John 6:1-4 – Lesson #59

The feeding of the five thousand was the fourth miracle, or sign (John 2:11), recorded in the gospel of John which Jesus did to show He was the Son of God. It is also the only miracle, other than the resurrection, to be recorded in all four gospels. This may be an indication of the importance of the event, but it should also challenge us to consider the other gospels to obtain a complete picture of this mighty work of God.

John 6:1-4
“After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased. And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples. Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near.”

The fact that “the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near” says that this event was several months – possibly as much as a year – after the events recorded in chapter five. Jesus had sent His twelve disciples out to minister into the area west of the Sea of Galilee; “So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere” (Luke 9:6).

When the disciples returned, they were eager to report on their active ministry; “Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught” (Mark 6:30). But they also had to bring Jesus the bad news that John the Baptist had been beheaded by King Herod; “Then his disciples came and took the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus” (Matthew 14:12).

It was immediately after receiving the ministry report and the news about John that Jesus said, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while” (Mark 6:31). The deserted place was on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee, “a deserted place belonging to the city called Bethsaida” (Luke 9:10). This is most likely the area known today as the Golan Heights.

Jesus needed a time of quiet, and He also knew His disciples were in great need of some time alone. But many who were on the road for the Passover feast had now heard of the Great Miracle Worker and quickly followed Him to the mountainside. These were not truth seekers who desired to repent, but thrill seekers looking for a show – looking to be entertained.

In our next lesson we will see how Jesus taught on the need for practical application of Spiritual truth, but let’s not miss the important message in the priority of His actions – Jesus consistently sought and encouraged time alone. Whether we are in the middle of great Spiritual victories or needing to grieve and process difficult news, we must have time to simply sit at His feet. Interruptions will always follow, but let’s be determined to withdraw for times of rest. Let’s never surrender our quiet time of being alone with the Lord.

Have a Great Day!
Steve Troxel God’s Daily Word Ministries