Bread was a staple in the middle east as it is in the west today. Bread was used by God as a sign of life and supply. Today we will see the blessing and challenge of Jesus use of bread as a sign of real life. John 6 is the longest chapter in the book so let’s see if we can get through it today.

John 6: 1-6

After this, Jesus crossed over to the far side of the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias. 2 A huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miraculous signs as he healed the sick. 3 Then Jesus climbed a hill and sat down with his disciples around him. 4 (It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration.) 5 Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” 6 He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.

A couple of things we need to see

  1. The people were following him not because of the words of eternal life but instead for the miracles he performed….in their mind through their interpretation of the prophecies, the Messiah would deliver them from Roman oppression….the truth is he would but not be kicking out Rome, but instead by setting them free to be who God had called them to be, being able to walk in love, joy, and peace always
  2. God will sometimes allow us to enter into a predicament where he is looking to see if we will choose to make our decisions based on Him or without Him….Philip was the analyst of the bunch and Jesus was giving him a chance to grow beyond his natural (fleshly) mentality. Helping him to learn to rely on what God could do rather than Philip’s best.

John 6:7 

7 Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!”

The translation here is quite literally, even if they worked for 200 days using their full wages per day there would not be enough money to feed everyone. In Pennsylvania, in today’s dollars, that is about $40,000

John 6:8.9

Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. 9 “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”

It is interesting that every time we see Andrew, he is bringing someone to Jesus. Here he has some level of faith but still isn’t sure. He has faith enough to go through the crowd to look for a way to solve the problem, then he brings what he found to Jesus but still doubts it to be enough.

What ever you bring to Jesus, is always enough. Your skills, talents, personality, heart, drive, passion, whatever you bring to him will be enough if you are willing. He makes it enough just as he will do with the loaves and fish.

John 6: 10

Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So, they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.)

Jesus was organized. He knew the best way to handle the situation. The Jewish way of accounting for the crowd was counting men only so we know the crowd was at least 10,000 perhaps as many as 20,000 people if we count women and children too. 

John 6: 11-13

Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. 12 After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.” 13 So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves.

This was the season of Passover which reminded the people of their deliverance from slavery and the miracle of the manna. They spent a total of 40 years in the wilderness and during that time God fed this people, even though they were rebellious, with bread from heaven they called manna. The teachers of Jewish law of Jesus’ day, known as Rabbis were expecting as, The Bible recorded in Exodus 16:4 that the coming messiah would rain bread down from heaven.

Jesus performed that kind of miracle right here. Five pita breads and two salted fish stuffed 15-20,000 people. The word used for “full” we could easily translate as they “pigged out.” Jesus not only filled everyone so they had more than enough to eat but there were 12 baskets full left over proving that he was the bread of life to all of the 12 tribes of Israel. Did he give a basketful to each of his closest disciples to take to their families or did the little boy end up with an over-abundance to take home? We don’t know but this does show us that Jesus is the God of more than enough and when he is doing something it may take time, but eventually he will bless you to the fullest. God wants nothing that he blesses you with to be wasted either, he wants all of your talents, skills, blessings to be used in their fullest

John 6: 14,15

When the people saw him do this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, “Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!”15 When Jesus saw that they were ready to force him to be their king, he slipped away into the hills by himself.

In Deuteronomy 18, Moses prophesied that God will one day raise up a prophet like himself. As the people believed Moses fed them in the wilderness, they saw Jesus feeding them now and made the assumption that he would be their very physical king, and he was but not in the way they thought. We need to be careful to always understand the Lord’s heart when we read the Bible or receive a prophetic word, it may be different than what we think.

John 6:16-21

That evening Jesus’ disciples went down to the shore to wait for him. 17 But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn’t come back, they got into the boat and headed across the lake toward Capernaum. 18 Soon a gale swept down upon them, and the sea grew very rough. 19 They had rowed three or four miles when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified,20 but he called out to them, “Don’t be afraid. I am here!”21 Then they were eager to let him in the boat, and immediately they arrived at their destination!

Matthew and Mark record this incident with more detail but John’s intent is different. The disciples launched out into the darkness without Jesus. We should never go against the darkness whether it is spiritual or some fleshly darkness without Jesus….but we need to understand Jesus will always come after us.

Jesus walking on the water like his feeding the masses with bread was reflective of Moses. Moses prayed and God brought manna and quail. Jesus blessed and everyone was fed in abundance. Moses parted the red sea, Jesus walked 3-4 miles across the lake they both delivered their people from fear. 

John wanted us to understand that Jesus is in command of the elements and time. The weather was demonic as he spoke and rebuked it. Secondly, they were instantly transported to the shore, time is under His control. This is another example of Jesus saying he and the Father are one, even though there are not definite articles in Greek when Jesus said, “I am here” it is better translated “The I Am” is here.

John 6:22-27

The next day the crowd that had stayed on the far shore saw that the disciples had taken the only boat, and they realized Jesus had not gone with them. 23 Several boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the Lord had blessed the bread and the people had eaten. 24 So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went across to Capernaum to look for him. 25 They found him on the other side of the lake and asked, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”

26 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs.27 But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”

Jesus is challenging them, trying to help them realize eating for a day will not change the world but understanding eternal life changes everyone’s world forever. God will take care of our daily needs if we keep him and his agenda first. His heart’s desire is for people to be free, to walk in love, to know his heart.


They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”

29 Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”

30 They answered, “Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What can you do? 31 After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ”

32 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven.33 The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

34 “Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.”

Believe in the one God has sent! The people want to perform miracles and Jesus is making it simple and complex all at the same time….simply believing is a start through faith, miracles can be performed but through faith and belief in Jesus we grow to become more like him and God’s works become those things that the Father wants not the things we want to do!

Jesus corrects their theology. They were saying Moses fed their ancestors but if they are really going to be true believers they need to understand that it is the Father working through his people that causes miracles, humans do not perform miracles God does it through us.

Crying out for the bread is reflective of the Samaritan woman’s cry…revival and transformation begin with a cry for more of God

Last part for today

John 6:35-40

Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.36 But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me.37 However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them.38 For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will.39 And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day.40 For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.”

Jesus is using another “I AM” statement to be reflective of the name for God. He recognized the continual hunger and thirst the people had for truth and life and Jesus is saying only coming to me will satisfy you.

Jesus is talking about the security in him. People were so afraid of making God angry at them and his turning his back on them he wanted to ensure people that all who come to him he keeps and will never reject, no matter how many times we may reject him….just as God did in the Old Testament, Israel would reject God but the Father would always draw them back to him. Jesus is making it clear while the OT version was often a more national approach his is talking about a more personal and intimate calling to himself….your eternal life is secure as far as God is concerned unless you choose to reject it. Only we have a power to reject God, God will not reject us.

God’s focus is always building relationship with us..

– he will supply all of our needs but wants us to use that supply to bless others too

-He wants real relationship with us, where we get to know him and trust him in every way

– He is the one who will always guide and fulfill us if we allow him

– He will never reject us, even if we reject him he will never reject us he is always willing to accept us right back into the family