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Facing Unsolvable Problems

John 6:1-14 • November 6, 2019 • w1280

Pastor John Miller continues our study through the gospel of John with a message through John 6:1-14 titled, “Facing Unsolvable Problems.”

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Pastor John Miller

November 6, 2019

Sermon Scripture Reference

I want to read John 6:1-4. John tells us, “After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. 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.”

I wonder if you have ever thought, Does God know what I’m going through? Does God care about what I’m going through? Does God really want to deliver me in my plight and in my problems? If that’s ever been an experience that you’ve had, this story of the feeding of the five thousand tonight is for you. It’s the only miracle, as I mentioned, that John recorded and all the other gospels recorded—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It’s the only miracle Jesus performed that’s recorded in all four gospels and is full of important lessons for us to learn of trust, faith, dependence, and looking to Jesus. These lessons are basic, but they’re not elementary or light. They’re super deep and important lessons that we all must learn. Perhaps you look at your problems, and your abilities to meet the problems are vey small, but you forgot to look at Jesus and consider His resources. I like this story because it talks about the sufficiency of Christ. When we go through a problem, we don’t have the sufficient strength, wisdom, or ability to deal with those problems. So many problems that we face are beyond our ability to deal with, so we have to learn our lesson to trust God and to put our lives in His hands.

In verses 1-4, that we just read, we have the context or the setting or background for the miracle. We see the place, the people who were involved around the miracle, and then we look at the time. Go back with me to verse 1. It says, “After these things,” after what things? Well, obviously, after chapter 5 where Jesus had healed the man at the pool of Bethesda and had given the teaching about the Scriptures and their importance. Jesus has been in Jerusalem in chapter 5; and in chapter 6, there’s a bit of a gap between chapters 5 and 6, we now move from Jerusalem in the south to Galilee in the north.

Now, a couple little bits of information, you begin what’s known as the last year of the life of Christ, and He’s in the heart of what is known as His Galilean ministry. So much of that ministry is not recorded by John. It’s in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, but we’re in the last one-year period of the life of Christ. This is the Passover before the Passover that Jesus will be crucified, but He goes from the south, in Judea to Jerusalem, and heads north, up to the Sea of Galilee. Jesus went (verse 1) “over the sea of Galilee, which is,” also known as “the sea of TIberias.” When it says there that Jesus went “over,” it is a clear reference to the fact that He got in a boat with His disciples and crossed over the Sea of Galilee. It’s believed, and rightfully so, that He was on the western shore of Galilee.

You need to familiarize yourself a little bit with a map, and we won’t turn there now. I don’t want to get too distracted by the geography of the holy land, but in the back of just about every Bible…if you don’t have one in your Bible, then you got jipped when you bought your Bible. You need to buy a Bible with a map in the back. It should have a map of the time of Christ, and you’ll see the Sea of Galilee. It’s a pear-shaped, freshwater lake. It’s about 13 miles long and in its widest point about 8 miles wide. It’s not really a sea, in our standards today, it’s a lake. From the base of Mount Hermon, fresh waters come streaming down into the lake. It’s a beautiful freshwater lake teeming with fish, beautiful blues in the sunshine, and then out the south end of the lake, the Jordan River flows all the way down into the Dead Sea. It hits the Dead Sea where it stops. There’s no outlet. That’s why they call it the Dead Sea because it takes in but doesn’t give out, which is an analogy for us as Christians. When we take in and don’t give out, we become like the Dead Sea. We need to be kind of recipients and then let it flow out to other people.

