John 06: 1-71 约翰福音 第六章 第一节至第七十一节

THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

OPPOSITION TO CHRIST (Part 2)

(John 6:1-71)


I.    Feeding the Five Thousand (6:1-15)


    A.    The Miracle Performed

1.    The feeding of the five thousand is the one miracle, apart from the resurrection, that occurs in all four Gospels.  The number of people fed was actually far greater than five thousand, for this figure referred only to the men, since women and children were not counted (Matt. 14:21).

2.    At a time of human hopelessness, Jesus took over.  He had the disciples seat the people in a grassy area.  Then Jesus took bread and fish given to Him by a boy, blessed the food, and gave it to the people.  There was enough to satisfy the hunger of all the people.  What seemed to be a hopeless situation was turned into a scene of hope by the power of God working through Jesus.


    B.    The Response to the Miracle

        1.    The crowds seemed more interested in Jesus’ signs than in His truth.  This

miracle led the people to try to make Jesus king by force.  God’s design was not that Jesus manifest Himself as an earthly king but as the Suffering Servant who would give His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).  

2.    The result of this miracle was that some people began to believe that Jesus was indeed the prophet greater than Moses that the Scriptures had prophesied.


    C.    The Characteristic of Jesus Revealed

        1.    This sign pointed to the divine nature of Jesus.  

2.    In meeting the need of the crowd, not only did Jesus show His power over the natural, created world; He also showed that He was the master of quantity, meaning His power is not limited by the limited supply of man’s resources.


II.     Jesus Walks on the Water (6:16-21)


    A.    The Sea of Galilee

1.    The name “Galilee” means “circle.”  The sea is a freshwater lake nestled in the hills of northern Palestine.  Its surface is nearly 700 feet below the level of the Mediterranean Sea, which is some thirty miles west.  It is fed mainly by the Jordan River.

2.    The nearby hills of Galilee are about 1,500 feet above sea level.  The lake is thirteen miles long and eight miles wide at its greatest east-west distance.  Because of its location, it is subject to sudden and violent storms of short duration.



    B.    The Miracle Performed

1.    Jesus dismissed the crowd and sent His disciples to cross the Sea of Galilee without Him.  Sensing that the crowd wanted to make Him king, Jesus retreated to the hills to be alone.  The crowd was more interested in a Messiah who healed the sick and fed the hungry.  But Jesus’ kingdom would be spiritual rather than physical.

2.    As the disciples rowed across the lake, the winds picked up and a storm arose.  As the disciples approached the halfway point across (about three or four miles) they saw Jesus walking toward them on the water.  Not recognizing that it was Jesus, the disciples were terrified.  In another situation of human hopelessness and fear, Jesus gave hope and assurance.  Jesus called out, “It is I; don’t be afraid” (v. 20).  According to John’s account, the boat immediately reached its destination at the other shore.


C.    The Response to the Sign - According to Matthew’s account of this miracle, the disciples worshiped Jesus as the Son of God (Matt. 14:33).


D.    The Characteristic of Jesus Revealed – By walking on the water, Jesus revealed His mastery over nature.


III.    The Bread of Life (6:22-59)


    A.    An “I am” saying of Jesus

1.    In this passage we find one of several “I am” statements of Jesus.  In verse 35 Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.”  This reveals the truth that Jesus satisfies our deepest spiritual needs.

2.    After the feeding of the many thousands, it is not surprising that these same people sought Jesus again.  When they found Him, Jesus read their hearts and confronted them with their motive: “You seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled” (v. 26).  Jesus had encouraged them not to devote themselves to such pursuits but rather to seek “food which endures to eternal life” (v. 27).  

3.    Jesus reminded them of their forefathers during the years of wilderness wandering and how God provided them with manna to meet their physical needs: “He gave them bread out of heaven to eat” (v. 31).  Jesus then compared the Israelites’ physical needs to the spiritual needs of His audience.  “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst….I am the bread that came down out of heaven” (vv. 35, 41).  This is the first of the seven “I am” statements recorded in John’s Gospel.


    B.    Comparison Between Manna and Jesus: The Bread of Life

1.    Manna came at night; Jesus came while people were in darkness.  Manna met physical needs; Jesus meets spiritual needs.  Manna is a gift from God; Jesus is God’s gift to the world.  Manna had to be picked up and eaten.  Jesus must be received and appropriated.

2.    In His bread of life discourse, Jesus made several bold statements:

a.    No one can come to the Father through Christ except as the Father wills (v. 44).

b.    To be in a relationship with God is to be in a relationship with Jesus (v. 45).

c.    Only the Son, Jesus, has seen the Father (v. 46).

d.    The Bread of Life is that which came down from heaven.  Only by eating that bread can eternal life be received.


IV.    The Holy One of God (6:60-71)


    A.    Some disciples abandon Jesus (vv. 60-69)

1.    Jesus’ Bread of life teaching was not well received by all of His followers: “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” (v. 60).  Many followers grumbled and turned their backs on Jesus.

2.    When Jesus asked the Twelve if they also wanted to leave Him, they chose to remain with their Master.  Peter responded for them all: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.  We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” (vv. 68-69).


    B.    The Holy One to be betrayed (vv. 70-71)

1.    But all was not well.  Jesus knew from the beginning which disciple would eventually betray Him.

2.    Jesus informed the Twelve that “one of you is a devil” (v. 70), referring to Judas.




Discussion Questions


            1.    What does the miracle of feeding the five thousand teach us?

2.    What lessons might the disciples have learned from their experience in the storm on the Sea of Galilee?  What principles from this passage might we apply to the “storms” we face in our own lives?

3.    What did Jesus mean when He claimed to be the Bread of Life?  What does that mean to you?

4.    Why was it so difficult for some disciples to continue following Jesus?  What made Jesus’ teaching on the Bread of life a “hard teaching” to them?

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