The Gospel of John: Part V

by Joanna Pierce on December 08, 2016

Our lesson in the Book of John continues with the study of Chapter 6. John continues to give his readers snapshots of Jesus’ life, and in this chapter he shares who Jesus is (the Lamb of God) and why He came (for redemption).

Chapter 6 begins with Jesus teaching to a great crowd along with His disciples. Before departing from the mass of people, Jesus decided to feed them (John 6:1–6). Throughout Scripture we see Jesus teaching many different crowds at various times, but in every instance He didn’t feed them—this time He was going to perform a miracle and teach His disciples something in it.

Why God Performs Miracles

Miracles are So We Can Believe

Knowing Jesus is more than just witnessing, experiencing, or benefitting from Him working in our lives. Jesus performs miracles so we can believe on Him and have a relationship with Him. God interacts with us to restore our lives and His connection with us (Psalms 34:4–8)—He created man in the Garden of Eden for fellowship!

Miracles aren’t Miracles Unless They’re Impossible

The world has tried to redefine miracles today. But, we need to understand miracles—according to God’s definition—are manifestations in our lives that only God can do. We cannot “explain” outcomes/events by any human (earthy) terms. It’s a supernatural move of God!

Miracles Usually Entail God Doing a Lot with a Little

In this story, Andrew had identified a lad who had 5 barley loaves and 2 small fishes (John 6:9). It’s unsure how many people this would have fed, but in the grand scheme of things, Andrew didn’t think it much among so many people. Jesus performed a miracle and extended the loaves and the fishes enough to feed the crowd. If we’re willing to present Him with what we have, He’ll do more with it than we could ever imagine.

Miracles Require Organization and Excellence

Before Jesus performed His miracle, He had His disciples tell the people to sit (John 6:10). He wanted to ready the crowd for what He was about to do. Much like this setting, we need to prepare for a miracle to take place in our lives. God will bring order to what He creates and manifests in our lives. We can’t call it a miracle if there’s just as much chaos in the end as there was in the beginning.

Miracles Mean Things Have to Break Before They Can Be Blessed

Before Jesus fed the 5,000 men, he blessed the food and then broke it (John 6:11). He took the little resources available, tore them into smaller pieces, and multiplied them! God loves to work in brokenness—many of the greatest miracles in our lives will be and have been in the midst of broken times. Note, God will never break something unless He’s getting ready to multiply!

Miracles are Always More than Enough

After Jesus performed His miracle and every one had eaten until they were full, there were fragments left over that filled 12 baskets (John 6:12–13). There were more than 5,000 people who experienced, witnessed, and benefited from a miracle that day, but even more would be touched with the overflow of the miracle in the 12 baskets that remained.

The Main Lesson

The reason Jesus performed this miracle was to teach His disciples a lesson. He wanted them to pay attention to the Miracle-Worker and not just the miracle. Jesus told them not to get too comfortable and/or satisfied with just seeing miracles. The point of the miracle is not to meet our needs, but to believe in the One doing the miracles (John 6:25–27). In everything that God does, the end result is to get us to believe in Him and to restore a relationship with Him.

Jesus feeding the 5,000 was a foreshadow of their (and our) future spiritual bread. Jesus is the bread of life (John 6:43–48), and He had to go to Calvary and be broken so that we all could live (John 6:30–42). We must focus on our spiritual life and relationship with God. We cannot lose sight of the Author of our faith and only focus on the ”results” we see.

At the end of Jesus’ speaking, Peter said:

And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God (John 6:69, KJV).

Are we persuaded today in who we believe in? Do we know who Jesus is? Do we know and have a relationship with the Miracle-Worker, the Bread of Life, and the Savior of the world? The first step is to believe. Then we can watch God reveal Himself in the greatest relationship we’ve ever known.

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on December 07, 2016