It’s another gorgeous autumn morning here at the farmstead. I thought last week that I would wait until we got to Scotland to do this weeks show, but at the last minute I’ve decided to record a brief broadcast before we leave tomorrow since I’m not exactly sure when I’ll get a chance to record over there.
So, in the words of Sherlock Holmes, ‘Let’s crack on.’
Last week I announced that we would look specifically, and in depth, at John’s account of Jesus feeding the 5,000. As I studied, my direction was altered a little bit, so I’m calling an audible. We ARE going to look at the feeding of the multitude, but we’re going to look at it in the context of some of the other miracles John writes about, including Jesus turning water into wine, the healing of the lame man at the pool of Bethesda in chapter 5 and the raising of Lazarus in Chapter 11. I’m doing it, because after 60 years on this planet, I finally see that John chooses these miracles, because they are perfect illustrations of Jesus’ humanity as well as his deity.
Joh 6:1 After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias.
Joh 6:2 And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick.
Joh 6:3 Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples.
Joh 6:4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand.
Joh 6:5 Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?”
Joh 6:6 He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do.
Joh 6:7 Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.”
Joh 6:8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him,
Joh 6:9 “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?”
Joh 6:10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number.
Joh 6:11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted.
Joh 6:12 And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.”
Joh 6:13 So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten.
Jesus performed a lot of miracles during His ministry. In fact, John writes in his last chapter that if all of them were written down, the entire world wouldn’t hold the volume of books about it. So with all Jesus deeds to choose from, all 4 Gospel writers chose to record this one. It obviously had a profound effect on them.
First, it establishes Jesus as lord of Creation. He somehow manages to make 5 loaves of bread and two small fish stretch to feed a crowd of up to 25,000 people. Secondly, He is the Lord of Abundance. There is not only enough to eat, but there are leftovers. It reminds me very much of the old testament story of the widow’s oil. He is the Lord of provision.
There is no doubt, this act of creation and multiplication is evidence of Jesus’ Deity, but the similarities to his miracle of water into wine, showed me evidence of His Humanity as well. So I looked at some of the other Miracles recorded in John’s Gospel and realized that each one, as well as many of His encounters with people, note the woman at the well in Chapter 4, the woman caught in adultery in Chapter 10 and Jesus’ conversation with Mary and John in chapter 19, show clearly Jesus compassion and humanity. Remember, John’s purpose to persuade others to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Everything he writes is to demonstrate Jesus dual nature as the Word who became flesh.
Why did he turn water into wine? On the surface, it could be interpreted as showing off. At least until you think about the event for more than a few seconds. With a deeper look, we see not only His creative power, but how much He cares for the potential embarrassment of the ‘master of the feast’, the newlyweds, and His own mother. Jesus is not just interested in the Big things, like sin and salvation, His humanity shows His care for the little things, the mundane, the ordinary. He is paying attention, and it matters.
At the pool of Bethesda in chapter 5, Jesus is knee deep in needy people. Some of them pious, some probably profane. But He finds an individual in the mass of humanity and interacts with him, changing his life forever.
Jesus doesn’t miss the forest for the trees. He cares about the tree in the forest. He sees you. He knows your name. And He cares deeply for you.
The story of Lazarus shows us that Jesus has friends. He tenderly interacts with both Martha and Mary, and before he raises Lazarus, he weeps. He raises Lazarus in part to show that death is an illusion and under His control. But also because of His deep love for two grieving sisters.
It’s as clear as crystal for me that each of these events are obvious, intentional stories John includes to illustrate both the divinity and humanity of Jesus. And it makes me Love Him more and more. I hope it inspires you to dig deeper into who Jesus is, and ultimately to follow Him, if you don’t already.
That’s it for now. I need to catch a plane. Next time we’re going to look at Jesus’ promise of Eternal life from John 14, in an episode I’ll just call, “Trust me.”
Talk to you soon. If you want to follow some of our Scottish adventures, simple join our Facebook group, ‘Scotland Rising’ and you’ll get all the photos and updates during our time there. Have a great week. Be blessed and be a blessing.