Free Bible Commentary
“John 6:1-14”Categories: 50 Days with Jesus
“After these things Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias). A large crowd followed Him, because they saw the signs which He was performing on those who were sick. Then Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat down with His disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was near. Therefore Jesus, lifting up His eyes and seeing that a large crowd was coming to Him, said to Philip, ‘Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat?’ This He was saying to test him, for He Himself knew what He was intending to do. Philip answered Him, ‘Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, for everyone to receive 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 fish, but what are these for so many people?’ Jesus said, ‘Have the people sit down.’ Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. Jesus then took the loaves, and having given thanks, He distributed to those who were seated; likewise also of the fish as much as they wanted. When they were filled, He said to His disciples, ‘Gather up the leftover fragments so that nothing will be lost.’ So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. Therefore when the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, ‘This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.’”
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"A large crowd followed Him, because they saw the signs which He was performing on those who were sick” (verse 2). Jesus was moved by love and compassion for all the people who followed after Him and were far away from their homes. It was time to eat and the multitudes needed a provider, so Jesus sat them down for a meal they would never forget. Jesus fed 5000 men (not counting women and children) with just two small fish and five barley loaves! And when everyone ate their fill, there were twelve baskets worth of leftovers! What an amazing display of Jesus’ unequalled love and absolute power!
The crowd was so amazed by this miracle that they were convinced that Jesus was surely the one that Israel had been waiting for to lead them back to the Promised Land. They were emotionally primed to throw off the yoke of Roman oppression, and to be lead out from under their tyrannical thumb. A wave of excitement rippled through the crowd and they said amongst themselves, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world” (verse 14). They perceived that their long-awaited deliverer had finally arrived, and “they were intending to come and take Him by force and make Him king” (verse 15). The people wanted Him on the throne, but Jesus headed for the mountains to pray.
Jesus never came to this earth to reign as a fleshly king over physical Israel. Jesus came to establish a spiritual kingdom called the church, and to reign in the hearts of His loyal subjects. If you read to the end of this chapter you’ll see that this hungry crowd eventually tracked Jesus down again. You will also see Jesus continually trying to change their narrow focus from the physical to the spiritual. “Jesus answered them and said, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.’”
What is your main takeaway from this astounding miracle? Is it that Jesus will always fill your belly when you are hungry? The Bible teaches that if we make the kingdom of God our first priority, He will see to it that our physical needs are met (Matthew 6:34-35). But I don’t believe that’s the main lesson that Jesus teaches in John chapter six. Jesus is teaching us here that if we put all our faith and trust in Him, that He will fill all of our deepest, most important, spiritual needs. “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.’” (verse 35). The hunger and thirst that only Jesus can satisfy are eternal in nature.
The decision to follow Jesus is the most important choice we could ever make in our lives. Let’s make certain that we are following Him for the right reasons.
Please read Matthew 14:22-33 for tomorrow – Jesus walks on water.
Have a blessed Day!