). We are sealed by the Holy Spirit for eternal inheritance (Philippians 1:4-6; Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 1:13-14). Jesus said, "Have I not chosen you, the twelve? Yet one of you is a devil". This Jesus spoke of Judas Iscariot who was going to betray Him. The Lord knows his own (2 Timothy 2:19). Do not allow discouragement to take your focus off Jesus. Do you know Christ as your Lord and Savior? The surest way to have assurance is to keep your focus on Christ.
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