John 6:1-21

Author: Tama Barnes

After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.


When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.


The feeding of the multitude is the only miracle of Jesus that is present in all four gospel writings. This snapshot of a day in the life of Jesus gives us so much insight as to who he is and how we should respond to him.

First of all, he knows our physical and spiritual needs and is ready to fulfill them when we come to him. There are no limits to the blessings that God brings us through Jesus. Not only did the people have enough to eat, there were twelve baskets of leftovers. Jesus is more than enough for us as well.

Next, notice that John writes, “he distributed them (the loaves) to those who were seated.” Jesus is an active Lord. He does not sit and give orders, he gets up and serves. What an inspiration for us! As we follow in the steps of Christ, we have a calling to get up and serve as well.

It is also important to notice the role that giving thanks plays in this miracle. Jesus gave thanks for the small amount of bread and fish. He gave thanks for what he had without asking for more and that little became enough. Of course, Jesus knew what was about to happen but he sets a great example for us in this moment. When we live in constant thankfulness to God for His grace and mercy, little things become plenty. When we trust God to give us what we need, we can live with peace and joy rather than worry. We are prepared to follow him with our basket of blessings, no matter how full or empty it may seem. Somehow, it’s always enough for the day.

The people were amazed and moved. They saw the truth about Jesus. However, they wanted to make him an earthly king. We know that the idea of Jesus as an earthly king is much smaller than who Jesus really is. The people’s view was very limited. Our view is limited at times as well. We must strive to not make Jesus our Lord on our terms but to allow him to be the Lord of our entire life.

In John’s telling of this miracle, he mentions that it is near the time of Passover. John once again is pointing the reader to the connection between the old law and the new salvation through Jesus. John chapter 5 ends with Jesus telling the people that if they truly believed Moses, then they would believe him. The mountain setting and later the water remind us of the events of the Israelites’ exodus under Moses’s leadership. The bread and the fish point toward manna and quail. Moses also instructed the people on what to with the leftovers. In verse 14 the people understand. Just like the exodus and the first Passover was a liberation of God’s people, the people see Jesus as the fulfillment of the one Moses spoke of and they are ready for a revolution.

However, the revolution of God’s love is a much more personal one than what the people imagined. It is a daily choice to turn oneself over to him. We have the opportunity to revolutionize our hearts in giving it to Him each day and each moment. May we always be willing to serve The Lord on His terms instead of our own.

Discussion Questions

·       What are some areas in your life where you need to trust the Lord to make “a little” enough?

·       How can giving thanks each day help us grow closer to God?

·       Is there a “revolution” that needs to happen in your heart?

·       How does Jesus’s example of servant leadership inspire you today?








Tama Barnes

Tama is a wife, mother, and gifted teacher who inspires a love for God and music in all her kids. She is a devoted student of the Word and loves Jesus, her family, and her friends with all her heart. Tama and her husband, Craig, along with their three daughters, have worshipped at Saturn Road since 1999.