Faithlife Sermons

Where Shall We Buy Bread?

Gospel of John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 1 view
Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Introduction

“Some time after this” — Again John insert this little phrase to indicate a passage of time in order to move the story of Jesus’ life and ministry along. We are not certain of just how much time has passed. We know nothing of the many things Jesus has been doing in the interim between the healing at the pool of Bethesda and our story for today.
Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee and the people followed Him. Their motivation had little to do with repentance or and right relationship with God. They had simply seen the miracles He had performed and were drawn to Him.
“Mountainside” — Jesus was in the area which we know today as the Golan Heights.
“Jewish Passover” — This is the second Passover mentioned in John. The passover was an important national holiday for the Jews…much like our 4th of July.
The intention of this trip across the sea was to spend some time alone with His disciples but Jesus looks up and sees that the crowds followed them.
This was a remote place and the nearest town was Bethsaida, the town from which came the Apostle Phillip…So Jesus asks Him, “Where shall we buy bread for all these people?”
But Jesus also had another motivation in asking Phillip this question…HE wanted to test him.

Training

Jesus knew what He was going to do…but the circumstances gave Him the occasion to test Phillip and strengthen His faith as well as the faith of the other disciples.
Test — to try, make trial of, test: for the purpose of ascertaining his quality, or what he thinks, or how he will behave himself
Jesus wanted to give Philip an opportunity to grow.
Jesus trains His disciples by challenging them with responsibility. He gave Phillip a task that was beyond His ability to do so his faith in Jesus would grow
Left on a sinking ship were the captain and three sailors. The captain spoke first. "Men, this business about a captain going down with his ship is nonsense. There's a three-man life raft on board and I'm going to be on it. To see who will come with me, I will ask you each one question. The one who can't answer will stay behind. Here's the first question: What unsinkable ship went down when it hit an iceberg?" The first sailor answered, "The Titanic, sir." "On to the next question: How many people perished?" The second sailor said, "One thousand five hundred and seventeen, sir." "Now for the third question," and the captain turned to sailor number three. "What were their names?" 
Left on a sinking ship were the captain and three sailors. The captain spoke first. "Men, this business about a captain going down with his ship is nonsense. There's a three-man life raft on board and I'm going to be on it. To see who will come with me, I will ask you each one question. The one who can't answer will stay behind. Here's the first question: What unsinkable ship went down when it hit an iceberg?" The first sailor answered, "The Titanic, sir." "On to the next question: How many people perished?" The second sailor said, "One thousand five hundred and seventeen, sir." "Now for the third question," and the captain turned to sailor number three. "What were their names?" 
This is how Jesus trained His disciples when He was walking around on the earth and it is the way that He trains us now as well. He gives us increasingly challenging tasks so we will learn to truly live a life of faith in Him
Test — to try, make trial of, test: for the purpose of ascertaining his quality, or what he thinks, or how he will behave himself
Phillip was left with a choice...look to his circumstances, his understanding and the resources at his disposal or He would look to Jesus for answers to seemingly impossible questions and resources which seemingly did not exist
Jesus wanted Philip to know the measure of His faith in Jesus…He wanted Philip to see his strengths and weaknesses and have an opportunity to grow.
This is how Jesus trained His disciples when He was walking around on the earth and it is the way that He trains us now as well.
James 1:2–4 NASB95
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Philip could not take his eyes off of his circumstances. He looked at the numbers of people (probably around 20,000 when considering women and children with the men). He looked at what he had in hand (5 barley loaves and 2 small fish). And concluded that it was a hopeless situation. He missed the power of God in the moment.
If we look only at our circumstances and present resources, we will remain in the natural and miss the power of God in our life.
Jesus wanted Philip to look to Him not himself, circumstances or the meager resources he found around him. So Jesus takes the next step...
So Jesus takes the next step...
“Have the people sit down” — Jesus tells Philip to have the people sit down in preparation for a meal…and he does so. This is the first step of faith for Philip
He was being called into a deeper kind of faith…a living faith…Jesus was in effect telling Philip to believe it is so when it isn’t so because it is so because Jesus said so.
Philip had just said there isn’t enough to feed these people a snack…Jesus’ response was to have the people sit down for a meal…it was at this moment that Philip followed Jesus instead of the natural mind and the limits of what his mind could conceive in the moment.
James 1:2–4 NASB95
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Jesus is not content with followers who live in the natural. He wants followers who live by faith in Him…volitional, life changing faith which leads you to do things the world (natural man) cannot understand.
The world thinks it is crazy to prepare a banquet for 5000+ when there isn’t food for 5. If you want to truly follow Jesus in the way the scriptures teach us , you must be prepared for a life of inexplicable behavior…inexplicable to the natural mind.
Too many believers in Christ are bored…the life of a believer in Christ was never meant to be bored…hard, joyful, adventurous, fun, exciting, difficult and rewarding yes but boring…never!
Many Christians are bored because they are living in the natural rather than faith

