St. Joseph Missionary Baptist Church
Wed Night Bible Study
Dr. E.C. Gregory, PhD – Bible Facilitator 12-6-17 Dr. H.T.Rhim, Pastor
JESUS FEEDS 5000
(Test to Grow Our Faith)
John 6:1-6 (NKJV)
1 After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias.
2 Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased.
3 And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples.
4 Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near.
5 Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?”
6 But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.
The miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 is the only sign recorded in all four Gospels (besides Jesus’ resurrection). This fact alone points to its importance. The significance of the sign was pointed out by Jesus in a long discourse (vv. 22-71). The miracle was spectacular, but afterwards many of His followers no longer followed Him (v. 66).
6:1-2. Though some time after this Herod Antipas had killed John the Baptist (Mark 6:14-29; cf. John 3:24), the disciples had preached throughout Galilee (Mark 6:7-13, 30-31), multitudes of people were curious about Jesus, and Herod Antipas was seeking Jesus (Luke 9:7-9). So the time between the events in John 5 and 6 was probably six months. Jesus had gone to the Sea of Galilee with His disciples for rest. This lake was also called the Sea of Tiberias (cf. 21:1), named for a town on the lake’s west shore built by Herod Antipas. But a crowd gathered even in this “solitary” (cf. Matt. 14:13; Mark 6:32) and “remote place” (Matt. 14:15).
6:3-4. The mention of the hillside or “the mountain” may indicate an intended parallel to Moses’ experience on Mount Sinai (cf. vv. 31-32). The mentioning of the Jewish Passover feast was near had the people thinking in terms of blood, flesh, lambs, and unleavened bread. They longed for a new Moses who would deliver them from Roman bondage.
6:5-6. Jesus’ question to Philip—Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?—was not for information but was part of His program of educating the disciples. Philip was from Bethsaida (1:44) which was the closest town, and he would know the local resources. The answer to Jesus’ question was that it was impossible, humanly speaking, for thousands of people to get bread late in the day from the little neighboring villages. John wrote, as he thought back on the incident, that Jesus was asking this to test Philip. God tests people to refine their faith, never to tempt them to do evil (cf. Gen. 22:1-18; James 1:2, 13-15; 1 Peter 1:7).
The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty.