And they were still following the signs…


And they were still following the signs…

John 6

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

1Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), 2and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick. 3Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. 4The Jewish Passover Feast was near.

5When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

7Philip answered him, “Eight months’ wages[a] would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

8Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9″Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

10Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. 11Jesus 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.

12When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

14After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

The feeding of the five thousand is one of the first miracles of Jesus I remember hearing about as a child.  I do not think I had any idea at that time of the hugeness of this miracle.  The thing I do remember is that a child was used to help perform this miracle, and he would be eating leftovers for a long time.

As an adult, I wonder just how large was the area where they met, that five thousand men could sit to eat, along with women and children?  I wonder why the young boy had five loaves of bread?  I wonder why the disciples still were so bound in the physical world that they could not anticipate the miracle to come? And I wonder who in that crowd needed a miracle beyond what they would eat for lunch?

Why do you follow the Christ?  Is it because you were raised in church?  Do you follow Him because of His saving power, or because there has been a real transformation in your life brought about by Jesus Christ?  Or do you follow Him hoping for a miracle?

Can you say, as the crowd that day so long ago, “Surely this is the Prophet who is come into the world.” Can you look beyond the physical miracles and see the miracle of salvation?  Do you believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, that Jesus is the very Son of God, born into this world to seek and save the lost, to reconcile us to the Father, to give us new life?  If you cannot see the gospel of Jesus, then you are one of the five thousand simply looking for another miracle.  May you receive the miracle of salvation this holiday season.  May you repent of your sins, turn toward Jesus of Nazareth, ask Him into your heart, and turn from the darkness and into the light.

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