JOHN 7: 1-36

July 30/ August 6, 2017

INTRODUCTION:

1. There were three main annual feasts held at Jerusalem which the faithful of Israel celebrated.
a) The Passover was held in April.
b) Pentecost was held in June, fifty days after Passover.
c) The Feast of Tabernacles was held in October the last feast of the year.
2. The last time Jesus had been in Jerusalem was back in March, seven months before, when He was there for the Feast of Purim. (Ch. 5:1) The rulers had at that time plainly revealed their murderous intentions, thus Jesus escaped to Galilee. (Vs. 1)
3. The Synoptic Gospels record Jesus’ busy itinerary as He walked in Galilee preaching and healing.
4. Jesus’ first appearance in Jerusalem after the long absence would find the Jews’ hatred still strong and their desire to kill Him still unchanged.
5. The events of this chapter occurred with Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles.

I. FIRST, JOHN RECORDS THE INTERESTING EXCHANGE BETWEEN JESUS AND HIS NATURAL BROTHERS PRIOR TO HIS GOING UP TO JERUSALEM FOR THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES. (VRS. 1-9)

A. THIS IS PREFACED BY FACTS ALREADY IN EVIDENCE. (VERSE 1)

1. Jesus had been for seven months confirming His ministry in Galilee. (Verse 1a; Ch. 6:1)
2. The reason is clearly given. (Verse 1b)
3. During this period He would have quite understandably been more accessible to His natural family.
4. The mighty works which He did in Galilee were well known to His brethren, and had been witnessed by them.

B. JESUS’ BRETHREN URGED HIM TO TAKE THE OCCASION OF THIS FEAST TO PUBLICLY PROCLAIM HIMSELF MESSIAH. (VERSES 2-4)

1. This great feast promised a large gathering.
a) It had perhaps the largest attendance of all the feasts.
b) It was held in the month of October to celebrate the end of harvest.
c) The Jews built “tabernacles” or tents in which they lived for the week, pitching these temporary houses on rooftops in public squares, and along the roads.
2. His brethren pointed out that Jerusalem was the appropriate place for Messiah to be manifested.
3. They urged upon Him a public and official display of His Messianic powers.
4. Since so many of His followers in Galilee had left Him (Ch. 6:66), and in Judea He had more disciples than John, why not go to Jerusalem?

C. THOUGH WELL-INTENTIONED, THEIR SUGGESTION AROSE OUT OF UNBELIEF. (VERSE 5)

1. Just like most of the Galileans, they did not believe.
2. Just like the Judeans, they did not believe.
3. Later, however, some of them did believe, and some became prominent as Apostles.

D. JESUS REFUSED THEIR PROPOSAL AND GAVE THE REASON PROPHETICALLY. (VERSES 6-9)

1. First, Jesus stated that the time was not right. This proposal is similar to the request which His mother made, and His reason for refusing was the same. (Ch. 2:3, 4)
2. He then contrasted His time to their time. (Verse 6)
a) When He said, “my time” He was thinking of the time of His sacrificial death.
b) When He said, “your time” He had in mind the time when faithful Israelites would go up to the Feast.
c) He said, “My time is not yet come,” that is, the set time, determined by the Father for my death.
d) He said, “Your time is always ready,” that is, it was proper for them to go without hesitation.
3. He next contrasted the attitude of the world to them and Him. (Verse 7)
a) By “the world” He means the Jewish people generally.
b) It did not hate them, since they were one with it.
c) It did hate Him for He testified of its evil works.
4. He then contrasted their going up to the feast. (Verse 8)
a) They were to go up to the feast openly and publicly.
b) He would not be going up to this feast in their suggested manner, because to do so would be to die before His appointed time.
5. This all transpired while still in Galilee. (Verse 9)

II. JESUS’ DECISION NOT TO GO UP PUBLICLY TO THE FEAST IS VINDICATED. (VERSES 10-13)

A. ONCE HIS BRETHREN WERE GONE UP, HE WENT UP TO THE FEAST IN PRIVATE. (VERSE 10)
1. He did not go up in the public display manner His brothers recommended.
2. He went up as a prophet, not as the Messiah.