Jesus is up in the area of Galilee, on the west side, probably around the area mentioned here as Tiberias. He gets in a boat and cuts across the top corner of the Sea of Galilee, over to the eastern side around Bethesda. There, up in the hills above the eastern shore of Galilee, is where this miracle took place (verse 1). It tells us that a “great multitude followed him.” Jesus is in the middle of His Galilean ministry. He’s healing people, so literally thousands of people are following Him, thronging Him, crowding Him, reaching out to Him. Everywhere He went, people wanted to be healed. He’d wake up in the morning, and people are right there wanting to be healed. He had no time for Himself. It’s believed, again rightfully so by comparison of the synoptic gospels, that Jesus went across the lake to get away from the crowds. He was actually going there maybe for a little R&R and a little private time with His disciples. He just wanted to get away with them but to no avail because the multitudes (verse 2) followed Him.

Jesus went by boat. The Scripture indicates that the crowds saw Him take off across the lake, and they walked around the northern part of the lake. It was probably about a 10-mile journey, so they were booking. They put on their PF Flyers and just took off around…they didn’t have PF Flyers. They actually had Vans tennis shoes in those days. Forgive me. I shouldn’t make jokes of the Scriptures, but they take off around the northern point of the Sea of Galilee. Again, the theory is, and I think it’s a good one, that by the time they landed on the sea, the crowd had already skedaddled around the lake. They were like, “Hi, Jesus! How’re you doing? Long time no see.” He’s like, “Oh, put it in reverse. Let’s get out of here,” you know. No, we’re going to see that Jesus was moved with compassion, and He ministered to them in their needs.

Jesus goes to the other side of the lake to get away from the crowd, but the crowd chases Him around in verse 2. John tells us why they did it, “because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.” They were following Him because He was a miracle worker—He can heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers. He can do all these marvelous things, and it was so wonderful, so the crowds and the people…you see the place, Galilee, and you see the people, the multitudes who were following Him. He was going there to get away, but the crowds pursued and followed Him because they were following His miracles, which is in a way a kind of a shallow reason to follow Him. They didn’t fully understand that He was the Son of God and even the Messiah who would come to deliver them from their sins.

Notice verse 3, “And Jesus went up into a mountain,” so He does get off the boat, goes up into a mountain, and there He sat with His disciples. It says that, “the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh.” It doesn’t tell us that it was actually Passover time, but it was that period. It was close to the time of the Passover. The Passover is in the early spring, so one year from this Jesus would die on the cross as that Passover Lamb for the sins of the world. We’re going to see later that they were told to sit down. There was green grass in that place, so it was obviously springtime.

Now, Jesus was trying to get away from the crowd, but they followed Him. The next movement of our story is: How does Jesus respond? What does Jesus do with this multitude during this time when He really wanted to get away? It’s interesting that the disciples (a little insight from the other gospels, it’s not here in John’s account, Mark 6:36) actually told Jesus, “We need to send the people away so that they can go to the villages, towns, and back home to buy some food that they might eat.” If they took a 10-mile journey around the northern side of Galilee, they had a long way to go. There was no In-N-Out Burgers, no 7-11, no Stop-N-Go. There was no place to get food. They didn’t have any food, so “Send them back. Get rid of them.” Isn’t it interesting. A lot of times when we’re facing a problem, we want God to just send it away, take it away, or remove the problem.

We move from the context and the setting in the miracle (verses 1-4), to the first little part of verse 5 to see Jesus’ response and His compassion. “When Jesus then lifted up his eyes,” what an awesome thought that Jesus, those beautiful eyes full of love, care, and concern, “and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” I want you to just note the first part of verse 5. He “saw a great company come unto him.” Write down Mark 6:34, where it tells us there that Jesus was moved with compassion because they, the people, were sheep not having a shepherd. The disciples saw the crowd as a problem to get rid of, Jesus saw them as sheep to feed and to care for. We learn a lot about a shepherd’s heart and true ministry. Instead of wanting to get rid of the people, Jesus says, “No. You feed them.” I’ve always taken note of that as a pastor, that God loves and wants to feed His people. He wants us, the undershepherds, and you and me as well, to love God’s people and to be His instrument of blessing in feeding, encouraging, and equipping others. Instead of just sending the people away when He was tired, He tells His disciples, “No. We need to feed them. We need to minister to them.” The disciples, as I said, saw the crowd as a problem. Jesus saw them as people who needed to be cared for.

