Christ was born sometime in the early fall months in Bethlehem of Judaea, a small town approximately six miles from Jerusalem, which is approximately 105 miles from Nazareth the hometown of the Virgin Mary who bore Christ.
In order to escape the wrath of King Herod over the birth of this baby who was destined to be King of Israel, the Spirit moved the babe to Cairo, Egypt over 260 miles away where he remained secure several months until Herod’s death and was brought back to Nazareth where he grew into manhood. Being about the age of thirty (Lk. 3:23). Christ sought out John the Baptist who was baptizing Israelites in the Jordan River near the Dead Sea, approximately 145 miles from Nazareth. Following his baptism Christ was led into the wilderness near Jericho (approximately 140 miles from Nazareth) where upon completing his 40 day fast he personally encountered and defeated the devil (Matt. 4). Having completed his 40 day fast he is seen at Bethany beyond the Jordan River where two disciples of John the Baptist joined his company becoming Jesus’ first two disciples. Andrew, being one of the two, sought out his brother Simon and Introduced him to Jesus who changed his name to Peter (John 1:42). John 1:43 informs us Christ crosses over into the territory of Galilee and finds Phillip of Bethsaida. Phillip in turn found Nathanael and introduced him to Jesus.
Part I Miracles Gather Disciples
Stopping off in Cana of Galilee, four miles from Nazareth, Christ attends a wedding and performs his first miracle by turning water into wine, John 2:1-11. Verse 12 informs us Christ, along with his mother and brethren now pays a brief visit to Capernaum by the Sea of Galilee, approximately 25 miles from Cana and 29 miles from Nazareth. Capernaum will become Christ’s headquarters for his Galilean ministry once he is rejected in Nazareth. The Jewish passover being at hand, the first passover to occur during his ministry, John 2:13 says, Christ went up to Jerusalem, over 100 miles away, where for the first time he cleanses the temple and many believe on him because of the signs he did, John 2:23. Also, here at Jerusalem, he met the learned Pharisee, Nicodemus, the ruler of the synagogue, John 3:1, who received a lesson on the new birth.
John 3:23-26 informs us after having visited Jerusalem for the passover, Christ and his few disciples tarry for a period there in the land of Judaea at a place where there was much water where his disciples performed many baptisms. John the Baptist at this point was not in prison, John 3:24, but because the pharisees have heard that Jesus’ few disciples were baptizing more disciples than John (John 4:1) and also now having heard of John’s imprisonment, Luke 3:20, Christ withdraws back into the Galilean territory through Sychar, Samaria where he encounters the harlot woman at Jacob’s well (John 4). Abiding two days in Sychar, Samaria he adds many believers unto himself through the woman’s testimony. Returning in the power of the Spirit into the province of Galilee, the northern part of Israel where most of his earthly ministry was performed, John 4:43-45, IS. 4:14-15 informs us many in Galilee believed on him because they personally witnessed the miracles he performed at the passover in Jerusalem. His fame grew throughout all the regions wherever he taught in their synagogues. Stopping off once again in Cana of Galilee, four miles from Nazareth, where he performed his first miracle, John 4:46. 54 informs us of a nobleman (King’s officer) from Capernaum whose son lay sick unto death in Capernaum 25 miles away. He besought Jesus there for help and through the spoken word Christ healed the lad 25 miles away!
REJECTION AT NAZARETH
Here is Christ’s second sign performed having returned back into the Galilean province. From Cana he journeys four miles up to Nazareth where in the synagogue on the Sabbath, he reads from Isa. 58:6 and 61:1-2. Seating himself before the hometown folks he says, “Today you have seen this very scripture fulfilled.” Unable to accept the truth he presented, they declared, you are only Joseph’s son Luke 4:22. Furthermore, Christ informed them, you will say, “Physician heal thyself, what you did in Capernaum do also in thine own country.” (no doubt having reference to the healing of the nobleman’s son). Furthermore, he declared many widows were in Israel during the ministry of Elijah, but only one was sent to the prophet. Many lepers were also in Israel during Elisha’s ministry, however only one. Naaman the Syrian, was sent to him. This statement greatly angered the religious multitude in Nazareth and they cast him out of their synagogue as well as their city.
CAPERNAUM BECOMES HEADQUARTERS
Going to Capernaum, 29 miles away, Jesus established his headquarters for the Galilean area in the city by the Sea of Galilee. Moreover, going to Capernaum fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy 8:22 9:1-2, concerning a great light that would one day spring up in that area. Most of his teachings and miracles will be performed around here over approx. the next 18 months until the multitude completely rejects him the day following the feeding of the 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 fishes. Walking down to the Sea of Galilee, shortly after his arrival Christ calls Peter, Andrew, John and James, all fishermen, into the ministry (Mark 1:16-20, Matt. 4:18-22, Luke 5:1-11). Luke declares the multitude was so pressing around him by the Sea of Galilee that he needed a boat to push out into the Galilean waters and teach the multitude. Therefore, he chose Peter’s boat and having delivered his message to the multitude, instructed Peter to push out Into the depth of the lake, (called also the Kinneret because of its shape resembling a harp) which is approximately 13-14 miles long and 7-8 miles wide, 32 miles in circumference and 130-157 feet deep. Pushing out into the deep during the daylight hours was not exactly Peter’s idea of good fishing, nevertheless, he told Jesus, “at thy word, I shall.” Lowering his net, Peter surprisingly brought up such an abundance of fish he not only practically sank his own boat but his partner’s as well who he had to call alongside to assist in bringing in the fish, Luke 5:1-11. Recognizing someone greater than he was on board, Peter fell to his knees begging the Lord to depart because he was a sinful man. Don’t worry about it, Jesus informed the disturbed Peter, henceforth you shall catch men.
In the Capernaum synagogue, Mark 1:21-28, Luke 4:31-37, tells of the healing of a demon possessed man with unclean spirits who tried to interrupt Jesus’ teaching, crying out ready to reveal his true identity, asking if he had come to torment them before their time. That one report alone circulated everywhere throughout the Galilean region and added many followers. Leaving the synagogue, Mark 1:29-34, Luke 4:38-41 says he went down to the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John where he healed Peter’s mother-in-law who was sick with a fever. He also healed everyone who came to him from all areas.
1ST GALILEAN PREACHING TOUR
Mark 1:35-39, Luke 4:42-44 records now with only a few chosen disciples, Christ journeys throughout the province of Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and healing the sick, demon possessed and oppressed. Matt. 4:23-25 declares a great multitude, not only from Galilee but Decapolis, Jerusalem, Jordan, and even beyond Jordan, followed him. Word of his fame even reached into Syria where they brought their sick and demon possessed unto him.
You will understand why we bring in all this ministry of his great following once we reach the feeding of the 5000 who are given their first revelation of who he is and the multitude runs haywire with their revelation which led them all the following day to reject him there in Capernaum. Somewhere while still on this first preaching tour in the province of Galilee the northern part of Israel with only a few of his disciples, Christ healed a leper and informs him to keep the healing quiet and only show himself to the priest, according to Moses’ commandment. However, the man, so thrilled about his healing, spread the word everywhere insomuch Christ could now no longer appear openly anywhere because of the multitudes and therefore had to depart into desert places. Nevertheless, the vast multitude continually sought him out for help. Returning from his preaching tour to his Galilean headquarters in Capernaum, his own city (Matt. 9:1, Mark 2:1-12) adjoining the Sea of Galilee. His fame having now grown to such an extent while he was speaking to a packed house including many skeptical Pharisees, four men with their paralyzed friend tried desperately to enter the house whereby Christ might heal him. Determined not to be defeated because of the crowd the four men go upon the housetop and tear a huge hole In the roof and lower their paralyzed friend into
the room. Seeing their faith; Jesus forgave the man of his sins and healed him before many skeptical Pharisees who declared, only God can forgive sin. Mark 2:1-12, Matt. 9:1-8, Luke 5:17-26.
