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"They saw Jesus walking on the sea... and they were terrified "
(John 6:19)

Ninth Sunday after Penetcost

Feeding the Five Thousand

John 6:1 After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias.
John 6:2 A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick.
John 6:3 Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples.
John 6:4 Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near.
John 6:5 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?"
John 6:6 He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do.
John 6:7 Philip answered him, "Six months' wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little."
John 6:8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him,
John 6:9 "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?"
John 6:10 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.
John 6:11 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.
John 6:12 When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, "Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost."
John 6:13 So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets.
John 6:14 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."

Jesus Walks on the Sea

John 6:15 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.
John 6:16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea,
John 6:17 got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.
John 6:18 The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing.
John 6:19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified.
John 6:20 But he said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid."
John 6:21 Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land toward which they were going.

[John 6:1] (vv. 1-21) The fourth and fifth sign-miracles are located in this chapter. They are the feeding of the 5,000 and the walking on water.

[John 6:3] The reference to "mountain" is to the high ground that rises abruptly, east of the Lake of Galilee. The area is known as the Golan Heights today.

[John 6:4] This is the second of three Passovers mentioned by John (cf. 2:13, 23). The time was appropriate for the sign-miracle of feeding and the Bread of Life Discourse which follows.

[John 6:7] Two hundred denarii is approximately two-thirds of a man's yearly wages (Matt. 20:2), and yet it would be insufficient to feed 5,000 men plus the women and children.

[John 6:13] The twelve baskets of leftover food may have been an indication to the twelve disciples, or tribes of Israel, that there was also enough spiritual food to satisfy them.

[John 6:10] At this point the boat was a little more than halfway across the lake. In spite of their close relationship to the Son of God, the disciples still reveal spiritual immaturity and insensitivity to the presence of God in their midst. Christ would remind them and us that in the storms of life, such as this one and those that lie ahead, we should "not be afraid" (v. 20), but rather "believe" (v. 30) in Him who feeds the multitudes, walks on the water, and calms the sea.

NSRV & Believer's Study Bible (BSB) Notes

 

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St James Lutheran Church, Sumter SC ELCA Pastor Keith Getz

 

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