Monday, July 19, 2021
10-11 Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” There was a nice carpet of green grass in this place. They sat down, about five thousand of them. 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.
12-13 When the people had eaten their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the leftovers, so nothing is wasted.” So they went to work and filled twelve large baskets with leftovers from the five barley loaves.
14-15 The people realized that God was at work among them in what Jesus had just done. So they said, “This is the Prophet for sure, God’s Prophet right here in Galilee!” Jesus saw that in their enthusiasm, they were about to grab him and make him king, so he slipped off and went back up the mountain to be by himself.
16-21 In the evening, his disciples went down to the sea, got in the boat, and headed back across the water to Capernaum. It had grown quite dark, and Jesus had not yet returned. A massive wind blew up, churning the sea. They were maybe three or four miles out when they saw Jesus walking on the sea, quite near the boat. They were scared senseless, but he reassured them, “It’s me. It’s all right. Don’t be afraid.” So they took him on board. In no time, they reached land—the exact spot they were headed to. -John 6:10-21 The Message.
Chapter 6 begins with Jesus and his disciples arriving at the Sea of Galilee. They were followed by a crowd because of Jesus’ miracle performances. Finally, Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. There was a conversation about how to feed all the people at the Passover Festival. Jesus wanted to see the response, test the faith of his disciples. Philip started to assess probable costs. They were fixated on what the boy had brought but failed to realize that Jesus is the resource that they needed to solve the problem.
Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was a total of five thousand people. Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. Then, when all of them had enough to eat, he told one of his disciples, “Gather the leftover pieces. Let nothing be wasted.” The disciple did that, filled twelve basked with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Jesus knew that they would try to make him king by force, so Jesus withdrew and went to a mountain top by himself. A lesson behind leftovers is this: God gives in abundance, meaning in large quantities. When he does the work to help people, he multiplies the effectiveness in ways we do not believe but see with our eyes. When you take the first step in being available to God, he’ll show you ways you can be used to advance the work of his kingdom.
The evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, where they got into a boat to prepare to cross the lake for Capernaum. It is dark by this time, and Jesus had not yet joined them. Then, out of nowhere, a wind was blowing, and the waters grew rough. They rowed about three or four miles, and they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on water! Can you believe that?! But the disciples were afraid, and Jesus told him, “It is I; don’t be frightened. So the disciples took Jesus into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading. A few things to unpack here. The Sea of Galilee has windstorms like these because the sea is 650 feet below sea level and 150 feet deep, surrounded by hills. So it caused high waves, and it is expected. As usual, the disciples were afraid when the storm came. Jesus came during the storm three and a half miles out from shore while walking on water and told them not to be frightened. Our lives are filled with waves and storms, and we are being tossed around all the time. Regardless of how scary that may be, trust Christ to keep you safe, and he will give you peace from any storm you are trying to pass. I have many storms now in my life, no job, no education to get me a job, no skills. I have to trust God to get me through each day. I have been getting through by the grace of God and help from family. The struggle is still accurate, but I trust him every day. I don’t panic.
We have to be prepared for help, as the disciples were not ready for use because they automatically assumed the worse. In Mark 6:49, the disciples were terrified at the sight of a ghost. But they didn’t think about it in this instance when they saw the ghost again. Remember your past in a way that can keep you from fearing the worst.
Father, thank you for your word. Every day, we are reminded not to fear you but to trust you. I pray it will motivate many others to not fear you and to trust you. Thank you. In Jesus’ name. Amen!