B. THERE WERE DIVISIONS AMONG THE PEOPLE RESPECTING HIM. (VERSES 11-13)

1. When Jesus arrived there were already different groups seeking Him. (Verse 11)
2. There was much talk about Him. (“murmuring” – various rumors)
3. Some said, “He is a good man,” that is, He is upright and sincere.
4. Others said, “He deceiveth the people.”
5. Although there was much “murmuring” (whispering, sharing various rumors) apparently there was some sort of gag order put in place by the authorities respecting Him. (Verse 13)

III. NEXT WE HAVE JOHN’S RECORD OF THE EVENTS WHICH TOOK PALCE DURING THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES. (VERSES 14-36)

A. JESUS SPOKE ABOUT THE NATURE OF HIS DOCTRINES. (VERSES 14-24)

1. He proves the heavenly origin of His teaching. (Verses 14-18)
a) As Jesus taught, the people were amazed at how He handled the Scriptures, having never been trained in their Rabbinical schools. (Verses 14, 15)
b) Jesus attributed His message to the One who sent Him on His mission. (Verse 16)
c) Every person, even the most unlearned, could prove the origin of Jesus teaching. (Verse 17)
(1) The test is whether or not a person truly wants to be holy. “If any man will do His will…”
(2) If so, that desire will lead him to Christ, and to the truth of the Gospel.
d) The teaching of Jesus tends to the glory of God alone. (Verse 18)
(1) From its aim one can determine its origin.
(2) That the Gospel proceeds from God is seen in that everything in it has a view to His glory.
(3) Jesus, not seeking His own glory, shows that He surely comes from God.
(4) The fact of His origin demonstrates His absolute righteousness.

2. He proves the righteous nature of His actions. (Verses 19-24)
a) Jesus showed how every one of them was sometimes guilty of placing himself above the Law of Moses. (Verse 19a)
(1) He is not arguing that since all break the law, He was no worse than others who break the law.
(2) He was arguing that, even if they were not wrong, and He had violated the Sabbath, how was that to be considered a capital offence any more than their many offences; or their seeking to kill Him, in violation of the law?
b) Therefore, they were absolutely wrong in trying to prosecute Him as a capital offender of the law. (Verse 19b)
c) The crowd objected to the assertion that His life was being sought. (Verse 20) Apparently the common people knew nothing about the design of their rulers.
d) Jesus next applied His former argument. (Verses 22, 23)
(1) He was referring to their making a scandal out of His healing a man on the Sabbath. (Vse. 21; Ch. 5:1-16)
(a) He referred to it not as a miracle, but “one work!”
(b) It was but one compared to their many.
(2) He proved His justification from the provision of the law concerning circumcision. (Verses 22, 23)
(a) Circumcision did not originate with the law, but with the fathers.
(b) Moses did not hesitate to command circumcision, even when it broke the Sabbath.
(c) Why then should they have condemned Christ, who had only acted according to the spirit of the Law of Moses?
e) Jesus appealed to them to exercise righteous judgment. (Verse 24)
(1) By this He meant consider more than the external formal side of things.
(2) By this He meant consider the spirit as well as the letter.
(3) Doing good should always take precedence over the mere letter of the law.

B. JESUS DECLARED HIS PERSONAL ORIGIN. (VERSES 25-30)

1. The open boldness of Jesus was quite surprising to some who, unlike some who came from without, were aware of the intentions of the rulers to kill Him. (Verses 25, 26; Comp. Vs. 20)
2. They were, it would seem, forming a favorable opinion of Jesus. (Verse 26)
3. However, this view was soon silenced, being overridden by the popular opinion that prevailed. (Verse 27)
4. Jesus forcefully defended His mission and His Person. (Verses 28, 29)
a) He did this forcefully, in that, He “cried” using loud elevated voice, and He did so “in the temple.”
b) He did this by direct speech, declaring His Divine origin and mission, and exposing their ignorance of God, as revealed in their attitude toward Him.
c) He declared His personal intimate knowledge of God. (Verse 29)
5. His forceful declaration received a mixed response. (Verse 30, 31)
a) The rulers and those associated with them attempted to arrest Him. (Verse 30a)
b) They failed because Jesus could not die before the time decreed by God. (Verse 30b)
c) Many of the common people believed on Him. (Verse 31)
(1) They believed that Messiah would come.
(2) They believed that Jesus answered His description.
(3) They believed that Jesus was Messiah.

