In John 6:1-15, we encounter another sign of Jesus – the feeding of the 5000 – which is loaded with meaning. One of the interesting aspects of God’s Word is that we are given not only the event which happened but also the clues for how to understand the meaning of the event.
In this passage, we encounter Jesus at Lake Tiberias. People are following Him because they have seen the miracles he has performed. Later in John’s Gospel however, people stop following Jesus because their faith was only superficial. When they see the full implications of the feeding of the 5000 and the teaching which accompanies it, they lose interest in Jesus.
The writer, John, informs us that the Passover is near (see v.4). This is the clue to understanding the meaning of this miracle. The Passover was about God’s judgement and salvation. Jesus is the bread of life (v.35) and He alone can satisfy our deepest needs. Our greatest need is to be delivered from sin. In fact, the story teaches us that the bread or sustenance which Jesus gives us is eternal life (v.40).
It is also interesting to note in this passage that Jesus puts his disciples to the test. Testing by God comes to encourage us to grow spiritually. The disciples learn of their inability to meet people’s needs but that Jesus is more than able to meet people’s needs. So we need to look to Jesus.
God’s Blessing, David O’Mara
From the PM Pastor’s bulletin, 10 October 2021