SIGNS AND WONDERS #3: JESUS IS THE BREAD OF LIFE
- (Nov. 2012 – Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan)
- To download a printable version of these notes, click HERE.
- To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.
REVIEW THE INTRO TO THE GOSPEL OF JOHN:
- The Gospel of John is one of four accounts of the life of Jesus in the New Testament.
- Purpose: “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” (20:30-31).
- We see this in John’s seven “I am” claims of Jesus, seven miracles, and seven sermons.
THE BIBLE STORY: (John 6:1-14).
“1 After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. 2 Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased.
- This is the only miracle recorded in all 4 Gospels – that tells me it’s important.
- This miracle would meet the needs of the large crowd of healthy but hungry people.
- Jesus cares about meeting our physical needs, too!
“And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.” (Matt. 14:14-15).
- CONTRAST: Jesus had compassion & healed people; disciples said, “Send them away.”
- Ghandi said, “I like your Christ, but I don’t like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.”
3 And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples. 4 Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. 5 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. 7 Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.”
- Philip tried to figure it out from a logical perspective but it didn’t work.
8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, 9 “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”
- Andrew on the other hand was thinking outside of the box, but still had doubts.
- Note that this boy was carrying his own personal lunch, and he was most likely poor.
- Barley was the cheapest grain and only eaten by the poorest people.
10 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. (Add women & children = 10-20,000 people!)
- QUOTE: “It is indeed blessed to note the response of the disciples to this command of their Master. Their faith had failed, but their obedience did not.” (AW Pink).
- They might not have understood how it would work, but they obeyed anyway.
- It’s like with tithing. How can God make 90% go further than 100%? With His blessing.
- Don’t eat the lunch! If you put it in Jesus’ hands, He can multiply it…
11 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. 12 So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” 13 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. 14 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.” (John 6:1-14).
THE BIG IDEA: In the feeding of the 5,000, we discover that the Lord is our Provider who is able to meet our spiritual and physical needs. We also see the call to radical discipleship, living a life of serving and giving.
I. JESUS IS OUR PROVIDER:
- The first thing we learn from this story is that Jesus is the Lord our Provider.
- “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19).
- God cares about our physical needs as well as our spiritual needs! See the Lord’s Prayer: “Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matt. 6:11).
- v.13: The extravagantly generous nature of God: “they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over.”
- We need to give first: “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse… And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes.” (Mal. 3:10-11). We give, God rebukes the devourer.
- “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” (Eph. 3:20).
- STORY: Of when Liza and I had a flood in our house – first year of marriage, no insurance – and how the Lord provided marvelously through our church family.
- ANOTHER STORY: Going to Bible College – the Lord provided what I needed to go.
II. WE ARE ALL CALLED TO SERVE AND GIVE:
Andrew said: “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?” (John 6:9).
- This boy only had his lunch, but he gave it to Jesus, and Jesus used it to feed everyone.
- What’s in your hand? You might only have a small lunch, but when you put it in the hands of the Master, it becomes a miracle!
- Use your gift! Offer it to Jesus and He will bless it.
THREE EXCUSES FOR NOT FULFILLING GOD’S COMMAND TO SERVE:
- I can’t. I’m not qualified: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13). God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. Moses said the same thing when God called Him, but God said GO!
- I’m too busy: You’re busy doing what? “Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days.” (Eph. 5:16). Are you busy loving and serving people?
- It’s not my calling: It IS your calling: We’re all called to serve, and serving involves sacrifice. “Find a need and fill it.”
III. WE ARE ALL CALLED TO RADICAL DISCIPLESHIP:
After this miracle, Jesus shared a powerful message with the crowd that followed Him.
- Many of these people were just following Jesus because of the miracles.
- “Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” (John 6:26-27).
- MEMORY VERSE: “And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35).
- We must God’s face, not just His gifts. We must seek His presence, knowing Him more.
- Ultimately, Jesus not only wants to meet our physical needs, but our spiritual and emotional needs as well. He is the bread of life – our sustenance, satisfaction, fulfillment.
- “Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” (John 6:60).
- “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.” (John 6:66).
- Why are you following Jesus? Is it for what you can get out of it? Or for HIM?
“Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (John 6:67-69).
- Beausejour Community Church Website: www.beausejourchurch.ca
- Pastor Chris Jordan’s Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/