C. JESUS ANNOUNCED HIS COMING END (HIS DEATH AND ASCENSION) AS A WARNING. (VRS. 32-36)

1. While some were coming to faith (Verse 31), others became more adamant against Jesus. (Verse 32)
2. With those who came to take Him, (evidently without definite arrest orders) Jesus pled earnestly not to let their opportunity pass them by. (Verses 33, 34)
3. The Jews ironically pronounce a prophecy. (Verses 35, 36)
a) Rejected by the only true Jews, Jesus would go to the Jews dispersed among Gentiles, and yes, to the Gentiles, too.
b) What they said in irony is exactly what God caused to happen by the time John wrote his Gospel. (Jn. 11:49-52)

JOHN 6:30-51

JULY 16 / JULY 23, 2017

JESUS, THE BREAD OF LIFE

INTRODUCTION:

1. We come now the first of Jesus’ famous “I AM” passages. There are seven of these passages, all of which are found in the Gospel of John. Each one begins with the incommunicable Name of Deity in the Greek form. In each one Jesus describes HIMSELF in some very profound manner.
a) “I am the bread of life.” (Verses 35, 38)
b) “I am the light of the world.” (Ch. 8:12)
c) “I am the door.” (Ch. 10:7, 9)
d) “I am the good shepherd.” (Ch. 10:11, 14)
e) “I am the resurrection and the life.” (Ch. 11:25
f) “I am the way.” (Ch. 14:6)
g) “I am the true vine.” (Ch. 15:1, 5)
2. Jesus, the “bread of life” is the first of these discourses and in some ways is basic to them all.
3. The occasion of the discourse was the question that was asked by the Jews, who, inspired by the miracle of the loaves, continued relentlessly to seek Jesus, desiring to make Him a king.
a) At first, He upbraided them for wrong seeking and wrong laboring, and they seemed to take it. (Verses 25, 27)
b) They then go on to ask about doing works for God, which He tells must consist in believing on Him whom God sent. (Verses 28, 29)
c) What follows seems at first to be an assent to His words, but they wanted a further sign, even a greater miracle, equal to that of Moses’ sign of MANNA in the wilderness. (Verses 30, 31)
4. To elaborate on their question and to further show the purpose of the previous miracle of the loaves, Jesus sets Himself forth as The Bread of Life.

I. JESUS SPOKE ABOUT THE TRUE BREAD WHICH THE FATHER SENT DOWN FROM HEAVEN. (VERSES 30-40)

A. THIS DISCOURSE AROSE FROM THE JEWS’ DEMAND OF A “SIGN.” (VERSES 30, 31)
1. It’s hard to imagine how those who had seen so much could demand a further sign, that is, a miracle. (Vse. 30)
2. They had not actually seen the five loaves and the two fishes, or the creative operation by which the abundance of food was produced.
3. They wanted a miracle performed before their eyes bigger than the provision of manna in the wilderness.
4. We cannot ignore the fact that this group was offended that Jesus refused their offer to make Him a king, and yet had gone on to claim to be the supreme Messenger of God, and the proper object of their faith. (Verses 26-29)
5. They wanted Jesus to give them a sign that would make Him greater than Moses. (Verse 31)
a) Manna was Moses’ bread from heaven, but God, not Moses, was the true source and provider of it. (See Psa. 78:17-25)
b) Jesus had, in the previous chapter and on other occasions, declared that God was the power source of His own miracles. (Ch. 5:17, 19; Matt. 12:28; Luke 11:20)
c) Just as God had sent the manna, so also had He sent the True Bread in the Person of His Son.

B. JESUS WENT ON TO SPEAK OF A BREAD THAT IS MORE WONDROUS THAN MOSES’ MANNA. (VERSES 32, 33)
1. Jesus gave great emphasis to what He was about to say. “Verily, verily…” (Amen, amen…).
2. He told them plainly that Moses did not accomplish the giving of Heavenly Bread. “Moses gave you not that bread from heaven.”
a) That is, he did not accomplish the giving of it permanently. (perfect tense)
b) The manna was a picture of The Bread from heaven.
c) It was intended to lead them to Jesus Christ.
3. But the Father gives (is giving, present tense), is now giving, true Heavenly Bread. This was happening as Jesus preached the Word, and as hungry souls believed on Him.
4. The True Bread is not a material substance, but a Person. (Verse 33a)
5. That Person, who presently stood in their midst had come to give life unto the world.

