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Gospel of John – Week Five

This week: Chapter Six

Week Five PDF

  • Feeding the 5,000
    • At the opening of this chapter, we see that Jesus already has a large following.
    • In v6:7, the amount Philip mentions would be roughly the equivalent of wages for eight months!
    • The boy had only five loaves of bread and two fish.
    • Note in v10 that 5,000 men sat down- we don’t know the real number of people following Jesus as the women and children are not counted.
    • Each person got all they wanted, and the disciples gathered 12 baskets of leftovers!
    • The feeding of the 5,000 and Jesus’ resurrection are the only miracles in all four Gospels. (Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:31-44, Luke 9:10-17, John 6:5-15)
    • There are a number of parallels between John 6 and Numbers 11.
    • Bread of Life
      • It is interesting that in vv16-21, John describes that same evening Jesus walking on water and the boat reaching Capernaum instantly almost as a side-note.  After all the things Jesus has already done- why not?
      • The next day, many of the crowd followed Jesus to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, or as John refers to it, the Sea of Tiberias (vv22-25).
      • These people, the very same people that just a day earlier had eaten their fill of five loaves and to fish, actually had the audacity to ask, “… What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?” (John 6:30b KJV)
      • Jesus knew that they wanted what they could get out of them (v26), but admonished them to seek the Bread of Life.
      • Even the disciples grumbled at what Jesus spoke about (v60) and after he rebuked them, many left and stopped following Him (v66).
      • Discussion
        • In John 6:5, why did Jesus ask Philip where they would get food to feed the people when He already knew the answer?
        • In Chapter 6, what did Jesus do before distributing the bread and fish? (see v11)
        • Why five loaves and two fish?  Why not one of each? The feeding of the 4,000 (Mark 8:1-9; Matthew 15:32-39) they had seven loaves and a few fish.
        • How often are we like the crowd that followed Jesus: we want what we can get out of Him but refuse to take up our cross?
        • What did Jesus mean by John 6:37, John 6:44 and John 6:65? How can this compare with John 3:16? Was John Calvin right?