Seven Miracles in the Gospel of John (Part 4)
Have you ever been in a SERIOUS PREDICAMENT? How do we normally respond in these situations?
So far we have covered THREE miracles which picture the WAY of salvation:
- Water into wine – “Out with the OLD, in with the NEW” – salvation is a change in your NATURE or your IDENTITY
- Healing of the nobleman’s son – salvation requires FAITH in what God said (John 4:50)
- Healing at the pool of Bethesda – salvation cannot be EARNED because we could NEVER DO ENOUGH to earn it, so Jesus Christ does the work of SALVATION, NOT US!
Miracle #4 reveals to us the RESPONSIBILITY of SALVATION:
Feeding of the 5000 – the ONLY miracle (besides the resurrection of Jesus Christ) found in all FOUR gospel accounts
God has given those who are saved a GREAT RESPONSIBILITY:
In these first 4 verses, everything is GREAT! The disciples have just witnessed the Lord perform MIRACLES and now they are up in the MOUNTAIN sitting with Him!
- Can we just do this ALL THE TIME? One day YES, but NOT YET!
I. PROVING (v. 5-9)
- Notice the QUESTION posed by the LORD in verse 5
- “Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?”
HOW will a MULTITUDE be FED with NO FOOD? This is an IMPOSSIBLE SITUATION!
It is ONLY IMPOSSIBLE until the Lord Jesus Christ SHOWS UP!
PROVING – the Lord TESTS Philip with a QUESTION
- Why does the Lord ALLOW difficult circumstances???
- To PROVE us – to see HOW we will RESPOND
- What are some typical responses?
- COLLAPSE (give up!)
- Most common response – ask WHY and claim “IT ISN’T FAIR!”
Verse 6 – the Lord KNOWS what HE will do!
- Nothing takes the Lord by SURPRISE!!!
Verse 7 – Philip’s response is one of DOUBT
- cf. Matthew 14:28-31 – replace DOUBT with FAITH
TRYING TIMES should DRIVE US to the Lord Jesus Christ!
Verses 8-9 – Andrew enters and brings MORE DOUBT
- Every have a DOUBTING PARTY?
- It begins with ONE and EASILY SPREADS!
- cf. Ecclesiastes 9:18b- “one sinner destroyeth much good.” – it only takes ONE
In v. 7 – “IF we had so much, it wouldn’t be ENOUGH!”
In v. 9 – “We have a LITTLE, but there’s NOT NEAR ENOUGH!”
II. PROVIDING (v. 10-11)
There is NO PANICKING with the Lord! He has a WELL-ORGANIZED PLAN to take care of our needs!
Verse 10 – notice that the PEOPLE were to SIT DOWN while the Lord and His disciples did the rest
DISCIPLESHIP – do what the Lord says, He has a plan to USE YOU in order to FEED OTHERS… though He is the SOURCE of the FOOD!
Verse 11 – Notice the steps that the Lord takes:
1. He gave thanks
2. He DISTRIBUTED to the DISCIPLES
3. The DISCIPLES DISTRIBUTED to the people
What a picture of how God wants to USE YOU to FEED OTHERS!
God ALWAYS provides!
cf. Genesis 22:6-8 – “God will provide Himself a lamb”
- Add the word “for” and it CHANGES the meaning – it sounds like God Himself is in need of a lamb!
cf. Psalm 23:1 – no WANTING if you KNOW the Lord!
cf. Psalm 81:10-11
cf. Philippians 4:19 – “all your need” SUPPLIED by God!
III. PRESERVING (v. 12-14)
Verse 12 – The Lord didn’t throw out the leftovers!
cf. Psalm 12:6, 7 – PRESERVATION of the WORDS of God!
Verse 13 – Notice how many BASKETS are remaining!
- TWELVE – one for each of the disciples
Verse 14 – Notice the PROCLAMATION made by the men which saw the miracle: “This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.”
- The FEEDING of the FIVE THOUSAND is a picture of DISCIPLESHIP
- Disciples of Christ are to RECEIVE FOOD from the Lord and then are to GIVE IT OUT. There’s a CONTINUAL SUPPLY
- There is NO NEED to PANIC when DIFFICULTY ARISES!
- cf. Mark 10:27 – IMPOSSIBLE with men, POSSIBLE with God!