C. THE JEWS, AT THAT POINT, ACTUALLY ASKED JESUS FOR THIS BREAD. (VERSE 34)
1. Their request, in many ways seemed sincere and proper.
a) They addressed Him as Lord. (Sovereign, Majesty)
b) They asked for this gift to be permanently given. “evermore.” The manna was given daily for forty years and then stopped. So they wanted heavenly bread evermore.
2. This was the highest point of their expectation, and at this point there is a decided break between Jesus and them.

D. JESUS OVERTLY DECLARED HIMSELF TO BE THE HEAVENLY BREAD. (VERSE 35)
1. They had said, “Give us this bread,” He said, “I am Myself this bread.”
2. He was saying, “I am the food that endures; the work to be done in order to obtain, is faith in me.” (Vses. 27-29)
3. They, in order to be satisfied were but to come and believe.
4. However, one has to be hungry and thirsty, otherwise he or she will not come.

E. JESUS PLAINLY DECLARED THEIR SPIRITUAL STATE. (VERSE 36)
1. They were unbelievers – they had faith enough to ask for heavenly bread, but not enough to recognize Him as the Bread from heaven.
2. They were proud sinners. They could say, “Give us,” but were too proud and stupid to receive Christ as the Bread of Life.

F. NEVERTHELESS, GOD’S PURPOSE WAS NOT FRUSTRATED. (VERSES 37-39)
1. Jesus will receive all that the Father had given to Him. (Verse 37a)
2. All of them will, without fail, come to Him. (Verse 37b)
3. This is according to the will of the Father. (Verse 38)
4. Jesus will lose none of those given to Him by the Father. (Verse 39)
5. All true believers will be raised up at the last day. (Verse 40)

II. JESUS PLAINLY IDENTIFIED HIMSELF AS THE BREAD OF LIFE. (VERSES 41-51)

A. LIKE THE UNBELIEVING JEWS IN JUDEA, THESE GALILEAN JEWS MURMERED OVER JESUS’ ORIGINS. (VERSES 41, 42)
1. It was impossible for them to recognize Jesus as having come down from heaven, because they thought they knew His origin and His family.
2. Like the folks at Nazareth, their supposed knowledge of who Jesus was was a barrier to their faith, and thus deprived them of great blessings. (Matt. 13:54-58)
3. The origin of Jesus is not a means of faith, but can only be accepted by those who truly believe.
4. Sadly, countless souls remain in their unbelief because of what they think they know, and they cannot accept as possible what their finite minds cannot attain unto. (Isa. 55:8, 9)
5. That said, the real reason for one’s unbelief is usually not what he says it is. This Jesus knew to be the case here, as His response will show.

B. JESUS EXPLAINED TO THE UNBELIEVING JEWS THE CAUSE OF THEIR UNBELIEF. (VSES. 43-46)
1. Since the real cause of their unbelief stemmed from something much deeper than their knowledge of His family, He did not directly address their question.
2. Going directly to the real reason for their discontent, Jesus cited their lack of inner drawing and teaching. (Verses 37-40, 44)
a) All who were given to Him by the father in the eternal covenant of redemption are effectually drawn to Him, i.e. they come to Him in faith. (Verses 37, 44)
b) They come not as being forced against their will, or by blind instinct, but through teaching, the Word is inwardly received.
(1) Without this inward teaching and divine drawing, they had no will to come to Christ or even the ability to understand the Scripture. (Ch. 5:39, 40, 46, 47)
(2) These two divine works, the Father’s drawing and inward teaching, meet in man’s soul in faith.
c) The God who sent Jesus also draws souls to Jesus.
d) Jesus promises to bring the work to full completion in the final resurrection at the last day.
3. Jesus confirmed this great truth by citing an Old Testament passage. (Verse 45; Isa. 54:13)
a) The whole Messianic community will be taught of God.
b) Only those who experience this inward teaching can truly come to Christ, and by faith submit to Him.
c) All who experience this inward teaching do come to Him.
4. In all of this Jesus declared His own unique authority. (Verse 46)
a) All may outwardly hear the Word, but only the Son can see the Father. In this Jesus restricts “teaching” in a very particular way.
(1) The Son saw the Father before all worlds.
(2) As incarnate Son He saw Him.
b) Consequently, He is the only one who can reveal or teach God perfectly. (Matt. 11:27; John 17:3)

