John 6:11 - How To Feed The Multitudes.

John 6:11 - How To Feed The Multitudes.

John 6:11 (NKJV) And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had 
given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples 
to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they 

John 6:11 (MSG) Then Jesus took the bread and, having given 
thanks, gave it to those who were seated. He did the same with the fish. 
All ate as much as they wanted.  

CONTEXT: Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand: John 6:1-14.


The Seven Miracles or Signs Of John's Gospel
  A famous author once said that the key to good writing is not 
in knowing what to put into a story, but what to leave out. 
Imagine, then, the problem of writing down the story of Jesus, especially 
if you had been an eyewitness and even a participant in the events. 
Of all that Jesus said and did, what would you include? What would 
you leave out? 
  John solved the problem by determining what he wanted his 
Gospel to accomplish: he wanted his readers to know that "Jesus is the 
Christ, the Son of God, and that believing [they might] have life in His 
name" (John 20:31). To that end, he organized his account around seven 
miracles that Jesus performed, seven "signs" pointing to His divine 
  The Miracles or Signs And Their Meanings
  *	Turns water into wine (2:1-12);  Jesus is the source of life.
  *	Heals a nobleman's son (4:46-54); Jesus is master over 
  *	Heals a lame man at the pool of Bethesda (5:1-17); Jesus is 
master over time. 
  *	Feeds 5,000 (6:1-14); Jesus is the bread of life.
  *	Walks on water, stills a storm (6:15-21); Jesus is master 
over nature. 
  *	Heals a man blind from birth (9:1-41); Jesus is the light of 
the world. 
  *	Raises Lazareus from the dead (11:17-45); Jesus has power 
over death. 
  The fact that there are seven sign miracles is significant. In 
the Jewish view of life, the number seven signified perfection or 
completion. John's Gospel presents the seven miracles like a diamond 
refracting seven bands of color. Upon closer inspection, each one turns out 
to be rooted in Old Testament understanding of the Messiah. John's 
point is that Jesus is perfect and complete. His miracles show His 
true colors - that He is the Messiah that Israel has been looking 
for, and that He alone offers eternal life. 
  This way of presenting things may seem strange to some modern 
readers. But the Gospel of John, though probably the last Gospel to be 
written, was Christianity's first statement of the message of Jesus in a 
way that would relate to the thought-forms of its day. It is more 
meticulously and artistically composed than any prize-winning narrative or 
award-winning film. [Word In Life SB] 

A total of thirty-five miracles are attributed to Jesus in the 
four Gospels. Of these, only one - the feeding of the 5,000 - is 
recorded in all four (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:32-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 
6:1-14). [Daily Walk Bible] 

The miraculous multiplication of the food demonstrated Jesus' 
deity, because only God can create. This is the only miracle of Jesus 
that is recounted in all four Gospels. [Nelson SB] 

The feeding of the 5,000 is the one miracle, apart from the 
resurrection, found in all four Gospels. It shows Jesus as the supplier of 
human need and also sets the stage for his testimony that he is the 
bread of life (v. 35). [NIV SB 2008] 

The fourth and fifth sign-miracles of the seven in the Gospel of 
John are located in this chapter. They are the feeding of the 5,000 
and the walking on water. [Believer's SB] 

Once again in this Gospel, John selects a particular place for 
presenting a spiritual truth about Christ. Earlier, the well in Samaria was 
an excellent setting for Christ to teach about the fountain of 
living water. Here, in chapter 6, the multiplication of the loaves 
provides a way for Christ to present himself as the Bread of Life. [Life 
Application Commentary] 


