Sustained by God’s Word of Love
John 6:1-21: 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 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.
1After this, Jesus went across Lake Galilee (or, Lake Tiberias, as it is also called).2A large crowd followed him, because they had seen his miracles of healing the sick.3Jesus went up a hill and sat down with his disciples.4The time for the Passover Festival was near.5Jesus 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?” (6He said this to test Philip; actually he already knew what he would do.)
7Philip answered, “For everyone to have even a little, it would take more than two hundred silver coins to buy enough bread.”
8Another 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.11Jesus 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.12When they were all full, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces left over; let us not waste a bit.”13So they gathered them all and filled twelve baskets with the pieces left over from the five barley loaves which the people had eaten.
14Seeing this miracle that Jesus had performed, the people there said, “Surely this is the Prophet who was to come into the world!”15Jesus 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.
16When evening came, Jesus' disciples went down to the lake,17got into a boat, and went back across the lake toward Capernaum. Night came on, and Jesus still had not come to them.18By then a strong wind was blowing and stirring up the water.19The 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!”21Then they willingly took him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached land at the place they were heading for.
Today’s reading includes two more 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)? Are there times in your life when you need the assurance of Jesus’s words to not be afraid?
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.
Volunteers at community food pantries
John 6:22-40: Jesus says he is the bread of life.