C. JESUS AGAIN AFFIRMED HIMSELF TO BE “THE BREAD OF LIFE.” (VERSES 47-51)
1. Again He prefaced His affirmation with “Verily, verily.” This has the force of, “What I am saying is true, whatever your objections may be.”
2. He declared the absolute truth that everlasting life could be obtained only through faith in Him. (Verse 47)
3. He could justify this claim by declaring absolutely, “I am the bread of life.” (Verse 48)
4. He offered proof of this claim. (Verse 49)
a) He gave His hearers back their own words of Verse 31. “Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness.”
b) He then added another obvious truth. “…and are dead.”
c) Their fathers not only died, but they died under God’s judicial wrath.
5. Jesus, however, proclaimed Himself to be the living Bread. (Verse 50)
a) He gives life as “the bread of life.”
b) But moreover, He is that Divine life realized in a Person.
6. Jesus ends these assertions with a statement that to the unbelieving and faithless was considered “a hard saying.” (Verses 51, 60)
a) He would give His flesh as bread to be eaten.
b) This would require that He give His flesh as a substitutionary sacrifice.
c) Thus, Jesus was to become the Passover Lamb.
d) The extent of the new Pascal feast would be worldwide.
7. These objectors took His words in a literal sense, having not understood that it is through believing on Him that one partakes of the sacrifice. (Verse 47) Having not been taught inwardly, they had no understanding of spiritual things. (Verse 63)

JOHN 6:22-29

JULY 9, 2017

RIGHT SEEKING AND RIGHT LABORING

INTRODUCTION:

1. After the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, the great multitude that followed after Jesus wanted to make Him a king, even taking Him by force if necessary.
2. From this effort, Jesus had delivered Himself and His disciples.
a) He commanded them to take ship across the Sea of Galilee.
b) He escaped into a mountain to pray.
c) He had miraculously joined His disciples at night as they were fighting a losing battle against a raging storm at sea, calming all their fears, and bringing them immediately to their destination.
3. He and His disciples were now all together again at Capernaum, across the sea from where He fed the five thousand.
a) The relentless multitude, after searching for Jesus, came themselves, across the sea and seeing Jesus, were at a loss to know how He came to be there.
b) They were still pursuing Jesus, determined to make Him a king.
4. The discourse which we will now consider is the first of several different discourses given by Jesus in response to various questions asked by the Jews who came still seeking Him.
5. These seekers had been put off by Jesus’ lack of enthusiasm over their proposal, but were still determined to persuade Him.
6. Jesus, knowing that they were seeking the wrong kind of kingdom, and laboring for perishing bread, attempted to teach them right seeking and right laboring.

I. FIRST THERE IS AN ADMONITION CONCERNING RIGHT SEEKING. (VERSES 22-27)

A. THIS ADMONITION CONCERNING PROPER SEEKING CAME ABOUT BECAUSE OF THEIR QUESTION REGARDING WHEN HE CAME BACK TO CAPERNAUM. (VERSE 25)
1. They did not ask “how camest thou hither?” but “when camest thou hither?”
2. They were sure that He had not walked around the shore, and no other ships had left after the one His disciples were on, and they knew He was not on it when it left.
3. They did not know, and would have never imagines that He walked on the sea, so when did He come and rejoin His disciples?
4. Therefore, though they came seeking for Him, they were surprised to find Him.

B. JESUS DID NOT ANSWER THEIR QUESTION, BUT INSTEAD, REPLIED TO THE FEELING WHICH DICTATED IT. (VERSE 26)
1. There is a false and fleshly way of seeking Jesus, which aims only at the satisfaction of the temporal earthly person, and satisfying the appetites of the flesh. “Ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.”
a) Christ is often presented to men as the answer to all of their temporal problems. (financial, physical, marital, social, etc.)
b) While we thank God that He is able to help us in these and many other areas of our earthly life, and is good and faithful to do so, the main focus must be higher and farther reaching.
2. These seekers missed the spiritual significance of the miracle that Jesus did. They enjoyed the physical, temporal benefit, but saw nothing beyond that, except just more of the same.
a) Jesus said to them, “Ye seek me not because ye saw the miracles.” By the word “miracles” He intended “signs.” Obviously, they “saw the miracle,” but they had not “read the sign.”
b) The outward act, which they witnessed, pointed to a higher truth, which they missed altogether.
c) The one who sees the higher truth will be raised to a heavenly reality.
d) How many ministries, in total disregard for what Jesus himself here taught, make their entire appeal based on “miracles?” So many base their soul’s hope on some feigned miracle they have either witnessed or experienced in some way.
3. In missing the spiritual significance, these seekers had only perishing meat.
a) Many come to Christ motivated by something less than the living spiritual bread which brings life eternal.
b) Such faith is only perishing meat, and cannot bring life to perishing souls.