The Miracle

Jesus looked up and gave thanks for what He had in His hands and then began distributing the food…and distribute He did! He provided a lavish feast where every mouth was fed until satisfied and 12 basket provided doggie bags to take home.
When we turn our eyes upon Jesus He abundantly supplies all of our needs…all of them…completely and totally.
What is our need? That word is
Philippians 4:11–13 NASB95
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:11–13 ESV
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
So often the context of Paul’s words are lost on us. We like to quote verse 13, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” But the context…I have learned God provides for all of my needs…period…everything I NEED in order to follow Him and fulfill His purposes in my life are mine! INCLUDING contentment in my every circumstance.
Philippians 4:19 NASB95
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Need — Necessity, requirement, what is lacked
God provides…period! We can depend upon Him. Jesus wanted His disciples to know…to really know…to feel it in their bones…that they could rely, depend, TRUST in Him! And He wants us to know that this morning as well.
God provides all that we need…period! We can depend upon Him. Jesus wanted His disciples to know…to really know…to feel it in their bones…that they could rely and depend on Him for all of their NEEDS! And He wants us to know that this morning as well.
Jesus will continue to challenge us with responsibility beyond our ability so we will stop living in our limited resources and start living in His unlimited resources.
In 1986, a group of researchers published a study of Japanese mothers and mothers in Minneapolis. The mothers were asked to rank the most important things that a child needs to succeed academically. The answers tell a lot about the difference in our two cultures today. The mothers in Minneapolis chose "ability." The mothers in Japan said "effort." 
In 1986, a group of researchers published a study of Japanese mothers and mothers in Minneapolis. The mothers were asked to rank the most important things that a child needs to succeed academically. The answers tell a lot about the difference in our two cultures today. The mothers in Minneapolis chose "ability." The mothers in Japan said "effort." 
This is how we are taught as human beings…success is the result of your God given ability and self effort. But Jesus is telling us success is really dependent on our faith in His ability, resources and effort on our behalf.
We are called to an exciting, adventurous, dangerous, inexplicable kind of life…a life the world will never understand this side of heaven. A life beyond our own ability and far beyond our own effort.
Several years ago I met a gentleman who served on one of Walt Disney's original advisory boards. What amazing stories he told! Those early days were tough; but that remarkable, creative visionary refused to give up. I especially appreciated the man's sharing with me how Disney responded to disagreement. He said that Walt would occasionally present some unbelievable, extensive dream he was entertaining. Almost without exception, the members of his board would gulp, blink, and stare back at him in disbelief, resisting even the thought of such a thing. But unless every member resisted the idea, Disney usually didn't pursue it. Yes, you read that correctly. The challenge wasn't big enough to merit his time and creative energy unless they were unanimously in disagreement! 
Several years ago I met a gentleman who served on one of Walt Disney's original advisory boards. What amazing stories he told! Those early days were tough; but that remarkable, creative visionary refused to give up. I especially appreciated the man's sharing with me how Disney responded to disagreement. He said that Walt would occasionally present some unbelievable, extensive dream he was entertaining. Almost without exception, the members of his board would gulp, blink, and stare back at him in disbelief, resisting even the thought of such a thing. But unless every member resisted the idea, Disney usually didn't pursue it. Yes, you read that correctly. The challenge wasn't big enough to merit his time and creative energy unless they were unanimously in disagreement! 
And it continues in our day to day choice to die to self and live in Him.
If we are not attempting great things with God then we are living a life beneath our calling. If our life can be explained in the natural we are living a sub Christian existence. A life lived by faith is by necessity bigger than anything we can do on our own.
The real question is this, “Can your life be explained in the natural?”
The Jewish people in this story were ready to force Jesus to be their king because of the miracle He performed…He could provide them something they daily struggled to provide for themselves and their families…food.
A life lived by faith in Christ, for Christ, will require that you step out and take a risk…a risk on Jesus…Philip risked when he told the groups to prepare for a feast…
The Passover was the 4th of July…they had seen a banquet appear out of nothing…they were ready to have Him for their King...

The Prologue

After this great miracle the crowd decides Jesus is the prophet long hoped for in so they are intent on forcing Him to be their king.
Deuteronomy 18:15–19 HCSB
“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. This is what you requested from the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, ‘Let us not continue to hear the voice of the Lord our God or see this great fire any longer, so that we will not die!’ Then the Lord said to me, ‘They have spoken well. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. I will put My words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. I will hold accountable whoever does not listen to My words that he speaks in My name.
But Jesus had a different plan and withdrew to a mountain by Himself.
God is working in the world around us so that His plans might be fulfilled. He wants us to be a part of what He is doing…provides opportunities and God sized events so we might glorify (make much of Him).
We aren’t living a super, beyond the natural, inexplicable kind of life for the sake of us but for the sake of Him. Our faith is in Him and our life is for Him.
All of the miracles God does in and through us are for this purpose…that we might give Him glory, credit…that we might make much of Him
Illustration Darlene Gilbert
Is your life one lived on mission with God, by faith and inexplicable to the world? Are you attempting great things with God or are you living a life far beneath your calling?
Luke 9:23 NASB95
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.
Take up your cross…take your eyes off of self…die to self…and live in Him.
Related Media
Related Sermons