Sign #4 - Feeding of the Five Thousand
This morning we are continuing the Series on Signs
· Water to Wine – Jesus is the Wine
· Healing of Nobleman’s Son – We are limited Jesus is Unlimited
· Lame man at the Pool – God helps those who can’t help themselves
This morning – one of Jesus most well know miracles.
· It is the only miracle mentioned in each of the Gospels
His miracles had a purpose
· It was not to impress or mesmerize
· It was to bring people to a saving knowledge of Himself
o The miracles were signs pointing to truth
o The reality of His miracles pointed to the truth of His message
· John 14:11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.
Let’s take a look at this Sign Miracle in more detail…
Bread is important in most cultures
There is nothing like good bread!!
· My friend John Darretta used to bring back Italian bread from NY.
· Round loaf of Glorified Goodness!!
Different types of bread are important for different things.
· Brioche – French Toast
· Ciabatta – Paninis
· Focaccia – eaten by itself or with Pasta Fagioli
· Pita – Jiros –
· Whole Wheat Bread – sandwiches
· Naan – Indian food
· Cornbeef or Pastrami with swiss and brown mustard – Rye bread
· Soft dinner rolls – dipping the gravy after Turkey Dinner
· English Muffin – For Egg McMcMuffin
· Easter Bread – with glaze – hard boiled egg optional but definitely acceptable
· Dipping in sauce after spaghetti meatballs = Italian bread with a crust
Bread is important in the Bible
· Appears 239 times in the NASB OT and 79 times in the NASB NT
· It is mentioned much more often than meat
o Meat was for the rich!
That is why in our passage today – when Jesus speaks of Bread people listened.
They understood bread and fish
· Barley bread – cheap bread
o They didn’t have ShopRite’s and Walmart in the First Century
· They knew hunger
· They were dependent on the harvest which was dependent on weather
· Bread was a big deal!
So, we pick up our story in John 6.
Jesus had done many miracles to this point
He taught with authority and was gathering quite a following
· He went up a mountain to teach his disciples
· And looked at the larger crowd following him
o 5000 men – maybe 15-20 thousand people
Then Jesus does something interesting
· He turns to Philip
· And asks – where can we buy enough food for all these people?
o Why did he single out Philip?
o He was from the area
§ He would know his way around
o Philip was probably the detail guy
§ Dave Ramsey
§ I say:
· There are big picture people – me
· There are detail people – not me
o It is possible that Jesus called on Philip because he wanted to show the impossibility of the situation and Philip would know the facts.
o But the next verse gives us the answer
John 6:6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
· Here is the answer to why He chose Philip
o He was testing Him
· Jesus was using this miracle as a sign – pointing to Him as Messiah
· But He was also using it as a teaching moment for His disciples
· It wouldn’t be long they would be without Him and there was a lot to learn about how God works
John 6:7 Philip answered him, "Eight months' wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!"
· Eight months worth of wages would not buy enough bread for each to have only a bite.
· Philip did a little calculating
Too many people
+ Too little money
Not gonna happen
· Philip’s confession was important
o Human effort is never enough to meet the needs of mankind
Does this remind of another phrase?
· God helps those who can’t help themselves
Lets go a little deeper into this.
Did Philip pass the test?
o The obvious answer is no
In what ways did he fail the test?
1. He didn’t turn the situation over to Jesus
2. He trusted the Statistics more than he trusted the Savior
3. He saw what Christ had done but not what Christ could do
Failing a test is not final
· Tests are made to build and strengthen our Faith for the next situation we will face!
Then Andrew chimes in:
John 6:8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up,
John 6:9 "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?"
o He was poor – barley loaves – this type of bread was held in contempt – ate by animals
o He was insignificant – no name is even given
o He gave what he had to the one who had no need
o Here is the point
o Jesus takes the insignificant, insufficient offerings and makes them significant and sufficient
§ God specializes in this. It is His hobby
· Dust – he made man
· Jawbone of donkey – in the hands of Samson a tremendous weapon
· Shepherds rod – powerful in the hands of Moses
· Sling – Used by David to kill Goliath
· First century – What was more insignificant than a virgin girl named Mary in a far off town in the great Roman Empire?
o God used her to bring forth the Messiah
What makes a great gift is not the magnitude of the gift. It is into whose hands it is given. “if you take what you have and give it to God you will find it is more than sufficient for whatever task is before you.”
Jesus can take the “Not Enough” and make it “Enough”!
· Disciples not enough money
· Boy not enough bread and fish
I don’t have enough
· Have you asked God to do that, to supply what you need? Have you asked him really? God says that he is more than willing to fill the empty vessel of your life, in fact, that he is urging you to let him fill it. The Bible says, “And my God will supply all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).
God, I don’t have enough but you can make it enough!
Jesus didn’t have to use the boy’s bread. He could have turned the nearby bushes into fruit trees. He could have caused the Galilean sea to spew out an abundance of fish. Instead, he chose to use the single basket of the small boy.
What’s in your basket? All you have is a wimpy prayer? Give it. All you have is a meager skill? Use it. All you have is an apology? Offer it. It’s not for you and me to tell Jesus our gift is too small. God can take a small thing and do a big thing.
God used the whimper of baby Moses to move the heart of Pharaoh’s daughter. He used David’s sling and stone to overthrow the mighty Goliath. He used three nails and a crude cross to redeem humanity. If God can turn a basket into a buffet, don’t you think he can do something with your five loaves and two fishes of faith?
Have you asked?
Have you given what you have?
· Not just money
· I don’t have enough
· But please Jesus take what I have and make it enough!!
John 6:11 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.
· I love this part
· No fanfare – No lights, camera, action
o Throughout His ministry, Jesus could have thrilled the watching crowds with spectacular displays of His divine power, such as lifting up the temple and suspending it in midair, or flying through the sky at supersonic speeds.
o But instead, He chose to display divine compassion by doing miracles that delivered people in need.
o He healed the sick, raised the dead, and cast out demons
o Even the Lord’s creative miracles were not sensational magic tricks. …The miraculous feeding of the five thousand was a large act of compassion on behalf of people who would have gone hungry.
· Just Gave thanks and broke the bread and fish
· Who distributed and loaves and fishes?
o Did Jesus need the disciples?
o Why did He use the disciples?
§ Because God uses weak, fallible humans to accomplish divine purposes.
§ He takes the insignificant and insufficient and makes them more than enough
§ Who are some people God used in the Bible
· Moses – could speak well
· Gideon – hiding in a winepress threshing wheat
· David – shepherd boy- a job none of the brothers wanted
John 6:12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted."
· They had enough to eat
· Philip spoke of a taste – Jesus satisfied them completely
John 6:13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
· 12 baskets
· 12 tribes
· 12 apostles
God has enough for leftovers!
Give Him what you have and watch what He can do!!!