CALL OF MATTHEW
Capernaum is the Greek word taken from the Hebrew word, Kefar-nehum or village of nahum. Medieval Jewish tradition has it this city is named after the Prophet Nahum whose burial spot is here (no one knows for sure). Caper-naum, in Christ’s day, was quite a sizable town with approximately 10,000 population and stood on an important highway to northern Transjordan and was provided with a Roman military guard as well as a Roman customhouse. Passing the custom station on his way to the Sea of Galilee to teach the teeming multitudes, Christ spoke to the tax collector, Matthew, (Levi, Mark 2:14) seated there saying, Follow me! After giving a great feast in his own house for Jesus, Matthew did follow him.
2ND PASSOVER IN MINISTRY
John 5:1-47 informs us a feast (probably the passover) was held at Jerusalem and Christ attended. While there out of the vast multitude he healed one man by the pool of Bethesda who for 38 years had suffered this affliction. Healing on the sabbath caused quite a stir and controversy. Back now in the province of Galilee on still another sabbath, he heals the man in the synagogue with the withered hand. Such action of continually breaking the sabbath caused the pharisees to take counsel with the Herodians as to how they might destroy him (Mark 3:6, Luke 6:11, Matt. 12:14). Back down by the Sea of Galilee at Capernaum a great multitude from all over Galilee has followed him and again he pushes out into a boat to teach the multitude, Mark 3:7-12, Matt. 12:15-21. And here I might add, up to this point of several years into his ministry, none of this multitude has followed Christ because of a revelation but merely because of his miracles!
After a night in prayer, according to Luke 6:12-16, Christ calls 12 from his many followers to be apostles. This time not by the seashore of Galilee outside Capernaum where he usually taught, but high upon a mountain overlooking the Sea of Galilee approx. 21/2 mi. from Capernaum, Christ delivers his famous sermon which we call the Sermon on the Mount where he covers every phase of godly Christian living or what he expected from everyone who desired to be his disciple, Matt. 5-7, Luke 6:17-49.
Returning to Capernaum, Luke 7:1-10, he heals the Roman cen-turian’s servant by the spoken word. Luke 7:11-17 tells us. Afterward it came to pass that he went (approx. 20 miles up the road) to Nain (9 miles from Nazareth) along with many of his disciples and many other people. Coming nigh to the city gate, he broke up a funeral procession on its way out of the city by raising a widow’s dead son. Word spread everywhere, even Into Judaea that God had visited his people in raising up a great prophet. However, as yet none of the multitude knows who this great prophet Is and it is going to be interesting to see what happens to all of them once they do receive a revelation that he is the prophet about whom Moses spoke in Deut. 18:15.
EASING JOHN’S MIND
John the Baptist who is now in Herod’s prison has become somewhat discouraged and needs reassurance he has introduced the proper man to Israel. Thus he sends two of his disciples to Christ for confirmation Luke 7:18-35, Matt. 11:2-19. The two men who saw Christ’s ministry in action informed Christ of John’s troubled mind and Christ quotes some scripture for John to study, Isa. 29:18-19, 35:5-6, 61:1. Christ shows no displeasure in John’s action instead praises John’s ministry before the multitude.
Matthew, the ex-customs tax collector at Capernaum, records in Matt. 11:20-30 how at this time Jesus begins to upbraid cities such , as Capernaum. Chorazin, and , Bethsaida because of their unbelief . and refusal to repent, declaring Capernaum had exalted herself unto heaven but would be cast down to hell and further stated such wicked cities now destroyed as Sodom, Tyre and Sidon would have openly repented in sackcloth and ashes had the miracles been performed in them which were performed in these cities. Moreover Christ said God’s judgment would be more lenient with those wicked cities in the judgment than the three cities he mentioned which he cursed!
2ND GALILEAN TOUR (12 DISCIPLES & CERTAIN WOMEN TAKEN)
Luke 8:1-3 informs us afterward Christ took his second preaching tour throughout the Galilean cities and villages, preaching the good tidings of the kingdom of God, this time taking all 12 of his disciples and certain women who had been delivered from evil spirits and infirmities who also ministered unto their personal needs through their own substance. Truly, it won’t be long now until a final test will be presented unto these many thousands of followers of Christ, especially throughout the northern part of Israel, the Galilean area, who at the time of the feeding of the 5000 men will be presented a revelation concerning him and we want to watch and see where it leads them. Through it may we learn a lesson that we never permit our own revelation of Christ to end up the same way theirs did!
ACCUSED OF USING DEVIL POWER
Luke and Matthew both informs us of Christ being in a house somewhere in Galilee while on this second preaching tour and they bring unto him one possessed of the devil who is both blind and dumb. When Christ healed him the Pharisees accused him of healing through the power of the devil. Christ warns the Pharisees they are in grave danger of blaspheming the Holy Ghost. Matt. 12:38-45 informs us how the Pharisees, now seeking a sign from him, are told only a wicked and adulterous generation seeks for a sign and declares no sign other than the prophet Jonah would be given them. While he preached that day. Matt. 12:46-50, Jesus’s mother and brethren stood outside desiring to see him. When informed of their presence he answered, “who is my mother and brethren? Only they who hear and do the will of God!”
TEACHING IN PARABLES
Luke 8:4 tells us a great multitude from every city around . Galilee came together and Christ took the multitude back down to his favorite spot of teaching—by the Sea of Galilee outside Capernaum, and again pushed out into a boat with his disciples and taught the multitude in parables. Matt. 13 records seven of those parables which are none other than the seven gentile church ages of Rev. 2 and 3 being taught in chronological order in parable form. See also Mark 4:34.
2000 SWINE DESTROYED
On that day after many lessons had been delivered in parable form, Mark says in Mark 4:35-41, he instructed his disciples to take him across the lake. As they cross over the approximate 8 mile wide lake, Christ falls asleep when suddenly a freak storm appears on the lake or sea which almost sank the boat causing great concern among the frightened disciples who awakened Jesus appealing for help. As they watched him rebuke the furious winds and stormy waves with only his word, peace be still or as the Greek says, “shut up and be thou muzzled!” The disciples asked among themselves who is this man that even the elements of nature obey his voice!! Crossing the sea into the country of the Gadarenes, Christ upon landing was immediately met by a demon possessed man who no one could tame nor keep clothed, who ran violently screaming among the tombs and possessed such tremendous strength he easily snapped the chains which bound him. Jesus took the legion of devils he removed from the man and sent them into a herd of some 2000 bootlegged swine who ran violently down the cliff, perishing in the Sea of Galilee. Even today this area is the only place you will find wild hogs in Israel!
While returning to Capernaum the delivered man, now clothed and in his right mind, was busy publishing the fame of Jesus throughout all the Decapolis area. A great multitude awaited his return to Capernaum, Mark 5:25-43. Jarius, one of the rulers of the synagogue besought him to come and heal his dying daughter. On the way to Jarius’ house, with a huge throng of people pushing and shoving against him, Jesus was touched on the hem of his garment by a woman who had an issue of blood for twelve years and he healed her. Jarius’ daughter was already dead upon his arrival nevertheless Christ told Jarius to only believe. Those inside the house laughed him to scorn. Putting them all outside, Christ raised the dead girl to life, Luke 8:40-56.
