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John 6:12  (King James Version)
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<< John 6:11   John 6:13 >>


John 6:10-14

On the next day, Jesus taught in the synagogue in Capernaum, saying, "I am the Bread of Life" (John 6:32, 35, 48). Though willing to receive the physical bread, many would not receive the living Bread—Jesus Christ who came down from heaven. Thus, the miracle of feeding the multitude was actually a sermon with visual aids.

The main lesson of the miracle is that Christ is the Bread of Life to a dying humanity, and in Him, there is enough to satisfy the entire world. Only He can satisfy the spiritual hunger in mankind. Jesus says, "I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world. . . . Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you" (John 6:51, 53). The Bread that is Jesus gives life in the present (John 6:35, 47) and eternal life in the future (John 6:27, 40).

The tragedy is that people waste time and money on "that which is not bread" (Isaiah 55:1-7). Waste is an enemy of miraculous generosity, so great care was taken to collect the leftovers, though we are not told how they were used. The lesson is that overabundance does not justify waste.

We also learn that Christ asks that we give Him all that we have and allow Him to use it as He sees fit. When we do this, we never lose, always ending up with more blessings than when we started.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Feeding the Five Thousand (Part Two)



John 6:5-13

Jesus watched His frustrated disciples try to solve the problem of feeding the multitude, but "He Himself knew what He would do" (John 6:6). He wanted to teach them a lesson in faith and submission. In this story, we can see certain steps we must take in solving our own problems:

1. Start with what you have. Andrew found a boy who had a small meal and brought him to Jesus. Was the boy willing to give up his lunch? Yes, he was! God begins where we are and uses what we have.

2. Give what you have to Christ. Jesus took the simple meal and blessed it. He then divided the bread and fish and gave the pieces to the disciples, who, in turn, fed the multitudes.

3. Obey what He commands. As Jesus ordered, the disciples had the people sit down. They distributed the broken pieces and discovered that there was plenty for everybody. As His servants, we are "distributors," not "manufacturers." If we give what we have to Him, He will bless it and give it back to us for use in helping others.

4. Conserve the results. After the people had eaten their fill, twelve baskets filled with pieces of bread and fish remained. These pieces were carefully collected so that nothing was wasted (Mark 6:43; John 6:12).

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Feeding the Five Thousand (Part Two)

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John 6:1-14

Just prior to this miracle (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-14), the people anticipated where Jesus was headed. By walking along the north shore of the Sea of Galilee, the crowds joined Him, and He, feeling compassion, healed their sick. When evening came, the disciples sought to send the crowds away because supplies in that remote place were inadequate to feed so many. Despite having only five loaves of bread and two fish at hand, Jesus desired to give them something to eat, and with just these, He performed an astounding miracle. The bread and fish continually multiplied so that everyone was satisfied—so much that twelve basketfuls of broken pieces were left over.

This took place at Bethsaida just before the Passover (John 6:4). Jesus primarily intended this miracle to teach the disciples, although a witness of the Son of God's power had also been impressed upon the multitude. In it, Jesus illustrated the kind of ministry His disciples would conduct after His departure: feeding people with spiritual food, and their source would be Christ Himself. They would have to replenish their supply of spiritual food continually by maintaining a close relationship with Him, but they would be responsible for feeding their congregations.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Feeding the Five Thousand (Part Two)

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John 6:1-14

Christ's miracle of feeding the five thousand is unique in that it is the only one that all four gospel writers mention (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-14). It illustrates Jesus' authority over nature and His divine intervention on behalf of others, showing that He is concerned about both humans' physical and spiritual needs.

Jesus is moved with compassion at the sight of thousands of people who had made a great effort to hear His message of hope. Although He is tired after a long day, He embraces the opportunity to teach them and heal the sick among them. As evening descends, His disciples suggest that the hungry crowd be disbanded to seek necessary food from the surrounding villages, but Jesus has something else in mind.

To test Phillip's faith, He asks him how the people could be fed. Not only does Philip learn a lesson of faith, but all of the disciples learn that true faith must rely on divine resources, not physical and material ones. Phillip begins to tally all of the meager supplies the disciples had among them, and somewhat stymied, says, "Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them." One denari was a day's wage at the time.

Then Andrew tells Jesus, "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish." Yet, because of their lack of faith, the disciples cannot see any possibility of feeding the great multitude with their scarce funds and the scanty food on hand. However, faith enables us to see that with the omnipotent God, all things are possible.

This miracle is a magnificent act of creative power. No amount of human reasoning can reduce this miracle to a natural phenomenon. Indeed, complete understanding of miracles is beyond human capability to understand. By an act of His own creative power, Jesus revealed proof of His deity to thousands.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Feeding the Five Thousand (Part One)

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John 6:1-15

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Feeding the Four Thousand

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Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing John 6:12:

Matthew 14:13-21
Matthew 14:13-21
Matthew 14:13-21
Matthew 14:15-20
Matthew 15:32-39
Mark :
Mark 6:30-44
Mark :
Mark :
Mark 8:1-10
Luke :
Luke :
Luke 9:10-17
Luke :
John :
John :
John 6:1-15
John :

 

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