John 6:1-14, 41, 43 Jesus was a powerful miracle worker. He used his divine abilities to help people in need. But the crowds often confuse Jesus' miraculous works for something else. They thought that since Jesus was more powerful than Moses (because he healed the sick and provided ample food), and Jesus intended to become a worldly leader or earthly king. As we will see, Jesus rejects that notion and uses this moment to teach both the masses and his disciples that he does more than provide physical bread to sustain life. Jesus is the bread that grants eternal life. Unfortunately, this was a difficult teaching, and some walked away. Discuss: Remember a time when God did not do what you thought He should have done. What happens when the thing you want God to accomplish something, and God wants to accomplish something – but these are two different things?
Important Background Information:
This was the time of Jewish Passover, and this event closely parallels Numbers 11
- People grumbling (Number 11:1 and John 6:41, 43)
- The description of manna is mentioned (Numbers 11:7-9 and John 6:31)
- Fish are also mentioned (Numbers 11:22 and John 6:12)
Jesus is not just another Moses. Jesus is the one faithful Savior.
Jesus is not just another Moses. Jesus is the one true Savior.
Jesus first teaches his disciples (John 6:1-8).
a. A lack of resources is often a time of testing
i. Testing (πειράζω) To make a trial of, test: for the purpose of ascertaining quantity or quality of something or someone
“Having little to spare clarifies the values we share.”
b. A lack of resources does not mean a lack of a plan
i. Here is the plan
- Give what you have to Jesus (be surrendering)
- Give thanks (be grateful)
- Give it away (be generous)
Then Jesus teaches the crowds (John 6:25-51)
a. Jesus didn’t come to be an earthly king (John 6:12-15)
b. Observation: Once we see the power of Jesus, we often want to leverage that power in a very localized and personal way. But neither Jesus’ ministry nor teaching is not geared toward perpetual miracles.
i. Why a state of perpetual miracles is not healthy
- It will create animosity towards God
- It will remove the principle of sowing and reaping
- It will place our attention on the gift and not the giver
c. Jesus communicates the real reason behind the miracle
i. Jesus reveals the audience’s motives (6:26, temporary fixes)
ii. Jesus reveals what he is really offering (6:27, eternal life)
iii. Then Jesus says some of the most bizarre words in the entire New Testament – eat my flesh and drink my blood
iv. Many find this hard to accept (v. 60)
v. And some turned away (v. 66)
Jesus will tell the truth to us even if it offends us.
Then Jesus asks a question that every Christ-follower will struggle with at some point:
“You don’t want to leave, too, do you?”
You have what we really want, Peter says.
We really don’t want:
- A king
- A prophet
- Another meal
- Another cool miracle
- Another fix that carries us through the day
What we really want is eternal life.
Jesus did not come to give us a temporary fix but eternal life.
Identify when you wanted to leverage God’s power for a hyper-local or personal event (for
example- God helped our team win, and the other team lost). How does this kind of prayer
reveal a smallness in your view of God?
What do you have to give to God? Would you be willing to surrender that?