John: Chapter Six
This is a real interesting chapter on the difference of who Jesus is versus what people want Him to be. This is true today as it is back then.
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For instance, here comes this huge crowd that overwhelmed the disciples. Jesus provides their physical need in feeding them but verse 15 shows they had an agenda. They wanted to force Jesus to use His new popularity to become the king they wanted to deliver the people from the Roman rule. However, that’s not what He came to do. He came to release us from Satan’s rule so He withdrew. Then he reveals himself to the disciples and teaches who He is. Many feel what Jesus says He is much harder than what they thought and they turn and leave Him. However, his close friends, while a little bewildered, decide to stick by his side. However, I get ahead of myself so let’s go through a little by little.
This is the feeding of the 5,000 (thus being 5,000 men…more likely to be about 10,000 people since in those days…they did not count women and children in the counts. Much like a country that expects women to ride in the back seat of the car even when a gentleman offers a woman the front seat =)
There was a great need that none of the people had any idea how to fix. Philip, when asked what to do as a test saw the statistics of it. It would take 8 months of wages to even get a start. None of the disciples were rich and he was dumbfounded. We don’t have what it takes to meet this need. Andrew, says, well, we have a little but not much. It’s surely not enough. They forget that Jesus’ sees things through God’s eyes and there is no limit to what He can do.
We do the same thing today. A huge problem comes into our lives and we think we are in big trouble. We think there is no answer. That problem is bigger than I am to the point of why try. Or we know we can do a little but not enough. It’s like sitting and talking to someone who has lost a grandparent and they are grieving. All you feel you have is some gentle words and love in your heart. You don’t feel like it is enough.
However, when Jesus blesses it, we find that often our little bit gets multiplied and it meant more to that other person than we ever could imagine. Or the problem we are struggling with gets solved in some way we never imagined. It’s like a little boy’s lunch being blessed to the point of 10,000 people getting their fill plus some. Jesus can always take our little bit and do miracles with them for our lives and others. Most of the time it just takes us having to courage to take a step, He takes care of the path.
Last night I saw a really good movie that is new in the states. It is called “Evan Almighty” I do not know if they will show it over there but, if they do, I highly suggest you go see it. I would love to talk to you about it. It is a modern day movie that is where God asks a guy to do something really big and what happens. It is very funny but really touching too.
Anyways, back to the Bible…..
They took off towards ..:NAMESPACE PREFIX = ST1 />Capernaum at evening. It was probably still daylight and they were trying to make it across before night fall. They probably even waited till the last minute to see if Jesus would go with them but He did not so they headed out. The way that lake is formed, they would probably be rowing into the wind which made their travel long and hard with the waves working against them.
Again, much like life. We try and try to move ahead and it seems like life itself is fighting us and can get scary when things get stormy in our lives. However, then we see Jesus coming like they did in the midst of the mess. They were scared until he spoke to them. Maybe thought He was a ghost… The question becomes how we welcome him when we see Him coming to us during the storms in our lives.
Again, another miracle…..they invite Him into the boat and though they had been fighting by their own efforts to get to the goal and made little progress, as soon as Jesus gets involved, they get to the other side immediately by miracle.
I know there are times I am trying to do something in life and I try and try and nothing happens. I get frustrated, angry, and scared. Then when I invite Jesus in to be in charge instead of me doing things my way, then things just work. Thing sI have been fighting, just come together.
The people that head come to see Jesus realize that He is gone even though He did not leave in the boat with the others. They also realize that He did not take another boat. They are baffled. They go across the lake and find Him and ask Him how He did this miracle but He does not tell them. It seems this miracle was for the disciples only.
Verses 26 – 59
Here’s their talk…..
Jesus: You come to me because I do miracles not because you seek the Son of God
People: What must we do?
Jesus: Believe in Jesus as the Son of God
People: What proof do you have? Moses (Old Testament Prophet and Hero) gave us food. Gives us this food from now on and we’ll follow you.
Jesus: Nope. Moses didn’t give you food. My Father did. I am the bread of life. I came down from heaven and if you accept me as Leader and Forgiver than you will be fulfilled spiritually and never spiritually hunger again.
People: He’s just a man. Why is he saying these things? They complained…..
Jesus tells them to stop complaining. That if they partake of Him (accept Him and follow Him), they will have eternal life in Heaven. The part of “eating His flesh and drinking his blood” refers to communion. To remember His sacrifice by partaking of the things He says represents His flesh and blood sacrifice he made….the bread and wine.
He was making Himself and salvation open to them but they did not want it. They wanted signs, new stories, an earthly king…..Jesus wanted the important issues of a spiritual life and they wanted the temporary things that make things better for a just a short time.
Verses 60 – 71
After coming trying to force Jesus to become their King and He instead, revealed who is truly was by…..
Meeting their physical need through a miracle
Being humble enough to follow God’s plan instead of man’s plan
Offered them salvation by accepting of Him and offering Himself to them in a different way than they expected…….
They abandoned Him.
They wanted nothing to do with Jesus and God if He didn’t match up to what they wanted for a quick fix. Again, people still do this today. They have an idea of who God should be and when He doesn’t match up or they need to give of themselves, they pull away.
So when Jesus offers them the fulfillness for the Spiritual life, which He says is more important than physical life because physical life is temporary…..they just don’t understand. Jesus says He knows this up front. He knows not everyone will understand and follow God.
So in a matter of a short talk, Jesus goes from 10,000 people wanting to follow him to only 12 people still with Him. This would break any person’s heart but when you follow God, sometimes you have to just stand up for what is right and not worry what other’s think. When he asks the 12 if they were going to leave too and they say, where else can we go. You have the truth….you are the Son of God.
They get it and stand strong when everyone else walks away.
As a side note: Jesus talks about how He choose the 12 but that one would betray Him meaning Judas who later betrays Jesus. This shows Jesus knew for a long time that Judas would betray Him.
So what can we learn from it? The things of this world just don’t amount to much. The things we spend a lot of time trying to plan, trying to achieve just aren’t as important as following Jesus and loving others. It is easy to get discouraged and not follow Jesus but when we do, He never lets us fail. Again, I hope they release Evan Almighty over there in the movies. I think you would like it and it illustrates these points pretty well too.