I love 1 Peter 5:7. You ought to write that down. It’s a great cross-reference for this story. It’s one of my favorite verses in the Bible. It says, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” You know, we hear so much about the great love of God and the wonderful love of God. It’s true that God loves us, but I love that verse because it tells us just that God cares about you because you get those times when you think, Does anyone really even care about me? Everybody just wants from me. Everybody just wants to get from me. Does anybody really care about me as an individual or as a person? The truth is, yes. There’s One tonight who cares for you. If you don’t get anything else out of this study tonight from this point on, write down that passage, 1 Peter 5:7, and write down: He cares. He cares about you. He cares about your weaknesses. He cares about your fears. He cares about your disappointments. He cares about your problems. He cares about your struggle. He cares about your marriage. He cares about your children. He cares about your grandchildren. He cares about you and all the things that weigh us down. We need to learn to cast them upon the Lord.

The Psalmist says, “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee,” I love that! That word “casting,” by the way in the Peter passage, in the Greek it would be once and for all. It was used of casting a fishing net on the Sea of Galilee. Just throw your burden on God and leave it there. Don’t carry your burden. So often we tell God about our problems but we continue to carry them rather than roll them upon the Lord and let the Lord sustain us and take care of us.

We move to the third section of our story, and this is the heart of the story in the miracle, the characters of the miracle. We have the context, verses 1-4; in verse 5, we have the compassion that Jesus showed the multitudes; and the end of verse 5-14, we are going to see the story of the individuals around the miracles. Verse 5, “When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip,” this is awesome, “Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” Notice that Jesus is asking Philip a question. Jesus Christ the Son of God asking someone a question. Can you imagine you’re hanging out with Jesus, He’s God in the flesh, and He turns to you and asks you a question? “Uh, why are You asking me? You are like the incarnate Word. You’re the Son of God. Why would You ask me a question?” The Bible tells us why He asks Philip the question in verse 6, “And this he said to prove him,” or the word would be test him, “for he himself knew what he would do.” In other words, Jesus is messing with him a little bit. He knows what He’s going to do, He just wants to put Philip to the test. I believe that God many times will test us, try our faith, to see if we will trust Him.

Jesus did this “to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. 7 Philip answered him,” now you don’t see it in this portion of Scripture here between verses 6 and 7, but there’s actually a several-hour gap between these verses. Jesus probably asked early on, “Philip, when shall we buy bread that these may eat?” He kind of left it for a while, and Philip got his calculator out and is trying to figure it out, Well, how much do we need to buy for these…and he’s counting them, you know. “Hey, Andrew, go count everybody. I need the information here,” and after several hours he finally came back to the Lord and said, “Two hundred pennyworth,” now that word “pennyworth” in the Greek is where we get our word denarii. Denarii was a common laborer’s day’s wage. Whatever a common laborer would work for one day, that was a denarii. Two hundred denarii wouldn’t be enough to buy for everyone of these people that everyone would have sufficient. Notice the word “sufficient” there, “Two hundred pennyworth,” denarii, “of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.”

Why did Jesus ask Philip the question? Let me tell you why He didn’t ask him a question. He didn’t ask him a question because He needed information. Whenever Jesus asks questions, it’s not because He needs information, He wants us to learn a lesson. He wants our faith to be tested. Jesus was testing him, “for he himself knew what he would do.” Write this down: God will test your faith. A faith that cannot be tested, cannot be trusted. God will test and God will try your faith. During the gold rush here in California, I wasn’t around at that time, but back in the gold rush days when they would mine the gold out of the ground. Sometimes they would find gold but didn’t really know if it had any value until they would go into the assessor’s office and have it tested, weighed, and find out whether it was genuine or authentic and what it was valued at.