C. THERE IS A TRUE SPIRITUAL WAY OF SEEKING JESUS. (VERSE 27)
1. It seeks to satisfy the wants of the spiritual man.
2. It seeks for and finds imperishable meat, i.e. ETERNAL LIFE.
a) Of this meat the loaves were intended to be a type and a promise.
b) One could eat the loaves, and yet miss the meat.
c) To “labor” for this spiritual “meat which endureth, is to exercise faith.” Jesus will later put it this way, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”
d) Jesus’ miracles were the signs or sealings which God the Father gave concerning Himself, and His salvation.
(1) God has confirmed that life eternal is in His Son.
(2) Christ must give life, and also all grace needed to lay hold of it, for God has set His seal on His Son as the One commissioned by Him.

II. THEN, THERE IS AN ADMONITION CONCERNING RIGHT LABORING. (VERSES 28, 29)

A. THE JEWS, WHO HERE MAKE AN ENQUIRY ABOUT WHAT THEY MIGHT DO, HAD A LEGALISTIC VIEW OF WORKS. (VERSE 28)
1. These Jews saw “the works of God” as those things they needed to perform in order to pay for the imperishable, life giving meat of which Jesus had spoken.
a) Even after hearing Jesus’ discourse, they still had this typical Jewish mindset. “What good thing must I do that I may have eternal life?” (Matt. 19:16)
b) Again, they had missed the sign. What had they done to either deserve or earn the banquet of food they had enjoyed? Yet their Jewish pride would not inherit on the basis of unmerited favor. “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:25)
c) The only requirement was to gratefully receive it as from God the Father, given through the miraculous work and grace of the Son.
2. These Jews saw “the works of God” as reduced to mere observances.
3. These are the kind of works that Paul preached against. (Rom. 3:20, 28; Gal. 3:10, 11; Phil 3:8, 9)

B. THERE IS A GOSPEL VIEW OF WORKS WHICH THEY MUST COME TO SEE. (VERSE 29)
1. Notice Jesus speaks not of “works” (plural), but reduces it to “the work.” (singular).
2. We see then that faith is really a work, the highest work, “the work of God.”
3. There is a kind of faith that is a dead, intellectual belief.
4. This is the kind of faith that James denounced; a faith that produces no validating evidence either in attitude or actions. (James 2:14-20)
5. The living faith that is the work of God; which James insisted upon here defined by Jesus, as believing on Him.
6. This true saving faith will, without fail, manifest itself in the life of the believer.
a) This is the faith by which a person gives himself or herself up the Jesus Christ.
b) This is the “work of God” from which all Christian good works must flow, and will flow.
7. The faith that alone can save will never abide alone, for it is the work of God, and is always unto righteousness.

C. THIS TRUE WORK OF GOD IS CONNECTED WITH TRUE LIFE FROM GOD.
1. The Jews thought that additional miracles would lead to this faith.
2. But Jesus would declare that the true sign was already present – the true sign being Himself.
3. Therefore, the true work of God was that all men should believe on Him.

JOHN 6:1-21

JUNE 25 / JULY 2, 2017

TWO NOTABLE MIRACLES IN GALILEE

INTRODUCTION:

1. Without any mention of Jesus’ departure from Judea, chapter six opens with His appearance again in Galilee. (Verse 1)
2. John, who ordinarily documents and explains His every move, does not do so in this case until the next chapter. (Ch. 7:1)
3. Chapter five concluded with Jesus condemning the Jewish unbelief, which had become adamant. (Ch. 5:45-47)
a) Their unbelief had hardened into hatred, thus His departure into Galilee, where He would continue for perhaps a year, was symbolic of their rejection.
b) Their seeking to slay Him intensified with their growing hatred, thus “Jesus walked in Galilee…because the Jews sought to kill him.” (Ch. 5:16; 7:1)
4. Chapter six will close with another crisis of unbelief, this time in Galilee, with many erstwhile followers leaving Jesus permanently. (Verse 66)
a) We saw previously there had been a shallow miracle-based faith manifested in Galilee. (Ch. 4:45)
b) Here this faith will express itself in great political aspirations, but when disappointed, will turn into disillusioned apathy.
5. John’s Gospel relates this situation in Galilee by recording two miracles that are also recorded in the Synoptic Gospels, putting them into their proper moral and spiritual context.

