October 12, 2011
Painting No. 8
John 6: 1-15
|Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias),
|and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick.
|Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples.
|The Jewish Passover Festival was near.
|When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?"
|He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
|Philip answered him, "It would take more than half a year's wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!"
|Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up,
|"Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?"
|Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there).
|Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
|When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted."
|So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
|After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, "Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world."
|Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.
Jesus had performed many miracles during the three short years of His ministry. It happened several times that He withdrew Himself from the crowd immediately after the miracle. The reason is that the people discovered in Him the Messiah and wanted Him to become their king in Israel. The problem was that they misunderstood the real mission of the coming of the Messiah. It is true that the prophets spoke about Him as the ruler of Israel or as a king, but they were speaking about His Kingdom in Heaven. The mission of the Messiah was mainly to save His people from eternal death by showing them the way to eternal life. As a Lamb of God He came to be crucified on the cross and by shedding His blood He washed away their sins. Being Himself the Eternal Life and by giving His life to them, Jesus has given to each one of us the opportunity to have eternal life if we believe in Him.