Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Morning Cup of Tea: John's Account of Feeding the Five Thousand

Good morning! It's been a quiet yet eventful morning, and I am so happy to delve into the Word with you, and dispel some of the worries and cares that trouble.
  Today we are beginning chapter 6 of John. Today we are focusing on the first 21 verses. Jesus and his disciples were near the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberius (v1). The multitudes there had heard of the miracles that Jesus had done and they were there to see for themselves. Jesus had gone up into a mountain to be alone with his disciples, but the multitude was there right along with them. Jesus had compassion on the people, and asked Philip where they should buy bread to feed them. According to John this was a test because Jesus knew all along what he would do (v5). Philip replied that buying 200 pennyworth of bread would not be enough to feed them all, even if they all just took a little. In William Smith's A Bible Dictionary, revised edition (1948) it says "  "Two hundred pennyworth of bread would have cost approximately thirty-two dollars."Adjusting for inflation by 2010 that would be about 282 US dollars. That would have been quite a bit of money for them at the time.
  Andrew, Peter's brother, told Jesus that there was a lad with 5 barley loaves and 2 little fishes. Jesus asked him for the food. He blessed it and they fed 5000 men that day. (Women and children were usually not counted so the number could have been larger than this, or the generic term "men" could have encompassed all who were there). When everyone had eaten their fill, Jesus asked that the fragments be collected so nothing would go to waste. Twelve baskets of bread were filled. 
  The crowd had witnessed this, and they'd either seen or heard about the other miracles Jesus had done --turning water into wine, raising the dead, healing. They wanted to take him and make him their king here on earth. By force if necessary!  Jesus knew this so he went off alone. The disciples left by boat to go to Capernaum.  During the night the wind began to blow, probably bringing in a storm. The disciples saw Jesus walking on the water, coming toward the ship. They didn't know at first that it was Jesus, because John says they were already 25 or 30 furlongs from shore. Translated, they were about three and a half or 4 miles from shore. They really weren't expecting someone to come walking toward the ship that far out, apparently not even Jesus. They were afraid!  Jesus told them it was himself and not to be afraid.
  Can you imagine seeing someone walking on the water as if he were on dry land? I think I would be a little concerned myself at first.  I don't think that the disciple fully grasped yet just who Jesus was. 
  Have a great day!

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