God’s Renewing Word of Wisdom
John 6:1-24: Jesus crosses Lake Galilee, and a large crowd follows him. A young boy offers his food of five barley loaves and two fish, and Jesus is able to provide food for all the people. In the evening the disciples go back across the lake toward Capernaum, and Jesus approaches their boat walking on the water.
Jesus Feeds Five Thousand
6 After this, Jesus went across Lake Galilee (or, Lake Tiberias, as it is also called). 2 A large crowd followed him, because they had seen his miracles of healing the sick. 3 Jesus went up a hill and sat down with his disciples. 4 The time for the Passover Festival was near. 5 Jesus looked around and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, so he asked Philip, “Where can we buy enough food to feed all these people?” (6 He said this to test Philip; actually he already knew what he would do.)
7 Philip answered, “For everyone to have even a little, it would take more than two hundred silver coins to buy enough bread.”
8 Another one of his disciples, Andrew, who was Simon Peter’s brother, said, 9 “There is a boy here who has five loaves of barley bread and two fish. But they will certainly not be enough for all these people.”
10 “Make the people sit down,” Jesus told them. (There was a lot of grass there.) So all the people sat down; there were about five thousand men. 11 Jesus took the bread, gave thanks to God, and distributed it to the people who were sitting there. He did the same with the fish, and they all had as much as they wanted. 12 When they were all full, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces left over; let us not waste a bit.” 13 So they gathered them all and filled twelve baskets with the pieces left over from the five barley loaves which the people had eaten.
14 Seeing this miracle that Jesus had performed, the people there said, “Surely this is the Prophet who was to come into the world!” 15 Jesus knew that they were about to come and seize him in order to make him king by force; so he went off again to the hills by himself.
Jesus Walks on the Water
16 When evening came, Jesus’ disciples went down to the lake, 17 got into a boat, and went back across the lake toward Capernaum. Night came on, and Jesus still had not come to them. 18 By then a strong wind was blowing and stirring up the water. 19 The disciples had rowed about three or four miles when they saw Jesus walking on the water, coming near the boat, and they were terrified. 20 “Don’t be afraid,” Jesus told them, “it is I!” 21 Then they willingly took him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached land at the place they were heading for.
The People Seek Jesus
22 Next day the crowd which had stayed on the other side of the lake realized that there had been only one boat there. They knew that Jesus had not gone in it with his disciples, but that they had left without him. 23 Other boats, which were from Tiberias, came to shore near the place where the crowd had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 When the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they got into those boats and went to Capernaum, looking for him.
Today’s Key Verse: John 6:11
Jesus took the bread, gave thanks to God, and distributed it to the people who were sitting there. He did the same with the fish, and they all had as much as they wanted.
Today’s reading includes two miracles (or signs) performed by Jesus. Imagine yourself among the 5,000 who were miraculously fed. What would be your thoughts? What do you think the boy in today’s story might have told people when he returned home? How did the disciples react when they saw Jesus approaching their boat by walking on the water (verse 19)? What did Jesus say to them (verse 20)? Recall the details of a time in your life when you needed the assurance of Jesus’s words to not be afraid. What words of assurance do you remember?
Lord Jesus, I seek you every day. Feed and nourish me with your life-giving word. I know of the blessed assurance you give when you are there, surrounding me with your love. Amen.
John 6:25-59: Jesus says he is the bread of life.