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Wednesday, February 10, 2021

The Feeding Of the Five Thousand (John 6:1-15)

 After the conversation about authority in chapter 5, Jesus went across to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. The whole crowd tried to follow of course, because they had seen him heal many people.

In fact, many people were already on that side of the water. Jesus asked Philip how they intended to feed all these people, knowing that they had no human means to do it. It was a test, and it's not clear whether Philip passed or failed. In any case, Jesus decides to do something.

We should not miss the fact that all this took place around the time of the Passover. In addition to the Passover lamb, the people ate unleavened bread and bitter herbs, to commemorate their deliverance from Egypt. Also in the background is God's provision of the manna from heaven, when Israel was wandering in the desert.

We should not understand these verses to mean that Jesus was simply really efficient in dividing up the bread and the fish. He actually multiplied the bread and the fish, and fed about 5000 people.

People understood that they had been witnesses to a miracle, but perhaps perceiving it in the wrong way, they tried to make Jesus king. Jesus is the king, but it is also important that Jesus become the king according to the Father's will and plan. The people were not necessarily wrong to call Jesus a prophet, but the question we should have is whether Jesus is only a prophet, or is he something more?

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