Feeding the Multitude and Walking on Water
Study No. Thirteen. Chapter 6: 1-21
Numerous events occur between the end of John chapter 5 and the beginning of chapter 6. Many disciples have now been following Jesus and He chooses 12 and calls them Apostles. He completes several extensive tours of ministry through the Galilee area.
After this Jesus further trains the twelve by sending them out on their own, two by two, on a special training exercise.
Mt 10:1 ¶ And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.
While they are away, Jesus goes in a different direction, engaging in ministry Himself. During this time John the Baptist is executed. John’s disciples retrieve the body for burial and bring this news of John’s death to Jesus. Jesus intends to ‘withdraw’ for a time. He has obviously set a rendezvous with the disciples.
Lu 9:10 ¶ When the apostles returned, they Mr 6:30 gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught.
For this study we will look at the event described in John 6:1-21 from all four gospels at once. This should give us an increased perception of what really took place.
Joh 6:1 ¶ After these things Jesus Mr 6:31 said to them, "Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while." For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. Lu 9:10 … Then He took them and Mr 6:32 they departed in the boat Lu 9:10 ¶ and they withdrew Joh 6:1 ¶ to the other side of the sea of Galilee—that is, the sea of Tiberias. Lu 9:10 ¶ to a town called Bethsaida, Mr 6:32 to a deserted place in the boat by themselves. :33 But the multitudes saw them departing, and many knew Him and ran there on foot from all the cities. They arrived before them and came together to Him. Joh 6:2 because they saw the signs which he did on those who were ill. 3 Then Jesus went up the mountain and was seated there with his disciples. 4 Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. 5 Lifting up his eyes, Jesus saw a great number of people coming to where he was, Mr 6:34 and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. Lu 9:11 and He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, Mr 6:34 and began to teach them many things. Lu 9:11 and healed those who needed healing. Lu 9:12 Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, Mr 6:35 "This is a deserted place, and already the hour is late. Lu 9:12, "Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find lodging, Mr 6:36 and buy themselves bread; for they have nothing to eat." Mr 6:37 But He answered and said to them, Mt 14:16 "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat." Joh 6:5 and he said to Philip, Where may we get bread for all these people? 6, - 14
Joh 6:15 ¶ Now when Jesus saw that the people were about to come and take him by force to make him a king, Mt 14:22 ¶ Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, Mr 6:45 ¶ to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away. Joh 6:16 The disciples went down to the sea; Joh 6:17 And they took a boat and went across the sea in the direction of Capernaum. Mt 14:23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. Joh 6:17 By then it was dark and Mr 6:47 the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. Joh 6:17 and still Jesus had not come to them. :18 The sea was getting rough because of a strong wind which was blowing. Mr 6:48 Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by. :49 And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; Mt 14:27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid." 28 And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." 29 So He said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!" 31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" Joh 6:21 Then they readily took him into the boat: Mr 6:51 and the wind ceased. Joh 6:21, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going. Mr 6:51 And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled. :52 For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened. 53 When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret and anchored there. 54 And when they came out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him, 55 ran through that whole surrounding region, and began to carry about on beds those who were sick to wherever they heard He was. Mt 14:36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.
Observations from this bible account that we can apply to ourselves:
1. Jesus trains his disciples.
Joh 9:4 "I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.
Joh 4:35 "Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!
1Co 10:13 No temptation has taken you except what is common to man. God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able, but will with the temptation also make the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
2. much needed rests are prescribed. – A private place, a limited time (rest a while)
Re 14:13 ¶ Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’" "Yes," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them."
3. Best laid plans can be interrupted – This interruption was rude behaviour. Have a Christ-like attitude: “moved with compassion”
4. Unexpected ministry opportunities can arise at any time – He taught them many things, Mk 6:34. Healed their sick, Mt 14.14
5. When God’s will is clear there will be Divine provision – A hard command: “Just do it.” Mk 6:37.
6. Some of God’s commands require simple obedience – An easy command: “Get in the boat and go home.” Mt 14:22
7. Unexpected complications usually have a reason – We obey … things go bad. Why?
8. Unbelievable Solutions are ‘shocking’ to many saints – (walking on water … stilling the storm) Mt 18:19 "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.
1Jo 5:14 ¶ Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.