2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.
3 And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples.
4 And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh.
5 When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?
6 And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.
7 Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.
8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him,
9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?
10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.
11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.
12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.
13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.
14 Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.
15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.
The Bread of Life feeds the 5,000.
John seemingly brings more flavor of the crowds about Jesus. Every time I read John I find Jesus dealing with crowds and multitudes. “But Jesus did not commit himself to any of them, for He knew all men.” It is very interesting to me to see John mentioning these crowds. (John 4:41) “And because of His words many more became believers.” Some, I am sure, had genuine faith in Christ, but I am afraid many liked Jesus for the food He gave them. They were followers of Christ, but were waiting for the first obstacle to fall away. This falling away is precisely what we see in chapter 6, for it says in verse 66, “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed Him.”
I think that Jesus made an enormous difference wherever He went. Some were incited, when they saw Jesus, to plan murder. “At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.” Others were disappointed in their call. Jesus called the rich young ruler to leave all that he had and to follow Christ. The ruler went away disappointed in the call of Christ. Every single person I read about in the Scripture seems greatly affected by the Messiah.
This is one miracle recorded in all four gospels, and I enjoy seeing the Messiah presented as the Bread of Life. Someone long ago observed that sharing the gospel is merely one beggar telling another beggar where to get bread. There is a great deal of wisdom in that simple platitude. I have found someone who changed my life—is not this the Messiah? I do find it interesting that when fed, the crowd decided that Jesus was the prophet. By this I take it to mean that they thought Jesus was the one to come who was like Elijah—the role we understand John the Baptist to have filled. But he that would come to Christ must understand who He is, and what He came for.
At any rate, the crowd wanted to force kingship upon Him, and He withdrew to a solitary place. Remember how I said John emphasizes crowds and multitudes. He also emphasizes Jesus withdrawing to a private place, often to pray. I find this withdrawal wonderful, for it teaches me that when in the middle of busy ministry, I must find time to withdraw and seek the presence of God. It is not in the crowds of ministry that I will find God, but rather I will find Him as did Elijah, in the still whisper, and there I can cover my face and worship my God, in Spirit and in Truth.
Breathe on Me, Breath of God
1. Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love what Thou dost love,
And do what Thou wouldst do.
2. Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Until my heart is pure,
Until my will is one with Thine,
To do and to endure.
3. Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Till I am wholly Thine,
Until this earthly part of me
Glows with Thy fire divine.
4. Breathe on me, Breath of God,
So shall I never die,
But live with Thee the perfect life
Of Thine eternity.
Lyrics: Edwin Hatch