I. THE FIRST MIRACLE IS THE FEEDING OF THE FIVE THOUSAND. (VERSES 1-15)

A. THE TIME AND PLACE OF THIS MIRACLE ARE GIVEN. (VERSES 1, 4)
1. The time is significant, because John notes that the Feast of Passover was nigh. (Verse 4)
a) If Jesus healed the impotent man at Bethesda, during the feast of Purim, that feast would have been in March. (Ch. 5:1)
b) This miracle, which was performed in Galilee was during Passover, which was in mid-April, just a few weeks afterward.
c) This is remarkable, because Jesus was in Galilee, when every devout Jew wanted to be in Jerusalem because it was Passover.
d) The special significance of this is that what Jesus did here was to conduct, if you will, His own Passover.
2. The place is given. (Verse 1)
a) The Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberius, after a Roman Emperor, was obviously in Galilee.
b) Jesus went “over the sea,” probably from Capernaum, to the other side.
c) Luke says it was near the City of Bethsaida (Luke 9:10) which was on the northeast shore of the Sea of Galilee.

B. THE CIRCUMSTANTIAL SETTING OF THIS MIRACLE IS ALSO GIVEN. (VERSES 2, 3)
1. On His return, Jesus was performing miracles.
2. “A great multitude,’ being impressed by the miracles, “followed Him because they saw the miracles.” (Lit. they were following Him, because they were seeing the miracles – all imperfect, continuous tenses.)
3. Jesus retired to a mountain for refreshment and teaching. (A place of higher elevation than the seashore)
4. Into this place of seclusion burst this multitude seeking Him. What will He do with these rude intruders?
a) He doubtless spent most of the day teaching and healing this multitude of folks who just kept on coming.
b) As the day was drawing to an end, a problem arose. The people needed to eat, and there was no food.

C. JESUS CITED THE PROBLEM, WHICH HAD NO APPARENT SOLUTION. (VERSES 5b-9)
1. Where and how were they to be fed? This question was put to Philip.
2. Jesus knew what he would do, but was testing Philip. (Verse 6)
3. Philip logically analyzed the problem. (Verse 7)
4. Andrew, good-heartedly, brought forth all of their natural resources. (Verse 8) They consisted of one small boy’s lunch, which he had brought.

D. JESUS THEREFORE MOVED TO MEET THIS NEED BY SUPERNATURAL MEANS. (VERSES 10-13)
1. Jesus instructed the multitude to be seated in accordance with the oriental custom of the day, i.e. men segregated from the women and children.
a) The men numbered about 5,000. This did not include women and children, who without question were also fed.
b) They were seated on the plush green grass. “Much grass,” indicative of spring time.
2. Jesus took the five loaves and two small fishes, and acting as the head of the family at Passover,
a) He gave thanks, which impressed all (Verse 23b);
b) He distributed to all;
c) They all did eat “as much as they would,” until “they were filled.”
d) Remember Andrew’s question: “but what are they among so many?” (Verse 9b)
3. Jesus directed that all leftovers should be gathered. (Verses 11, 12)
a) God’s abundant blessings are not to be squandered.
b) These 12 baskets of leftovers were proof that a divine miracle had been performed.
c) There was a practical reason for the “extras.” As the twelve baskets probably belonged to the twelve disciples, this food would be for their future use.

E. THE CROWD RESPONDED WITH GREAT ENTHUSIASM. (VERSE 14)
1. They saw what Jesus did as a sign that Jesus was indeed “that Prophet.” (Deut. 18:18)
2. They concluded that since Jesus was that Prophet of whom Moses had spoken, He surely was going to establish an earthly kingdom.

F. JESUS DID NOT WELCOME THEIR RESPONSE. (VERSE 15)
1. He had previously warmly welcomed them. (Verses 5, 6)
2. He had just graciously fed them. (Verses 11, 12a)
3. Yet now, He departs from them into a mountain again, in order to get away from them.
a) This escape is prompted by Divine knowledge of what they intended to do.
b) He removed Himself from them because they intended to seize Him and make Him their King.
c) Rather than embrace this idea, Jesus escaped from them.
d) He needed a place of solitude to seek His Father’s face.
4. According to modern thought about Christ and an earthly kingdom, Jesus’ actions were very strange. But, if, as He said, His Kingdom is not of this world, His actions made perfect sense.

