The Feeding of the Five Thousand – The Fourth Sign

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Sermon Outline:

1. The Setting
2. The Sign
3. The Shadow and Type
4. The Significance

Sermon Text:

John 6:1-15

After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. 2 And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. 3 Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. 4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. 5 Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” 6 He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. 7 Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, 9 “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. 11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” 13 So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. 14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” 15 Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself. (ESV)

The Feeding of the Five Thousand is the fourth sign in the gospel of John given to authenticate Jesus Christ as Messiah. It is the only miracle among the many that Jesus did that is recorded in all four gospels (Matt 14:13-21; Mark 6:32-44; Luke 9:10-17 and John 6:1-15). Therefore, it must be of profound importance for the Holy Spirit to include it with such emphasis in God’s Word and magnificence to our Lord. But the setting by The Evangelist that preempts this wonder is also just as weighty. It is occurs among much intrigue, corruption, lasciviousness and most sorrowfully, the death of John the Baptizer.

This is a great story of man’s lack of faith and God’s abundant provision. Of man’s sinfulness and God’s holiness. Of man’s frailty and God’s enduring sovereignty. This sign also reveals the creative power of Jesus like no other. This is the only miracle where we get a glimpse of Jesus operate in His preincarnate glory as Creator when He creates ex nihilo – out of nothing. May our time in God’s Word today cause you to worship Him more holy, love Him more faithfully, and live for Him more boldly with a no compromise faith.