Later Matt. 9:27-34 tells how two blind men came into the house where he was and begged for their healing. Upon receiving it they went out spreading his fame everywhere. People were seeing miracles in Israel like they had never seen before. And it was because of these miracles they followed him. Matt. 9:34. Yet the Pharisees continued to openly declare his miracle working power came through Satan. Mark 6:1-6 and Matt. 13:54-58 both record his final visit before the feeding of the 5000 to preach publicly at Nazareth, his hometown. And in the local synagogue he is rejected, because of their unbelief. All the local townspeople could seek standing before them was the son of Mary and Joseph who had brothers and sisters apparently still living around Nazareth. Mark declared he could do no mighty works save lay hands on a few sick folk and he marveled at their unbelief. We have almost reached the main part of our discussion, that final test for the multitude – once they have received the revelation of who he is and there we want to see what they permit their newfound revelation to do unto them once he feeds the 5000 men plus women and children.
3RD GALILEAN TOUR
His third preaching tour throughout Galilee is ready to begin and this time his disciples will be permitted to participate as he pairs them off separately in two’s and sends them out. While going throughout the cities and villages of Galilee preaching and healing the sick. Christ became so moved with compassion for the multitude who were scattered as sheep without a shepherd that he calls his twelve disciples giving them authority over unclean spirits, to heal all manner of diseases, Matt. 10:1, Mark 6:7, Luke 9:1-3, telling them to go, not unto the gentiles, nor even to the city of Samaria, but only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. It is only after this preaching tour is completed and the disciples gather back unto him at Capernaum that we see the feeding of the 5000 take place.
Meanwhile as the 12 disciples are busy going everywhere throughout Galilee preaching, Christ’s fame has penetrated Herod Antipas’ palace. His conscience now greatly disturbed him over having killed John the Baptist who denounced him for his adulterous living, Herod thinks this prophet Jesus is none other than John the Baptist risen from the dead and is presently disturbed! Mark 6:14-29, Matt. 14:1-12, Luke 9:7-9. Approximately 21/2 years of Jesus’ 31/2 years ministry is now completed as we enter the episode of him feeding the multitude of his followers, particularly throughout northern Israel, the area of Galilee and allowing them to receive their very first revelation concerning himself which, because of their own carnal understanding or interpretation of it, led them astray! John 6:4 informs us at the time of this feeding the Jewish passover season was at hand and recalls the following passover in 33 A.D. Christ would be cut off as Daniel declared he would be, having just completed Israel’s 69th prophetic week. Dan. 9:26. Therefore, this period begins in 32 A.D. around passover season.
DEPART FOR REST
The apostles having now all returned unto Christ at Capernaum from their most exciting preaching engagement are enthusiastically declaring unto him all they have done and taught. Mark 6:30-31, Luke 9:10-17. Sensing they are very tired and desperately in need of physical rest, Mark declares Jesus says, “let us go away into a desert place to rest.” Why? Because many were coming and going in so much they had no leisure time even as much as to eat.
Moreover Luke 9:10 names the desert place or city to which they withdraw calling it Bethsaida. Bethsaida is located on the east side of the Jordan River, approximately 11/2 miles north of the point where the Jordan River enters the Sea of Galilee. Moreover, it is the birthplace of Peter, Andrew and Phillip, John 1:44, 12:21-22. Bethsaida, you recall, was one of the three cities Jesus cursed and neither Bethsaida, Capernaum nor Chorazin which was three miles north of Capernaum even exists today! The area of Bethsaida, the scripture speaks of for the feeding of the 5000, is completely contrary to the spot chosen by Roman Catholic tradition which is practically in sight of Capernaum on the mountain slope overlooking the Sea of Galilee.
The multitude consisting now of many, many thousands of followers from all cities around sees Christ and his weary disciples depart in a boat to go across the Sea of Galilee to that desert place for rest. And this massive multitude leaves Capernaum and follows after them on foot, Mark 6:33. However according to John 6:23 we learn the following day they all return to Capernaum in boats from Tiberias (10 miles from Capernaum across the lake). Luke declares the multitude, perceiving where Christ had gone, followed on foot from all cities and out went them or arrived before them! (Mark 6:33). Jesus welcomed the multitude, once again showing compassion upon them, speaking to them of the kingdom of God and healing all who had need of healing, Luke 9:11. John 6:3 declares at this point Jesus went farther up into the mountains and there sat with his disciples, also Mark 6:34 and Matt. 14:14.
Now let’s watch and see what happens once the day begins to wear away or was now far spent. For the best coverage of what transpires we choose John 6:4-13 although we shall use various statements taken from Mark, Luke and Matthew for fill-ins in the story. Here we are about to see what happens when a multitude of many thousands receive their very first revelation concerning Christ being that prophet about whom Moses spoke in Deut. 18:15 and because of their carnal understanding to the fulfillment of Deut. 18:15 we are going to see how foolish they acted and also see Jesus take from them, revelatory wise, all they had previously received the day before!
RELIEVERS RECEIVE MEASURE OF FAITH
Recall in Jesus’ parable, especially in Matt. 25:28-30, as well as a number of other places, it clearly shows how he will definitely take away from anyone that which they had previously received when they refuse to use it wisely and properly! True, it is definitely God’s plan to always give to everyone who believeth a certain measure or little portion of faith (revelation) in order to get them started out in the right direction. In other words, God must first do something for the individual to get them projected out In the right direction or get them looking at the right thing correctly. However, from that moment on it is entirely up to you ) as an individual as to what you are going to do with that little measure of inspired faith he has given. The question is, will they (as well as us) since having been given this little measure of faith, now allow God to properly and correctly feed that measure of faith with still more scripture concerning himself or will they (as well as we) allow that which has been given to be fed only with presumption or simply allow it to run wild with everything that comes Into our minds as this multitude did in John 6 who after having received one revelation, added mere presumption to it of what they thought was a fulfillment of Moses’ words in Deut. 18:15 only to see their revelation taken from them the following day!
Part 2 — Multitude Receive First Revelation
In this setting of John 6:26-27 one of the most peculiar statements, Christ ever made, one which for so long I could never quite grasp his meaning. But having traced his ministry from the beginning we can clearly understand why he would make such a statement. When the huge multitude after the feeding returned to him the following day at Capernaum and asked him how did he get there, his remark was — you seek me not because of the miracles but because of the loaves and fishes! True, there had to be a reason he would make such a distinction there in his statement. We are going to study the scripture to determine why and at the same time ask ourselves the question—could such a thing ever happen to us who have also received revelation from God?
FOLLOWING BECAUSE OF MIRACLES
Beginning in John 6:1 we are shown Jesus as he takes his disciples over the Sea of Galilee which is the Sea of Tiberias. Recall they have gone there for a rest. Verse 2 verifies a great multitude always followed him because they beheld the miracles which he did on them who were sick! Nevertheless, on the following day he instructed them it wasn’t any longer because of the miracles which he had performed (on others) that they are presently seeking him, (there is a new reason) but because of the loaves and fishes they have eaten. Recall, this is the same multitude of thousands who followed him out into this desert place and fed the fishes and loaves who furthermore received a revelation that Christ the very next day had to speak to in such terms–you seek me not because of the miracles but because of the loaves and fishes.
MULTITUDE ARRIVED FIRST
This enthusiastic crowd in John 6:2 watched Jesus departing across the Sea of Galilee and outran him to the spot on foot. John 6:2 informs us what other scriptures have already told us and that is why up until this hour the multitudes have been attracted to Christ’s ministry all over the land of Galilee because they saw his miracles performed on those who were diseased and they thoroughly enjoyed seeing demons cast out etc.! However, up until the feeding of the 5000 they had no revelation to even begin to stabilize their thinking. Remember up until this moment in Christ’s ministry no one (other than Moses) has ever fed Israel a meal with bread and flesh. The feeding of the 5000 nor the 4000 had taken place at this hour. Therefore, they followed him not because of a true revelation in their bosom but strictly because of his miracles!