We don’t really know what our faith is worth until it’s been put to the test, until it’s been tried and tested. When they construct a new bridge over a river, no one knows what it will hold until they drive over it. God doesn’t test us to destroy us, He tests us to prove us. I don’t have any doubt but what some of you tonight are here, you’ve been tested lately. Maybe temptations have been allowed by God to test your faith that you’ll stand strong. Maybe some disappointments have come into your life. They’re tests for your faith. They’re food for your faith that you will trust Him. Maybe some horrible adversity, maybe some bereavement, loss, or some pain, some breakup of a relationship, maybe physical sickness, and God is allowing that in your life to test your faith. Will you trust Him? Will you look to Him? Will you hope in Him or will you resort to your own resources and turn away from Him? Take note of that, that the Lord was putting Philip’s faith to the test.

Philip says, “Two hundred pennyworth,” denarii, “…is not sufficient.” There’s a real lesson here. Philip is being tested in the area of his faith. He looks to his own resources and the resources of the disciples and concludes, “We do not have sufficient funds to take care of the problem.” You know, isn’t it funny that sometimes we think money is the solution to our problems? Some of you are here tonight thinking, If I could just win the lottery, all my problems would be over! No, your problems would just begin. You’d have to figure out what to do with all that money. You say, “I can handle that kind of a problem.” It really can be a problem. It can ruin your life. Money is not the issue. “Well, if I just knew the right people,” that’s not the issue. “If I just had a better job,”or “If I had this,” or “If I had that,” and we look to our own resources. When we’re looking at our own resources, we always come to the same conclusion Philip does, “…it is not sufficient,” it is not what we need. When we look to the Lord, we realize He is sufficient. He has the adequacy to meet the need, so you turn your eyes off of yourself and your own resources, and you look to the Lord to meet those needs. He looked at his own human resources. He forgot Christ’s divine resources. He saw only his insufficiency, and he forgot Christ’s all sufficiency. He calculated, but he calculated without Christ as part of the equation.

You know, whenever you face a problem or a difficulty, the first direction your mind and heart should turn to is God, and realize that God is able, God is capable, and you should trust Him. He should’ve looked to Jesus and realized, “Lord, You are the Master of all things. You’re the creator of the universe. This two hundred denarii is not sufficient, but You are sufficient to meet our need.” He should’ve seen that Jesus could meet their need. How often we do the very same thing. Maybe it’s a spiritual need, an emotional need, or a physical need.

I love what 2 Corinthians 12 says where Paul had a thorn in his flesh, “the messenger of Satan to buffet me,” to keep him humble. He prayed three times and asked God to take it away. God said, “No. I won’t take it away, but My grace will be,” and here’s the word, “sufficient for you, and My strength will be made perfect in your weakness.” It really has nothing to do with our resources, our ability, or our strength. It’s all about His ability, His strength, His resources, and God takes our weaknesses and uses them to give us an experience of His sufficiency and His adequacy. There’s a beautiful poem that says:

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half-done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

His love has no limit, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men,
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth and giveth and giveth again.

The problem is we look for our own strength and we faint. We look at our own resources and grow discouraged. We look at our own abilities and think that we can’t do what God’s called us to do, but God is our strength. God is our sufficiency. Roy Lawrence says, “Faith does not minimize difficulties, it maximizes God.” We need to remember that God has unlimited power and unlimited resources.

There’s a second individual in our story, and his name is Andrew. I want you to notice it there in verses 8-9. “One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him, 9There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes,” but then he dismisses them immediately saying, “but what are they among so many?” Now, he has a little bit of a glimmer of faith because he says, “Well, there is a little lad here, and he’s got a few loaves of bread and a few fish,” but then immediately, “Ah, man, but no way is it going to work! It’s just not gonna happen. Look at this great multitude.” He’s looking at these five little loaves of bread and these two little fish and then looks at five thousand men. Now, we don’t know the total number, but for sure there were women and children there. There could easily have been ten thousand, fifteen thousand, some say twenty thousand people to feed. That’s a big crowd out in the wilderness! Philip says, “All we’ve got is five little loaves of bread.”

