This Sunday we were considering the fourth sign in John’s gospel that points us to who Jesus is. David reminded us that this sign is the only one found in all four gospel accounts, therefore it must have some significance.
The feeding of the five thousand, found in John 6: 1-15, is a very well-known story from the Bible and most people who have attended church will be familiar with it. As with many of the stories and parables in the Bible, it’s not until you really think about the content and context that you can see how rich and deep God’s Word is.
- Jesus had compassion on the large crowd that had gathered to listen to him. He cares and wants to help them by providing food.
- Jesus uses the situation as a teaching moment for two disciples. Philip and Andrew with him, both come up short with ideas on how to feed the crowd. They go straight into practical mode and miss the opportunity to believe that nothing is impossible with Jesus.
- Jesus instructs the disciples to get everyone to sit down (imagine getting 5000, possibly up to 20,000, people to sit down without the technology we have today). He breaks the fish and bread and gives thanks for it. Do we practise this in our own households?
- After everyone had enough, there were actually leftovers, 12 baskets of bread had been left. Jesus further instructs the disciples to let nothing go to waste, a resourceful message for us today.
- Jesus is the Bread of Life: those who come to him will not just be nourished, they will be spiritually completely satisfied.
- Jesus has compassion
- Jesus can do immeasurably more
- Jesus invites obedience
- Jesus models gratitude
- Jesus takes food waste seriously
- Jesus satisfies abundantly
- Jesus can multiply
Little can become an awful lot whenever Jesus is involved!