MULTITUDE HAD NO REVELATION
His statement in John 6:26 alone lets me know that up until this moment of roughly a 21/2 year ministry wherein many thousands had followed him, not one had received a revelation as to who this man they are continually following is! To them he is only an extraordinary man doing things no other man in Israel Is capable of doing. Since no one else is doing anything compared to this, he undoubtedly is the best thing to follow. Seeing the Jews have no real or true revelation as to why they are following this man, they actually aren’t dedicated or sold out on this man as yet. Although they are undoubtedly most fascinated and greatly attracted to his ministry even to the point of showing great enthusiasm over it for a lengthy period. Many people become enthused but to what extent does it reach. Just how long will this enthusiasm last? We also had a miraculous ministry in our day and hour. Many were enthused over it yet the question is to what extent did it reach into their heart and life–that is the question facing us today!
LIVING ON ENTHUSIASM
In this story we are going to witness how long their great enthusiasm endured before Christ took from them everything they had Previously received. Here is a story of a tremendous multitude of people, especially from all over Galilee, who have continually followed Christ and finally when they did receive one true revelation concerning him, it is pathetic to see (through their own carnal understanding) what they did with it or where it took them In an extreme position! Or shall we say, they went entirely haywire over one revelation as they reached out to make that revelation fit their own carnal understanding and wound up with shipwrecked faith. We are discussing the same multitude who at one time followed Jesus everywhere because of the miracles he performed on the sick yet now are seen to take their revelation of him and carry it into such an extreme unscriptural position they began to absolutely murmur, grumble, and complain to the point that not one of this multitude wound up following him Into anymore truth of the word! As we study this momentous event, may our own hearts tremble as we realize our generation Is in much the same condition; for truly a great prophet also arose in this hour and presented us great revelation on the word!
THE 2 DAY ACCOUNT BY JOHN
Of the four writers of the gospels, John is the only one who gives a complete profile of both days’ activity. Matthew, Mark, and Luke give only sketches. John takes it from the beginning where the story opens in Capernaum and follows it through until the multitude returned back to Capernaum seeking Jesus, no longer because of miracles but because they had been fed with the loaves and fishes. This statement alone made by Christ (in 6:26) shows something definitely had happened to that vast multitude in order to change the situation or their attitude wherein one day they would be fed fishes and loaves and less than 24 hours later all turn against him refusing to walk any further with him leaving him in the final analysis with only eleven out of twelve disciples being able to continue on in the revelation of the word because one of the twelve was a devil who betrayed him!
A DESERTED PLACE
Bear in mind, on this particular day when Christ started out he knew exactly where he was going and what he intended to do. Therefore, he did not start toward any town or village but instead led the multitude upon a mountainside. Mark 6:32 declared it to be a desolate place which doesn’t mean it was a place where there was no grass. On the contrary, he says there was much green grass in the area. It simply means the place was far away from any community because Christ led them away from towns and villages whereby they would not be near enough to go in and buy bread. His actions here shows he knew exactly what he intended to do because this is the day the great multitude from all cities around Galilee must be fed. Not only will they be fed but in being fed they will also receive their first revelation of him, and the very next day will have all they received taken away from them because of the channel they carnally desired to push that revelation into!
MULTITUDE BROUGHT NO FOOD
What happened that day did not happen by chance, it was definitely in God’s plan to test these people through a revelation. This great multitude must be tested! Why in the first place are they following this man is it merely for entertainment? Beloved, don’t ever follow anyone, especially if it is in the realm of your salvation if you don’t have any motive or purpose behind it. Settle It once and for all–why are you following what you do? If it is right, by all means stick with it! If it is not, get as far away from it as possible! The multitude, without even realizing what was going on, has followed Christ upon a mountainside. No one asked him that day where he was going, they were all simply caught up in the excitement. They did not even think to bring along anything to eat. And he led the thousands far enough away from the towns and villages, that he could do what he intended to do. Mark 6:35 declared the day was far spent after they had had their teaching session and healing service. But it is as the scripture points out, it is the healing service they are fascinated with, not his teaching.
Recall, a Jewish day begins at six in the afternoon. The day in this case being far spent did not mean the sun was ready to go down by any means, it simply meant it was dinner time. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all three declared the disciples began to say to Jesus, dismiss this vast multitude wherein they may go into towns and villages that they may buy victuals, showing no one has any idea what Christ is going to do although everyone is getting his mind on eating. No doubt they are wondering, why has he brought us so far from any towns. But Jesus knew exactly what he was going to do. Matthew and Mark speak of the next incident as though Christ was speaking unto all the disciples, however, John’s account shows Christ is speaking precisely to Phillip and that is to prove Phillip. John 6:15 declares (after the teaching and healing session completed) when Jesus lifted up his eyes and saw that great multitude come unto him he said unto Phillip-“whence shall we buy bread that these may eat?” This he said to prove him (Phillip) for he himself knew what he would do. John is the only writer mentioning the conversation between Christ and Phillip. The other writers mention the remarks made by the disciples concerning the situation, nevertheless, behind it all the entire event is definitely ordained of God because of what happens today, tomorrow the multitude will turn and walk no longer with him. Christ knew it had to be this way!
200 PENNYWORTH INSUFFICIENT
Phillip, no doubt, knowing how much money was in the disciple’s treasury although Judas Iscariot carried the bag, in verse 7 said to Jesus (us feed them) why 200 pennyworth of bread ($34.00) is not sufficient enough for them that everyone of them may take a little! A pennysworth in the Greek denotes a coin approximately 17c, thus 200 pennyworth would be approximately $34.00. Phillip probably made his remarks loud enough that Andrew standing in the background heard him. Remember, it is dinner time and everyone is hungry yet nobody thought to bring food! However, out of the teeming thousands present that day God impressed one little boy to bring his lunch. The disciples are all standing around Christ discussing the situation giving their various opinions as to what should be done on behalf of the hungry multitude. Christ has addressed Phillip saying, “where can we buy bread to feed this crowd.” Phillip says “200 pennyworth wouldn’t begin to feed this multitude.”
LAD’S LUNCH OF 5 LOAVES & 2 FISH
Andrew thought he would try a different approach. Having already spied a small lad (out of the thousands) who tagged along with the crowd that morning but who thought to bring himself a little lunch, Andrew says to Jesus–there is a small boy here with five loaves and two fishes, but what are these among so many! Remember the lad’s five barley loaves of bread are nowhere near the size of our modern loaves of bread today. Those 5 loaves resemble a hot dog bun and his two fishes are also small. The lad had not been caught up in the rush like the others forgetting to take along a lunch, nor had he just returned from the grocery store having bought food for the family when suddenly he decided to take off and follow the crowd. This was definitely a prepared lunch for the lad.
LUNCH FEEDS THOUSANDS
No doubt he, too, had become attracted to the huge crowd of teeming thousands as well as the ministry of Jesus and was also fascinated by the miracles Christ did. No doubt he asked permission of his mother to follow this man today. Being a godly mother she may have said, son, there isn’t another man in all Israel I had rather you followed than that man but take along a lunch. You may follow him quite a distance today. Little did the lad’s mother realize as she prepared a small lunch for her son that actually the Lord of heaven had ordained she do so because it is what Christ will do with this lunch that stimulates a revelation In the multitude in a few hours. These five barley loaves of bread, roughly the size of hotdog buns, are still served in Israel today with their meals. These small loaves of bread in a little cloth, along with two small fishes would be sufficient for the lad’s lunch. Away he ran enthusiastically after the multitude. Little does the boy or his mother realize the lunch he leaves home with furnishing him a sense of security to prevent hunger from gnawing at his flesh, this day will be the lunch that will feed 5000 men plus women and children. And furthermore, when the Lord is finished with the lunch, the disciples will pick from the ground more in fragments alone than what the lad had in his basket to begin with.
