While believing in Jesus gives us hope, Christianity is not based on hope or blind faith. It’s based on evidence. As an eyewitness to many of Jesus’ miracles, the apostle John reminds us that the supernatural feats of Jesus are not just random acts of kindness meant to help and inspire people. They are signs that give evidence for who Jesus is.
Over this 7 week series we are looking at 7 signs that point to the identity of Jesus. In this fourth part of the series we find one of the most famous signs performed by Jesus when he fed over 5000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish. You can read about this fourth sign in John’s account of Jesus’ life chapter 6 verses 1 to 15. You can find that here.
If you are only in a relationship for what you can get or because you want something from someone, you are going to struggle to have an authentic, intimate relationship. Good, healthy and sustainable relationships are two way. God wants a two way relationship with us. And when we have that kind of two way relationship we find life and a peace that goes beyond our understanding.
Passover was a time when the Jewish people remembered how God had rescued them hundreds of years before. And they also remembered how God had provided for them each day with manna (heavenly bread). Jesus also provides food for them, but he does so with lavish generosity. He takes the humblest of ingredients and does something extraordinary.
Jesus recreated one of the miracles of Passover and they recognised Jesus as the one who had come to save them. But they thought their salvation had to do with being rescued from the kingdoms of the world. But Jesus had a different kind of salvation in mind.
Jesus has something way better for them than earthly food. He has the bread of life for them.
Let’s not be consumers. Let’s be followers. His followers changed the world once. Perhaps we can do that again.
To find out more about Next Steps at Andover Baptist Church check out the NextSteps web page.
Questions to reflect on in your small group or on your own:
- Have you ever returned from a trip and not brought a gift for someone who expected one? Have you ever expected a gift from someone’s travels and not received one?
- How would you define an authentic relationship?
- Have you been in a relationship where you or the other person had an agenda? How did that go?
- Read John chapter 6 verses 1 to 14 again: what are some details about this story that would lead a reader to believe that this actually happened?
- What do you think it felt like for the disciples to have thousands of people approaching because they wanted something from them?
- In verse 13, John provides a detail about the amount of bread left over. Why do you think he included this?
- Read John chapter 6 verses 25 to 27: describe how the disciples and the crowd may have felt about being called out by Jesus.
- What is one thing you have asked God to give you that he didn’t or hasn’t yet? Has this disappointment led you to take steps towards God or away? What thoughts and/or feelings let you in the direction you chose?
- What can you do this week to follow Jesus more closely? How can you demonstrate love for others? Is there someone in particular you could offer more grace and forgiveness? How can this group encourage you?
Listen to the full talk on our podcast below…