On Sunday Jeremy talked about the miraculous feeding of thousands of people from just five small loaves and two small fish. It was an incredible (and delicious!) miracle, and today’s passage flows directly from it.
It’s been said that the way to a “man’s” heart is through his stomach—but surely that applies to more than just men! Have you ever had someone (a newborn, a pet, a spouse, a child, a friend) who seemed more interested in what you could feedthem than in you? Describe the situation and how it made you feel.
Looking at Scripture:
Read John 6:14-29. We’ll use the three step process we learned a couple of weeks ago to think it through.
1. Observation – What does it say?
How do people react to the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand? Who did they believe he was? Where have we heard this term already in John’s gospel?
What role did they want to assign to Jesus? Why do you think Jesus was resistant to this?
Where was Jesus when the disciples set out in the boat? What do you think he was doing, and why?
What does Jesus say God ultimately wants from people?
John 2:24 says that even though people were reacting positively to him, Jesus didn’t trust their sincerity, because he was able to see into their hearts. We saw a glimpse of this last week when he said that the only reason people were paying attention to him was to see signs and wonders (4:48, loose paraphrase). We see this again this week. Why does Jesus say people are paying attention to him at this point?
2. Interpretation – What does it mean?
The people Jesus fed wanted to make him king—theirkind of king. What kinds of roles do people try to force Jesus into today? What do you think John would have to say about putting Jesus into “a box” of our own desires/understanding?
Jesus is critical that people are just following him because he fed them. What are some other less-than-perfect motives for following Jesus that we might struggle with today?
What do you think he means that faith/belief/trust is the “only” thing God wants (v. 29)? List out some other things that you think God might alsowant from us. What is the relationship of each of them to believing (trusting/having faith in) “in the one he has sent?”
3. Application – What does it mean to me?
In your own life, how are you tempted to put Jesus “in a box?” What steps can you take to “let him out?”
What else can we learn from this passage that applies to our lives?