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Sunday, February 20, 2011

2/21/11 John 6:1-6 The Crowd Followed Jesus

1 Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), 2 and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. 3 Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. 4 The Jewish Passover Festival was near.
5 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?” 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

(Feeding of the Multitude- Bernardo Strazzi early 17th century)

Thoughts: Matthew tells us (Mt. 14) the reason why Jesus was crossing the lake.  His cousin John was beheaded, and he was grieving and trying to get away.  There was no vacation here. Yet his concern was for their needs, and that the disciples be taught in this situation.  He did not say, "Let's go farther away before they get here."  He welcomed them and cared for them.  If Jesus was like this in his finite humanity, why do we limit God's care in his eternal, infinite love? 

Prayer: Thank you Lord, for your great care.  Thank you that you cared more for us and our needs than your own.  May I have grace to follow your example.

John Calvin Commentary Abridged:  John usually adds events the other Evangelists omit.  But here he repeats the same event they described for the purpose of transitioning to Christ's sermon which was related to this.  The other Evangelists relate that this happened after John was beheaded.  Christ was hoping to ease Herod's rage by being out of sight-out of mind.  The multitudes were convinced He was the great prophet.  John leaves out that Christ spent part of the day teaching and healing the sick.  The people were so eager to hear and see Christ that they forgot about their practical needs, and followed him out into the wilderness.  We should learn that we should not be easily distracted by our hunger, thirst, or physical needs from the worship of Christ. 

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