II. THE SECOND MIRACLE IS JESUS WALKING ON THE WATER. (VERSES 16-21)

A. THE DISCIPLES OBEYED JESUS’ COMMAND AND TOOK SHIP BACK ACROSS TO CAPERNAUM, BUT RELUCTANTLY, AS IT APPEARS. (VERSES 16, 17; WITH MATT. 14:22)
1. Jesus had given them strong order to depart earlier. (Matt. 14:22) He did not want them to become infected with the idea of the multitude.
2. In the meantime, Jesus dismissed the greater part of the crowd, and then He went away into a mountain alone. (Verse 15; Matt. 14:23)
3. The disciples apparently hung around until it was almost dark, “evening,” waiting for Jesus.
4. Finally, they gave up waiting on Him, and they departed in a boat for Capernaum, but by then it was dark. (V. 17)

B. THE DISCIPLES WERE CAUGHT UP IN A FIERCE, LIFE-THREATENING STORM AT SEA WHEN JESUS MIRACULOUSLY CAME TO THEIR RESCUE. (VERESES 18-21)
1. The Sea of Galilee is not a large body of water (actually more of an inland lake) but it is subject to severe and sudden storms. This is still true to this day.
2. We must remember that these disciples were experienced fishermen, and knew how to navigate these waters, even when storms arose. This, however, was no ordinary storm.
3. Rowing furiously, they got about halfway across the sea, but the storm was getting the best of them. (Verse 19a; Matt. 14:24)
4. Suddenly there appeared out of the darkness, what they thought was a spirit (specter) and they were afraid. (Verse 19b; Matt. 14:24)
5. It was Jesus who came to them walking on the stormy sea, who then calmed their fears with a personal greeting. (Verse 20)
a) This must have made a great impression, for these words are recorded in all of the Gospels.
b) They are authoritative and also comforting. “Stop fearing.”
6. Then Jesus made a royal entrance into the boat. (Verse 21)
a) His voice calmed their fears completely. (Verse 19b) They before had “cried out for fear” at the sight of what they thought was a ghost (Matt. 14:26), but now knowing that it was Jesus, they welcomed Him gladly.
b) His voice and presence still calms us when we are afraid or troubled.
c) John adds a wonderful bit of information that none of the other evangelists tell us. Jesus entered the ship “and immediately the ship was at land whither they went.” (Verse 21b)

C. WE HAVE NEXT THE REACTION OF THE ENTHUSIASTS THAT WERE LEFT BEHIND. (VRS. 22-24)
1. Jesus had sent the multitude away, but the next day some of them, probably those who were most enthusiastic to make Him king, still remained on the shore.
2. They had observed that only one boat had left the shore the night before, and though the disciples were in it, Jesus was not, and yet He was not to be found. (Verse 22)
3. They were perplexed where Jesus might be, sine He obviously was no longer in that place.
4. However, other boats had by now come to that shore from Tiberius across the sea on the far western shore, perhaps force to land by the storm the night before. (Verse 23)
5. After a thorough search for Jesus, and coming up empty, these enthusiasts boarded these boats and came across to Capernaum still looking for Jesus. (Verse 24)

CONCLUSION:

1. We noted at the beginning that John, though his gospel is largely supplemental, relates these two miracles which are recorded in the Synoptic Gospels, and that in doing so, he puts them in their proper perspective, i.e. their proper moral and spiritual context.
2. We need to consider the higher meaning of these miracles, which is seen in what follows to the end of the chapter.
3. Clearly, the enthusiastic multitude missed the true meaning of them, but we must not.
4. In the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, Jesus was setting Himself forth as the true Bread of Life which came down from heaven.
a) As he broke the bread, so His body would be broken for sinners. “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.”
b) As He gave them to eat, so we must feed on Him by faith, as He goes on to show in this chapter.
c) Thus He miraculously gives life to the world.
5. In the miracle of His walking on the water, Jesus shows Himself as Sovereign King.
a) This great truth is also expounded through the rest of this chapter.
b) As He suspended the laws of nature, curing the separation and fears of His disciples, so does He, by His sovereign power and grace, receive perishing souls from sin’s separation, fears, and destruction.
c) As He defied natural law in this miracle, so He would one day suspend natural law and rise from the dead.
d) As He miraculously appeared to save His disciples, and take them immediately to their destination, so one day He will come again, and transport all His own to their desired haven.