NO ONE SINCE MOSES FED MULTITUDE
Jesus instructed the lad’s lunch to be brought to him. I can see those puzzled disciples standing around Jesus wondering within them-selves–what on earth is he going to do with that? From the standpoint of bulk it is very small. I can see this little lad also standing there wondering what is about to take place. For a while now the lad with his lunch is going to become the center of attraction. Jesus immediately commands his disciples to seat the thousands upon the grassy area in companies of 100’s and 50’s. After seating the people on the ground, Christ stood over the multitude holding the lad’s lunch of five barley loaves and two fish and was heard returning thanks for the food. Mind you, no multitude in the 21/2 years of Christ’s ministry has ever been fed. And far more than 5000 people are about to receive the surprise of their life. Today, they are going to receive a revelation and tomorrow they are going to lose It as they become so angry they are ready to stone the very man who fed them the day before! You know, the spirit of people hasn’t changed today because they will still stand and argue over truth just as the multitude did before they walked away from him never to follow him anymore.
NO ONE AWARE OF WHAT WILL HAPPEN
Seating the multitude in companies of 100’s and 50’s on the mountain side, l can see Christ, the 12 disciples and the little lad all standing with the lunch of five loaves and two fishes. At this point nothing has happened. What a sight to behold! The disciples all standing can easily see over the heads of the huge throng of people stretched over the grassy area seated on the ground; And in return the puzzled multitude which was seated can look over the heads of the many groups and can clearly see Jesus and his disciples standing before them even though they are unaware of what is about to happen.
FOOD DIVIDED AMONG DISCIPLES
Watch what happens as Christ lifts his hands and blesses the food. You have 12 disciples and you have five loaves and two fishes which makes seven objects of food in number, flow with only seven objects of food, will Christ fill the hands of each disciple with something. Taking the five loaves of bread he breaks them in half causing the five barley loaves to become ten pieces. First we see Christ multiplying the bread only in number yet as far as quantity or bulk is concerned he still hasn’t Increased it one bit, has he? Breaking the five loaves into and handing the ten pieces over to ten of his disciples still leaves him with two disciples holding nothing. Therefore, he took the two fishes and placed them in the other two disciples hands. Now he has 12 pieces of food. Thus, each disciple has something in his hand. Though I remind you, the disciples are walking by blind faith they are not aware of what is about to happen. Christ has informed no one of today’s activity. Let us examine this setting for a moment. As far as bulk is concerned the food has not increased one bit in the disciples hands, it has mly increased in the number of pieces.
FOOD MULTIPLIES IN HAND
Since Peter was a big Galilean fisherman, I always like to visualize Christ slapping a fish in the palm of his hand. Peter had often held the fish caught in his net during a catch on the Sea of Galilee. And in my mind I can see Peter standing there staring down in amazement at that little small fish in his hand as teeming thousands are stretched out over a wide area on the ground. The moment Jesus said take and give unto the people, what a great surprise unfolded unto Peter and the other disciples! Jesus has told the disciples to feed the multitude. With only a small fish laying in the palm of his hand, I can see Peter obediently stepping over to the first company of 50 and no doubt in his heart he is wondering — what on earth is this all about one small fish can’t go anywhere and yet, I am to feed thousands of people. I don’t understand it but he said DO IT And wouldn’t you know the moment Peter looked at that first person and was ready to break his fish in half to give that first person something, immediately there appeared in his hand a good size chunk of fish! Having fed the first person he looks back into his hand and to his amazement there is still just as much fish in the palm of his hand as there was before! No, the fish wasn’t growing so rapidly Peter couldn’t keep up with it. Neither was the bread multiplying or growing like yeast In the disciples’ hands. It only grew in their hands as they broke it and once they had passed it onto the hungry individual, there was just as much there as had ever been before. The piece always remained the same size in their hands!
Peter now becomes more and more excited and exuberant as the minutes ticked by. He, along with the others, no doubt became completely beside himself. Wouldn’t you if food was growing in your hand? Undoubtedly, all their doubts are now removed seeing they are so carried away in the spirit because each time the disciples broke what he had in his hand there In his hand he had Just as much left! He could give each man, woman and child a huge chunk of fish or bread large enough for them to chew upon. One thing was sure, as long as there was one person sitting there asking for some food or even seconds or thirds there was always something in the disciple’s hands to pass out. I have no idea how long it took these 12 disciples to pass through that massive throng of people breaking, distributing and passing out food. No doubt the little lad watching his lunch being passed out in such a manner also became so excited he probably almost lost his appetite.
As these 12 disciples continually passed through this throng of 50’s and 100’s seated on the ground, little children no doubt became so excited exclaiming, Mommy, look at that man’s hand, did you see what happened? Look at that one! Old men also became greatly excited, tears streaming down their faces. Yes beloved, something definitely was taking place. Something was beginning to grasp their hearts. Nothing like this had ever been done in Israel since the days of Moses the prophet! For months upon months, even up until now, all this time they had been following this man. For what reason, for what purpose or cause had they followed him? They actually didn’t know other than the miracles performed on others but in only a few short hours they will be murmuring something new among themselves because God is going to give them a revelation. And what they are going to be saying unto each other will definitely have some revelatory scripture behind it. On and on the feast of bread and fish continues as the multitude is now becoming more and more inspired over Deut. 18:15!
FOOD NOT RATIONED
Wherever there remained a hungry stomach which had not been filled there stood a disciple to give them something to eat. Once these disciples finally passed through the multitude making their rounds they no doubt walked up and down the long aisles asking if anyone wanted seconds. Never visualize in these men’s hands some huge wad of bread they could hardly carry. No, what they had was Just large enough for them to hold and break from but it con-tinually multiplied. And remember when they passed this out it was never passed out on a rationed basis. No sir, when the Lord does something he does it right! Some had seconds and some had thirds. Christ intended everyone to get his stomach filled AND THEY DID! Some even took far too much. That is clearly evident by the baskets full of fragments lying on the ground.
PICKING UP FRAGMENTS
Waiting until everyone had finished and the report finally came in to him–THEY ARE ALL FULL— Jesus now instructs the disciples to go among the multitude and gather up the fragments of bread and fish which were not eaten. I can see Peter and the others as they first start out—look there is a piece! Probably the disciples thought they would be able to pick up all the fragments merely in their hands yet the further they walked among the crowd the more fragments they gathered until eventually they had gathered more than their hands could hold and each disciple wound up having to get himself a basket to hold the fragments. Recall, when they began gathering the fragments they only used their hands but their hands soon ran over with fragments of food. Passing up and down the mountainside gathering every fragment left by the multitude who accepted far more than they could eat, we see each disciple setting down his full basket at the feet of Jesus. It is far more than they had started with! And that is the beauty of it!