  In feeding the five thousand, Jesus lifts the veil from the 
world of nature, and reveals the power that is constantly exercised 
for our good. In the production of earth's harvests God is working a 
miracle every day. Through natural agencies the same work is 
accomplished that was wrought in the feeding of the multitude. Men prepare 
the soil and sow the seed, but it is the life from God that causes 
the seed to germinate. It is God's rain and air and sunshine that 
cause it to put forth, "first the blade, then the ear, after that the 
full corn in the ear." Mark 4:28. It is God who is every day feeding 
millions from earth's harvest fields. Men are called upon to co-operate 
with God in the care of the grain and the preparation of the loaf, 
and because of this they lose sight of the divine agency. They do 
not give God the glory due unto His holy name. The working of His 
power is ascribed to natural causes or to human instrumentality. Man 
is glorified in place of God, and His gracious gifts are perverted 
to selfish uses, and made a curse instead of a blessing. God is 
seeking to change all this. He desires that our dull senses shall be 
quickened to discern His merciful kindness and to glorify Him for the 
working of His power. He desires us to recognize Him in His gifts, that 
they may be, as He intended, a blessing to us. It was to accomplish 
this purpose that the miracles of Christ were performed....  
  And when we are brought into strait places, we are to depend 
on God. We are to exercise wisdom and judgment in every action of 
life, that we may not, by reckless movements, place ourselves in 
trial. We are not to plunge into difficulties, neglecting the means God 
has provided, and misusing the faculties He has given us. Christ's 
workers are to obey His instructions implicitly. The work is God's, and 
if we would bless others His plans must be followed. Self cannot be 
made a center; self can receive no honor. If we plan according to our 
own ideas, the Lord will leave us to our own mistakes. But when, 
after following His directions, we are brought into strait places, He 
will deliver us. We are not to give up in discouragement, but in 
every emergency we are to seek help from Him who has infinite 
resources at His command. Often we shall be surrounded with trying 
circumstances, and then, in the fullest confidence, we must depend upon God. He 
will keep every soul that is brought into perplexity through trying 
to keep the way of the Lord....  
  The disciples were the channel of communication between Christ 
and the people. This should be a great encouragement to His 
disciples today. Christ is the great center, the source of all strength. 
His disciples are to receive their supplies from Him. The most 
intelligent, the most spiritually minded, can bestow only as they receive. Of 
themselves they can supply nothing for the needs of the soul. We can impart 
only that which we receive from Christ; and we can receive only as we 
impart to others. As we continue imparting, we continue to receive; and 
the more we impart, the more we shall receive. Thus we may be 
constantly believing, trusting, receiving, and imparting.  {DA367-370}   

  What do I have to share that they wouldn't already know? I 
should be sitting at their feet to be taught, I thought, as I sat with 
my Bible open, preparing messages. In two weeks I was flying to 
Chiang Mai, Thailand, to speak at my first overseas women's retreat. 
More than 120 women would gather from twenty-five different mission 
organizations and thirty countries. The more I labored on the talks, the more 
my sense of inadequacy grew. 
  I cried out to God, and he gave me the image of Jesus looking 
out at a large crowd of hungry people (John 6:5-13). The dis-ciples 
wanted to send them away (Philip said it would cost a small fortune to 
feed them), but Jesus wasn't deterred. He took five barley loaves and 
two fish offered by a small boy, gave thanks, fed the 
multitudes--and had twelve baskets of leftovers! 
  As I visualized that scene, I sensed God saying, Offer the 
bread that you have--the messages, experiences, and words I've given 
you-just as the little boy did. Give it to me, and I will bless it and 
multiply it to feed all those you speak to in Thailand. 
  Suddenly my focus began to shift from my inadequacy to 
Christ's ability. As I spoke numerous times in the next two weeks--to 
missionaries, to teachers, to children, and to Chinese, Thai, and Buddhist 
people--the Lord took my "bread" and was faithful to multiply it many times 
over. Whether in Zambia, South Africa, Arkansas, or California, I've 
seen Jesus do great, unexpected things using my simple, flawed 
gifts, surrendered to him. 
  Cheri Fuller is an international speaker and the author of 
numerous best-selling books, including A Busy Woman's Guide to Prayer, 
The One Year Book of Praying through the Bible, and Loving Your 
Spouse through Prayer. [The One Year Bible Live Verse Devotional re 
John 6:11] 


Before Jesus ever sets before us an "impossible" task, He knows 
what He is going to do.  But He watches us and tests us to see how we 
will react - either in fear, confusion, or faith. [Life Principles SB 
By Charles Stanley re John 6:6] 

When you face a seemingly unsolvable problem, claim the promise 
of verse 6, give what you have to Jesus, and let Him tell you what 
to do. [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe] 

The miracle of the feeding of the multitude, with 12 basketsful 
left over, reminds us that God is well able to multiply whatever 
resources we may have--as long as we offer them to Him. It's not what we 
have. It's what God can and will do with what we have that counts! 
[The 365-Day Devotional Commentary] 

Even today, there are no barriers to what Jesus can do. Neither 
age nor financial resources can keep God from doing what seems 
impossible. If you give joyfully of your time, talents, and resources-no 
matter how meager-the possibilities are endless. Little is much with 
God. [The One Year Bible for New Believers re John 6:8, 9] 

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