Saturday, February 13, 2021

The Crowds Seek Jesus (John 6:22-24)

 The crowds followed Jesus back across the sea, when they didn't find him on their side. Jesus wants to purify their reasons for seeking him, but it is good that they are seeking him. Maybe you think that you don't have the best reasons for seeking Jesus, but if you are reading this, you are seeking him, and Jesus will work with that.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Jesus Walks On Water (John 6:16-21)

 The disciples waited for nightfall, and they tried to go back across the sea. They see Jesus walking on the water, and are terrified. "It is I; do not be afraid" is a perfectly good translation of the first half of that Greek sentence combination. But you can also translate the "it is I" as, "I am." So the whole thing would read, "I am; do not be afraid." As we will see later, "I am" is one of the ways that Jesus claims to be God, and to have existed before he was born as a man. Some of the "I am" statements are more obvious, and it could be argued that this is not one of them, but grammatically, it could be.

Meanwhile, Jesus does another miracle by bringing them close to the shore, immediately after their conversation with him.

I also think that these events are probably the same ones recorded in Matthew 14:22-33 and Mark 6:45-53.

We should not worry, if we notice that the same biblical story is told differently in two or more places. The human authors may have remembered different things, and even if we cannot find a reasonable explanation to fit the difference, God is using the difference to tell us something important that He wants us to know. Even though the Bible is ever and always the word of God, we are devoted to the God who spoke the word, much more than to the certainty of the details about it.

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?