DEUT. 18:15 FULFILLED
Now let’s watch something that is happening among the multitude. They are now being Inspired to believe the scripture. The disciples were gathering up these twelve baskets full of fragments and as the multitude was eyeing the full baskets of fish and bread we hear them murmuring something among themselves. Sure, they know where all this started from—a little lad’s lunch. For some time they had watched those same disciples’ who first brought to them the little boy’s lunch now going up and down the mountainside after everyone had finished eating, gathering up 12 baskets full of fragments scattered on the ground. Watch these Jewish people now beginning to get their heads together, one asking the other—has the Lord revealed anything to you about all this? Remember the scripture declares they began to murmur among themselves. Their thought in Jn 6:14-15 is this–having been fed bread and flesh In a desert place this has to be none other than that prophet Moses declared In Deut. 18:15 should one day come into the world who would be Ilken unto himself. Sure, the Jews knew the scripture in Deut. 18:15, they knew Moses had declared many hundreds of years earlier that a prophet likened unto me will the Lord raise up unto you of your brethren and him shall you hear. That is all true. And their revelation that Jesus Is that prophet Is absolutely correct, furthermore, it is definitely a step in the right direction, however, the way they interpret Deut. 18:15 is pathetic! They are absolutely not interpreting it in the light or proper setting as Moses intended they should! And beloved, it is what they now intend to do because of their new revelation that shipwrecks their faith and will cause them to never go any deeper in the word of revelation! Already, they have chosen the route they intend to channel their new revelation into! Jn. 8:15 shows they intend to take Jesus by force and make him king whereby he may feed all Israel as Moses fed the multitude in the wilderness for 40 years!
PATHETIC INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE
Since they have always believed what the Jewish fathers had informed them concerning what their fathers under Moses did in the wilderness, that is eating manna (bread) and flesh which was the eating of quail at the going down of the sun. Being fully aware of this, you can now begin to see how they are Interpreting Moses’ statement concerning this other prophet which was to come. He will do the same thing! He will feed us too! They know of no other basis of interpretation than this–a prophet likened unto me–and they definitely felt Moses was the one who gave the people bread and flesh daily to eat, bread in the morning and flesh or quail at sunset daily. Up until now these Jews had only followed Jesus merely because he did miracles, however, the minute they ate bread and had flesh in their stomachs they received a revelation that this was that prophet about whom Moses spoke. Why it is Jesus of Galilee! Moses said he would be likened unto himself—Moses fed millions for 40 years. If only they would have had a little more correct understanding of this scripture (Deut. 18:15) they would have also been able to reach over into other scriptures and perceive that the same one who was to be this prophet Moses spoke about would also be their Messiah and King! No one can doubt that as they looked upon Jesus they did not actually have a true revelation, he was that prophet to come, nevertheless, because of their carnal interpretation and understanding of Deut. 18:15 they are about to push their revelation entirely Into the wrong direction and will absolutely be standing on dangerous ground with It! Instead of allowing God to lead them on still deeper into that beautiful revelation concerning Christ or allowing God to take them on into deeper truth, they instead reach out and take hold of the scriptures and on the basis of their own present stage of understanding of the revelation ( which Is totally carnal) try to make It all come to pass! They are going, by force if necessary, to make him king, yet it is only whereby he will carnally feed them with carnal food as Moses did in the wilderness 40 years. See how or what they are trying to make the scripture apply to in their hour! True, Christ desired to feed them but it certainly wasn’t with carnal food, it was with spiritual food!
WARNING PRESENT GENERATION
Their actions are about as silly as many in this endtime message trying also to make something come to pass when God himself will make it come to pass in his own good time. No sooner did certain individuals leave their old,cold, dead denominations and recognize God had sent a prophet in this day and because he began to break the Seals (Rev. 6), bringing forth certain things which they in all their denominational teachings had never heard, like this multitude who just had to push things and make them happen, no sooner had God removed his servant from the scene than these people began to set dates, times, etc.. concerning when the Lord would return for his church! Such carnality has steadily been going on since October 1969. They have set dates and times and still continue to set them! We are now in 1976 and sometime ago we received a letter from a man who declared he is one of the two prophets to Israel, declaring the year of 1975 would definitely be the year of the rapture. Another letter came to us from a man saying the rapture would take place in 1973! That same man is still here although we haven’t heard another word from him. It is true, one of these days the rapture will take place and God himself will bring it to pass, when He is ready. All of man’s efforts to bring something to pass will be fruitless! God will permit that nonsense to continue on and on until their minds and ears have become so filled with that junk until they, like this multitude, will reach a place in their own spiritual lives they have nothing to hold on to and therefore will doubt their own revelation! And just like God did to this multitude he will also do to them, take from them who have applied their own interpretation of statements etc. to scripture what little, revelatory wise, they ever did receive! Yet, out of it all God is going to have a few people who, like his faithful chosen disciples even though at times they may not have understood everything, certainly were not foolish enough to apply their own carnal interpretation to it and get themselves into trouble but had sense enough to know if God spoke it he was certainly big enough someday in his own way and in his own good time to bring what he had spoken to pass! At the present moment, I am not concerned when the rapture is to take place, I am only concerned with the fact–
AM I PRESENTLY WALKING PROPERLY AND FAITHFULLY BEFORE HIM IN THE LIGHT OF ALL I DO SEE AND BELIEVE TO BE CORRECT AND SCRIPTURAL and that God will help me to live a life which will not be a stumbling stone to others. There are many individuals who like to act big and promote to the world some great fantastic revelation. However, I can’t help but notice, nine times out of ten if existing conditions begin to prevail to prove their revelation was wrong, these fellows are never man enough to return to the people they have deceived and repent before the people and ask forgiveness for having led them astray! Instead of acknowledging they were wrong, they go slurking off somewhere like a sheep killing dog acting as though nothing ever happened! Any man can be wrong. The sin isn’t being wrong, it is refusing to acknowledge and admit the wrong when we see it. As far as the principle of the matter was concerned David was far more wrong in many things which he did than Saul, but Saul was a proud man who could seemingly never humble himself and say, yes, I did wrong. David could do something ten times worse than Saul, nevertheless, once God spoke to David, concerning the thing saying you did wrong David, you would always find David on his face weeping—God be merciful and help me. This multitude who had followed Christ everywhere, has just been fed and has received a revelation that he is the prophet of whom Moses spoke, is now ready to make Christ king, although not to fulfill scriptures or to bring God’s word to pass because God will bring his own word to pass in due season, but they want to make him king to fulfill their own carnal interpretation of what Moses meant when he said God will raise up a “prophet likened unto myself’ –that is for none other purpose than they might be fed natural meals. Christ knowing their intentions feels it is time for him to disperse the multitude. He knows they have received a true revelation but he also knows what they intend to do with it, tomorrow they will make a fool of themselves over it. It is interesting to note Luke at this point drops the account. Matthew and Mark only sketches the next event and mentions nothing concerning the following day’s activity. Therefore it is John’s account we will continue to follow.
Christ tells his disciples to get out of there, get down to the boat and head back (to Capernaum ) because he is going to break up this crowd. I will send the multitude away, he says. Therefore, it is toward evening the disciples leave, going down the mountainside to the Sea of Galilee and enter into a boat. The sun is setting in the west. As the disciples leave, the multitude watched them depart without Christ because we learn at the next days meeting John says when they came seeking him (for another meal) they found him at the synagogue in Capernaum and asked him how did he get there. We never saw you enter the boat with your disciples when they left last evening. That is true, he never entered the boat with the disciples when they left, therefore, how did he get to Capernaum? Down the mountain slope to the Sea of Galilee came the 12 disciples who entered a boat and began rowing toward Capernaum. Jesus remained behind and dismissed the multitude. As the multitude of followers began leaving, some watching him saw him slip away into the higher elevation of the Mountain where John says he remained there in prayer. His absence as well as the departure of the disciples took away any attraction on the part of the multitude to remain together, therefore, they all dispersed.