Now, these little loaves of bread were not a big kind of Weber’s loaf, you know, that you can get at Alpha Beta or Stater Bros. They were barley loaves—little kind of hard, flat pieces, just small, about the size of a baseball, little pieces of barley bread. By the way, barley was the bread for the poor folk. It was the bread of the peasants. It was the common despised bread. Not only is it five pieces, it’s barley, and the two fish there weren’t giant bluefin tuna, you know, “I’ve got two big giant fish!” They were like little sardines. They literally were two little tiny like sardine-sized fish, and they would be chopped up and put on the barley…barley was so bad you had to put a sardine on it to eat it. I would just stick to the barley because I’m not a fish eater. I don’t like the smell of them. I don’t like the taste of them. I don’t like to eat them. I like to let them swim in the water and just have fun, but this guy had these little things.

A lot of interest in this little boy and when I get to heaven, I can’t wait to find him. What I want to know is: Did you give your lunch voluntarily or did Andrew grab you by the ear and bring you hollering and screaming, “I got this little kid, and he’s gonna have to share his lunch with us.” My theory is that he gave it voluntarily. I don’t think the disciples nor Jesus would force this lad to share his lunch; but Simon Peter’s brother, Andrew, is known as the friendly apostle because wherever he appears in the Bible, he’s always bringing people to Jesus. How he found him, I don’t know, but he found this little lad.

It’s interesting that often satan wants us to believe that our gifts and our abilities are insufficient, and we feel that we don’t have the ability to serve God. I’ve been in full-time ministry for a long time, and there’s always that sense of inadequacy, inability, and insufficiency. It’s a dangerous thing when we think that, “Wow, I have the ability. I have the gifts. I know what I’m doing,” because the Bible says the proud God knows far off. One of the reasons Paul had a thorn in his flesh was to keep him humble. Why did God want to keep him humble? To keep him usable. He’d been caught up into heaven and seen things that were unspeakable. His paradise experience could’ve given him pride, so God gave him pain.

I am convinced that God allows pain in our lives to keep us humble, broken, and dependent upon Him. God loves us too much to let us just go our own way, so He pulls the rug out, spiritually speaking, from us or allows some adversity, sickness, difficulty, or financial reverses to come into our lives to teach us, “Lord, I need You. Lord, give me strength. Lord, give me wisdom. Lord, help me. Lord, deliver me in this situation.” It’s a blessed thing to realize your inadequacy, to not grow discouraged but to focus on God, to be courageous and strong, trusting in God, that God hears, God cares, and God answers prayer. Whatever problem you’re facing, and you don’t have the resources, the ability, or you don’t know how you’re going to make it through another day, God loves you. God cares about you, and God has the sufficient grace. His strength will be made perfect in your weakness, but you must trust Him by faith. You must look to Him by faith.

As I pointed out, these barley loaves were the bread of the peasants. They were cheap and common everyday bread—the bread of the poor folks. It reminds us how God uses the weak things of the world to confound the wise. God used Gideon’s pitcher. God used David’s sling and a stone. God used Moses’ rod. God used a donkey to speak to Balaam, and there’s hope for you and me. Whenever I read the story of Balaam, if God can speak through a donkey, God can speak through me. God can speak through you. There’s hope for us, so maybe all you have is something simple and humble, a broken heart. Give it to God, and let God do what He will. Years ago, D.L. Moody, the great American evangelist, heard someone say that the world has yet to see what God will do with a man who is fully surrendered to Him. Dwight L. Moody said, “By the grace of God, I will be that man.” He surrendered his life to God, and God used him in such a marvelous, wonderful, and powerful way.

