Day 11 – (March 18, 2019)


John 6:1-15

1 After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias. 2 A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. 3 Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. 4 Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. 5 When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” 6 He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. 7 Philip answered him, “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, 9 “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” 10 Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.” 13 So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. 14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.” 15 When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.


One of Jesus’ extraordinary statements was that he could offer life. “Anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life… has passed from death to life,” he said (John 5:24). How could he do this? On one occasion he stunned everyone by producing sufficient food for a crowd of 5,000 from five loaves of bread and three fish. It was Passover time, the time when everyone remembered God’s liberation of their ancestors from Egypt. We can understand the crowd’s response, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.” They saw Jesus as a modern day Moses. Here was someone who could free them from Roman rule. But, having a bigger and better plan, Jesus withdrew from them (6:15).

In John 6:26-27 he commented: “…You are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.” There are two kinds of bread – bread for our physical bodies that will one day die, and bread for our spiritual existence, destined to last forever. Jesus told the crowds then, as he tells us today, ‘You have seen a miracle, but you do not see the sign.’ Jesus doesn’t just see empty stomachs, but empty souls, empty lives. The miracle of turning the loaves and fish into more than sufficient food to feed the crowd was a sign of Jesus’ capacity to feed our deeper spiritual need and give us life.


Raise up your great power, Lord, and come among us to save us; so that, although through our sins we are grievously hindered in running the race that is set before us, your plentiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us; through the sufficiency of your Son our Lord, to whom with you and the Holy Spirit be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen. (BCP, Advent 4 – adapted)

Daily Reading Plan

Read John 6:1-34