Having entered into the higher range of the mountains overlooking the Sea of Galilee, Christ knew exactly how long to remain alone in prayer before making his next move. One gospel account sounds as if the disciples had rowed only a short distance before Christ finally appeared unto them walking on the water. And when it appeared he would walk right past them he was spotted but they thought it was a spirit. John’s account is more emphatic, speaking of a strong headwind which arose on the Sea of Galilee while rowing toward Capernaum in the early hours of the morning. Somewhere around 2.5-30 furlongs. John 6:19, some 7-8 miles away from where they were a strong head wind arose on the lake causing the sea to churn its water furiously and apparently they are getting nowhere. This too was ordained of God. God intends to hold these disciples in this strategic spot on the Sea of Galilee while Christ remained in the mountain praying. Matt. 14:25 declared it was the fourth Roman watch of the night (somewhere between 3-6 in the morning) when Jesus came walking on the water. The only people who saw Jesus walking on the water that night were 12 frightened men in a boat trying desperately to reach Capernaum, tired from fighting the winds and churning waters. God had ordained all this to deal with one man on board! Besides Christ. Peter is the only man who ever walked on the water. I often wondered why Peter appeared to have had a little more faith than the others to walk on the water that night until it dawned on me it was because of what happened a few hours earlier as food grew in his hands.
PETER WALKS ON WATER
In the stormy black darkness of the night, somewhere between 3-6 in the morning, while the tired disciples attempted frantically to row toward Capernaum bucking a strong headwind, Christ caught up with them walking across the lake. Somehow or other, on that total pitch dark stormy night, there appeared a radiant light about Jesus, brilliant enough, that from a little distance Christ could be seen by the disciples. Suddenly they stopped rowing, becoming terrified, thinking the figure they saw walking across the water was that of a ghost. Sensing their fears, Christ said, “be not afraid it is I.” In the boat I can hear them whispering—“was that the Lord?” Peter finally mustered enough courage to ask, “Lord, if that is you bid me to come to you?” Suddenly across the stillness of the night came a voice from the shiny figure standing on the water, echoing back these words–IT IS I, COME TO ME. Without any further thought or hesitation Peter goes over the side of the boat. His eyes centered upon Jesus and toward Jesus he goes. It only goes to show, a revelation can certainly stimulate and inspire faith. Why, it can bring about such enthusiasm and stimulation that oft times it gets a person so enthused and worked up they forget they are only human or mortal, as Peter did. Nevertheless, the Lord knows exactly the experience Peter needs to encounter to let him know he Is still only a human. Everything is going fine as Peter is walking on the stormy waters coming straight toward Jesus, The other eleven haven’t moved, they still remain in the boat.
SHAKING PETER TO REALITY
Scripture doesn’t say how far out into the chilly waters Peter walked but in his enthusiasm and excitement, everything was fine until the Lord allowed a chilly wave of cold water to rise up and no doubt splash hard enough against him that some splashed up in his face, slapping him back into reality causing him to realize he was only a human being. When that happened, for a moment Peter took his eyes off the Lord and looked down at his own circumstances. When he did, just that quickly, he began to rapidly sink into the cold, churning stormy sea. John 21:7 shows Peter to have been an excellent swimmer because on this same Sea of Galilee after Christ’s resurrection Peter again leaped out of the boat, this time not to walk on the water but to swim to shore where he outswam the boat and reached Jesus first. However, here his ability as an excellent swimmer can’t help him whatsoever because he is rapidly sinking. The stormy chilly waters are already surrounding his neck ready to suck him under. Crying out in desperation Peter begs the Lord for help. Immediately, Jesus is by his side. No, Jesus never reached down into the chilly waters and picked Peter up as you would a little baby. Instead he merely reached down and took hold of his extended hands because he was rapidly sinking and crying to the Lord for help. God simply reached down and picked him up by the hand and together the two walked back to the boat. All Peter needed was the hand of the Lord. They both entered into the boat, and the wind ceased. Matthew says they worshipped him as the holy one of God. John who was already in the boat that night says in his account–and immediately or straightway we were at the land. How do you suppose they arrived at the land so quickly? Because during this entire episode they had stopped oaring nevertheless, John 6:21 declares, “Immediately we were at land where they were going!”
Part 3 Carnal Interpretation of Revelation Destroys Afultitittle
STILL SEARCHING FOR JESUS
Another day had dawned on Capernaum as Jesus and his disciples reached the city of his Galilean headquarters. This was to be quite an unforgettable day of excitement seeing there would be certain questions asked by the multitude who yesterday was fed but today those will have sharp answers hurled back at them. Down by the Sea of Galilee adjoining the city of Capernaum, we hear that great multitude, who yesterday was fed and received a revelation, coming ashore still searching for Jesus. Their desire has not changed, they still want to make him king that he, like Moses, might feed the multitude of Israelites. Already they are awake and In search for another meal. During the late evening they had combed the mountainside in search for Jesus although they were unable to find him . They were positive of one thing, he who they desired to make a king that they might all from now on have a free meal ticket, never entered the boat with his disciples because they saw his disciples depart without him. John 6:23-24.
MIND ON NATURAL FOOD
Finally they, too, after searching everywhere for Christ. came down to the Sea of Galilee and entered into little boats which had come from Tiberias near to the place where they were fed. There they boarded these boats and came to Capernaum in search for Christ. IT WAS MEALTIME AGAIN and their mind was on natural food. As the first group or wave of the multitude walked into Capernaum from the Galilean shore, Christ was teaching in the synagogue, John 6:59. The first thing that mainstream group who came ashore asked him was, Rabbi, whence earnest thou hither or how did you get over here; He arrived here by walking across the lake, one miracle this multitude who always followed him for miracles had missed although God ordained that twelve men see it and one of the twelve participated in it by walking partway on the water with him. When they questioned him as to how he got over here to Capernaum he never answered a word. He wasn’t the slightest interested that they should know how he got there. He never said, O, I just walked across the lake early this morning. What is that to you! Instead he looked at them, and realizing the cause they sought him, answered, “verily, verily, I say unto you, you seek me not because of the miracles.” (of healing) True, up until feeding time yesterday miracles had been the only reason the multitudes had ever followed Christ. However, less than 24 hours later they have an entirely different purpose other than miracles. You seek me not because of the miracles but because you did eat of the loaves and were filled. No one could say their revelation — that he was that prophet of whom Moses spoke — was wrong. They just needed a little more truth to go along with this to keep it in perfect balance. It shows out of their revelation that he was that prophet, that this multitude had only received it from a carnal end and not a spiritual one. And for that reason, he blast them for their attitude toward the revelation. You seek me because of the loaves you ate and were filled. Christ is saying, don’t seek me for bread such as this Labor not for the meat that perisheth but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life which the son of man shall give unto you, for him hath God the Father sealed. His statement completely baffled them, therefore, we now hear them answering back in verse 28—what shall we do that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered—this is the work of God that you believe on him whom he hath sent. Now note in verse 30 the ridiculous statement we hear them say unto him—what sign showest thou then that we may believe thee? In other words– what will you do? Why less than 24 hours ago they had the greatest sign ever! Not only did it feed them but it produced a revelation in their life! The only problem is, they are misinterpreting the revelation. Their interpretation is, since he is that prophet he will feed us like Moses did, but now he says he Isn’t going to feed us any more! See, it is their carnal understanding of the revelation that is throwing them off track! Therefore, they ask him, “what sign will you show that we may believe?” Because, said they, Moses fed the people in the wilderness, what will you do? What a pathetic, unbelieving attitude they present for an argument! No doubt even in our day many have had a revelation of what God has done in this hour, however, through their own perverted, carnal interpretation of It, it has left them in just as terrible shape as this poor crowd Is in about whom we are studying.