There are some silly ideas about this miracle, and I won’t spend any time on them. William Barclay in his commentary, which can be valuable, tries to explain away the miracles of the Bible, which is pretty sad. He says, “This is not a miracle of multiplying bread and fish, this is a miracle of God touching people’s hearts with sympathy and getting them to share their lunch, that in reality, the little boy wasn’t the only one in the crowd that had a lunch that day, that everyone else had their lunch but they thought they might be the only one with a lunch, so they had it up their sleeves,” you know, the oriental robes have the big sleeves, so he stuck it up his sleeve, “and when they saw this little boy give up his lunch and his generosity, it touched their hearts, so they reached into their sleeves and took out their food and they all ate.” Now, that’s not what the Bible says. I hardly think that the people who saw the miracle would’ve said, “Truly this is that Prophet which should come,” and they realized that Jesus was the Messiah. I think that Jesus performed a miracle, and the Bible is very clear that it’s a miracle of God’s miraculous power to multiply.

When Jesus healed blinded eyes, diseased eyes, lame legs, He was healing eyes that were already there, legs that were already there; but when He multiplied the bread, He took bread and loaves and He multiplied them. They didn’t exist, and He multiplied them. There’s even going to be abundance leftover. It’s a miracle of His creative power and His omnipotence as well as His compassion and that He satisfies the hungry heart as well. We learn the lesson that little is much in the hands of Jesus.

The last individual in the story is Jesus, verses 10-14. “And Jesus said, Make the men sit down.” In Luke 9:14, it says they were put in groups of 50, so “Make them all sit down,” they were put in groups of 50, “Now there was much grass in the place,” a little information there when they sat down. There was the supply (verse 9) of the barley loaves and the few fish, and there was the sitting on the grass, “Make the men sit down…So the men sat down, in number about five thousand,” and then I love it, “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,” the Greek word is they were glutted, they were stuffed, “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,” so it was definitely a miracle of multiplying the bread and this fish, “said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.” The bread and the loaves were placed in Jesus’ hands.

What a lesson for us. Take your problem to the Lord, and put it in His hands. Amen? Put it into His hands. Take your hands off. The Bible says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Do you know that statement in the Hebrew, ‘Be still and know that I am God,’ literally means take your hands off. Take your hands off. You know, most of the time people come to me with a problem and want counsel or an easy solution on how to remedy the problem. Do you know what the answer to their problem is? Trust the Lord. Just trust the Lord. You have to pray. You can’t fix it. You can’t remedy it. You just have to trust God. “Well, isn’t there something I can do? Can I get ‘em in a headlock and punch ‘em and make ‘em get saved, and make ‘em fix and straighten up their lives? Can I do anything to get my teenager straightened out or my husband saved?” No, you have to pray and trust the Lord. Put it in God’s hands.

They took the bread, they took the loaves, and they put it into God’s hands. We see here what we need to do when we’re facing an overwhelming problem—those hands that made the worlds and know that little is much when it’s put in the hands of Jesus. The miracle took place in the hands of the Savior, not in the hands of the disciples. I want you to know what Jesus did. Look at verse 11. “…and when he had given thanks,” so we ought to give thanks when we’re facing a problem. We ought to give thanks to the Lord. Amazing that Jesus attempted to give thanks at that moment. (We’re going to give thanks tonight as we eat the bread and drink the cup.) He accepts what was given to Him and is thankful for it. Then, He broke the bread. It’s not recorded in John’s gospel, but the other gospels tell us He broke the bread. Many times we give our lives to God, He breaks us, and then multiplies us.