What sign will you show? Our fathers ate manna in the wilderness–Moses the prophet fed them. Yesterday they were ready to make him king, but now look at their unbelieving attitude! It only goes to show, if you don’t allow some people to believe the thing like they want to even If it is wrong, they want to get mad, they won’t play ball unless they can play it their way! Watch in verse 30 how they return to that same old sing-song theme concerning their father’s eating manna or bread in the desert. As it is written, he (Moses) gave them bread from heaven to eat. In verse 32 Jesus wants to correct their carnal misleading theology by saying, “verily, verily I say unto you, Moses never gave you that bread from heaven but my Father gave to you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven and giveth life unto the world!” Now he is speaking completely over their heads because we hear them saying in verse 34–Lord, evermore give us this bread! That is exactly what he has been trying to do but they won’t accept it because the only kind of bread they are interested in is the same kind they received yesterday!
That is about as far as some people can go. That event yesterday was only a drawing card for God to present them a true revelation, whereby they could be lifted out of their carnal attitude and begin to see some spiritual reality. In other words, see some spiritual bread! But the vast multitude who, up until yesterday, had only been following him because of the miracles he had performed now follow him because of what they had eaten. But they still remain so carnal in their understanding, they simply couldn’t receive the truth that he was the bread of life and that it was himself they must partake of. In verse 35 we hear Jesus continue to say. I am the bread of life (you must eat of my flesh). O my, now he says I am the bread of life! He that cometh to me shall never hunger and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. Continuing on he says, I came down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of Him that sent me. No, they certainly did not understand that statement, nevertheless, they did desire to dwell on it a little longer. In verse 41, they murmur because he said. I am the bread that came down from heaven. Yesterday, because of the natural bread he gave them they received a revelation, yet today he talks of spiritual bread, and they haven’t the slightest idea of what he is talking about! Therefore, they murmur. What does he mean, I am the bread that came down from heaven? We know better than that. We know exactly who he is. Why he came out of Nazareth, just 29 miles up the road! He is Mary and Joseph’s son up there at Nazareth! Who does he think he is talking to us that way and trying to make us believe he is the bread that came down from heaven?
Now mind you, the twelve disciples (actually 11 true ones) didn’t understand his statement any more than did the multitude. Nevertheless, they had enough revelation to know that he was the anointed one; that he was the Son of God; he was the one who had the words to eternal life. Therefore regardless whether they understood his statement or not they knew he was the man to follow; while the Bible plainly shows the multitude, after hearing so many statements there in Capernaum, said, we are leaving, this kind of talk Is Just too much for us. And THEY TURNED AND WALKED WITH HIM NO MORE!! Yesterday they had a revelation ready to make him a king; today because he won’t feed them with the kind of bread they want or because he won’t do what they want, they are ready to tear him apart. Can’t you see how he took away everything they had received? No, he won’t give them any more bread; he won’t even allow them to keep their revelation concerning himself which they received yesterday even though it was true! Verse 43–Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, murmur not among yourselves (about trying to figure where I came from) for no man can come to me except the Father which hath sent me to draw him. In other words, you aren’t ever going to understand anything I say. You won’t ever see the true picture about me unless the Holy Ghost (my Father) giveth it unto you! For all the Father giveth me shall come to me. He that cometh to me I will in no wise talk to like this….cast out. Because in the manner he is talking to them he is absolutely casting them out. Now, Christ quotes them a scripture–it is written in the prophets, and they shall all be taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard and hath learned of the Father cometh unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. Believe me they certainly did not like that statement either. No, they never did like to hear him talk when he talked this way. As long as he did what they wanted him to do everything was wonderful, yet the minute he started tearing down their carnal theology, trying to get them to look at something in the right light of scripture, they certainly didn’t enjoy that! And isn’t that the way people still are today—touch their carnal theology and they are ready to even fight if necessary! Verily, verily I say unto you, verse 47 says, he that believeth on me hath that everlasting life. I AM THAT BREAD OF LIFE!
CORRECTING CARNAL THEORY
Truly Christ is tearing into their theology as we hear him say in verse 49–your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness and are everyone dead (eternally- because remember they all died In unbelief even after having lived off that bread for physical existence). Therefore, what have you got to brag about! Is that the kind of bread you want to eat? What he is actually trying to get across is–if you will eat of this bread I am offering, you will live forever. Still they didn’t understand! As a matter of fact their understanding is becoming more cloudy and confused as they ponder—eat this bread I offer and live forever! Continuing on he says, except a man eats my flesh and drink my blood….that did it, they couldn’t take any more, that is enough! Now we can see them by the dozens suddenly turn and walk away! Standing there, no doubt with his hands folded watching them depart Christ never said another word. He didn’t have to, they didn’t hang around long enough for him to say anymore. When they were all gone and he was left alone with only twelve disciples standing there. Peter, no doubt watching all this out of the corner of his eye, looks at his master and then looks upon that vast throng of people departing, all to return back, either to their old religious life or out into the world, etc! These thousands who had been drawn to his Master’s ministry were now slowly walking away. Yesterday he helped feed this vast multitude, today they are leaving never to walk anymore in fellowship with Jesus. Yesterday they had a revelation, now look, today it is all gone! Yes, Peter and the others had their disappointments but as the multitude walked away Peter remained loyal because there was a revelation in his heart. Standing there watching the crowd slowly turn and walk away Peter compares yesterday with today—yesterday was such a glorious day, but separation had served its purpose. They are gone! Capernaum was the hometown of many of these disciples, Peter, James, John etc. From the carnal standpoint those disciples who remained by Jesus’ side no doubt knew many of these people personally because many of these people even knew Jesus personally, declaring he was Mary and Joseph’s son from Nazareth. Peter knew many by name and no doubt he stood there thinking, there goes many of my personal friends. Only 12 men from all that multitude of thousands were left standing and one of them will be a traitor.
DISCIPLES GIVEN OPPORTUNITY TO LEAVE
Jesus looks at these 12 men with one firm glance and says, do you want to go also? Peter could not understand why it all had to end like this, he couldn’t understand why all his friends and neighbors with whom he had associated through the years had to turn and walk away, but Peter was never like so many today who always has to follow the crowd! When Jesus looked at the 12 and said, what are you standing here for, do you want to go too! (original Greek). Looking at Jesus we hear the bewildered Peter answer, to whom shall we go Lord, thou hast the words of eternal life! (friends or not this is good enough for me ). In other words, if all my friends want to leave, if none of my friends want to walk with the truth, then let them go. As for me. friends or no friends, Peter is saying by his actions, I will stand with the word. I am standing for the truth! Beloved, you and I had better feel the same!
WARNING TO PRESENT GENERATION
Can you now see how Christ took away that which they had and never forget, that which they had was truth but the multitude was trying to harness the truth up to a lot of carnal ideas of what they personally believed and look where their carnal ideas led them! Beloved, if they couldn’t empty themselves and take what he wanted to give them or add to what they already had then he would see to it they wound up with nothing! May it be a warning to us also! Don’t you see the same is true today! Christ has not changed, the Word remains the same, therefore let us embrace the truth as Christ reveals it unto us. Let us also be willing to allow him to add to the previous truth whatever truth he sees fit that we may grow thereby. And may we never be guilty of trying to harness any part of the true revelation he has given to a lot of carnality! Let us purpose in our hearts that we will walk with God, always allowing him, at whatever time he sees fit, to add unto us even more truth to go along with what he has already been gracious enough to give to us, because if we refuse to allow him to do this, what happened to this multitude will, without fail, happen unto us also!!