The third step is He distributed it (verse 11). He gave thanks for it, He broke it, and then He distributed it. I believe that our lives have to be broken to be a blessing. It’s called the blessing of brokenness. God breaks us so that our lives would flow with a fragrance. You know, if you take a rose, it’ll mess up the rose, but if you want to really smell the fragrance of a rose, you crush it. Do you know what God many times does with our lives so that His fragrance flows from us? He crushes the rose so that its fragrance flows out. It’s out of the broken life that blessings come. Now, Jesus blesses it, breaks it, and distributes it. The disciples were told to pass out the bread and the fish. At this point, they do act in obedience. I’m wondering what’s going through their minds. Are you serious? There’s way over five thousand people here. We’ve got five little pieces of bread and two little sardines, and You hand it to us and expect us to pass it out to meet the needs of this hungry crowd? What God wants us to do is not question but obey. He wants us to just take a step of obedience, “Lord, I don’t know how this is going to work, I don’t know what’s going to happen,” but they took that step of obedience and God intervened and did an awesome miracle.

They passed out, and it says they gave them all that they can handle (verse 11) and, “When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain,” so they served them and we see God’s power. As they kept breaking it and handing it and breaking it and handing it out, breaking it and handing it, it just kept coming and kept multiplying and kept multiplying and kept multiplying. I wonder how far into the distribution did the disciples start to freak out. Like, “Whhhhoooah!,” you know, they’re looking at each other like, “This is awesome!” What an awesome thing that is when God performs a miracle when we step out in faith and see that He is sufficient for all that we need. They were satisfied. They were filled. Jesus satisfies the hungry heart, and He does have power because in verse 13, “Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments.”

That word “baskets” is actually a large basket big enough for a man to climb into. It’s the same Greek word used for the basket that Saul was lowered down the wall of Damascus after his conversion when he escaped the enemies who were going to try to get him. It was a large basket, and this basket is full of the fragments. Ladies, if your husband ever complains about leftovers, tell him, “Jesus did it.” “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost,” so we can eat it another day. Verse 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.”

Notice the response, in closing, (verse 14). “Then those men, when they had seen the miracle,” the miracle. This was a miracle that only God could do. “…that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.” What did they mean by that statement, “that prophet that should come?” It takes us back to Deuteronomy 18:15 where Moses actually predicted, “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet…like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.” Actually, Deuteronomy 18:15 is a prediction of Messiah from Moses that “a Prophet…like me,” it’s interesting, “a Prophet…like me.” What did God do through the ministry of Moses in the wilderness with the children of Israel? He brought manna. It’s interesting that in verse 31 of this same chapter, when Jesus goes into His discourse about being the Bread of God from heaven, it says, “Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” They’re actually saying, “Could You multiply some more bread?” They were following Him around wanting to eat.

It’s interesting that manna means, “what is it?” It was in the morning, they would get up and gather the manna. They didn’t really know what it was, so they called it, “what is it?” For forty years they ate, “what is it?” They were little wafers that tasted like honey. It must’ve been awesome. They used it in so many ways, I’m sure. God is the great provider.

In verse 12, “When they were filled,” and they were satisfied with all the provision that God had. Jesus Christ is sufficient for every problem that you face—spiritual, physical, financial, emotional. Amen? Maybe you’re depressed tonight, maybe you’re discouraged, or maybe you’re facing some difficulty that you don’t have the resources to overcome. Jesus Christ has the sufficiency to meet every need. You may be looking at your bank account, your strength, or your own resources in light of the problem. Get your eyes off the problem. Get your eyes on the Person of Jesus Christ. He is sufficient for every need.

In verse 35 (I want to close with that. We’ll get it in a couple of weeks.) Jesus said, “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” You come to Jesus, and you will never hunger. You believe on Jesus, and you will never ever be thirsty. Let’s pray.

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About Pastor John Miller

Pastor John Miller is the Senior Pastor of Revival Christian Fellowship in Menifee, California. He began his pastoral ministry in 1973 by leading a Bible study of six people. God eventually grew that study into Calvary Chapel of San Bernardino, and after pastoring there for 39 years, Pastor John became the Senior Pastor of Revival in June of 2012. Learn more about Pastor John

Sermon Summary

Pastor John Miller continues our study through the gospel of John with a message through John 6:1-14 titled, “Facing Unsolvable Problems.”

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Pastor John Miller

November 6, 2019