As we talk about these miracles, we are trying to understand why Jesus gives us the signs and what we need to do for him.
In John 6:3-4, when Jesus has got to a mountainside, it was almost time for the Passover, one of the most important festivals for the Jewish people. Many people would gather together to celebrate the exodus from Egypt when God commanded them to sacrifice a lamb and mark their doorposts with its blood. The Lord passed over these marked households and did not kill the people inside (Exodus 12:23).
We believe that the sacrificial lamb stands for our Lord Jesus Christ, who delivered his people from their death in Egypt.
The miracle of feeding 5000 people during the Jewish Passover festival is closely related to that of feeding the people of Israel the Manna in the wilderness. When God delivered them out of Egypt, they passed through the wilderness. It was very hard for them to survive. However, our mighty God helped them to survive by providing them with manna. When Jesus sat down, surrounded by his disciples, he preached the good news of the kingdom of God to all those who had gathered around him.
In John 6:5-6, we know that Jesus was testing Philip. Jesus already knew the answer. Jesus wants him to obey and follow him instead of doing something on his own. A great crowd had come to Jesus. I think that this is our starting point here in this world. We need to come to Jesus before we start our journey. And Jesus asked Philip the question. Here we need to understand why Jesus asks this way.
The reason why God gave them the manna is that “man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord (Deut. 8:3).” This means that God’s people cannot live alone, but live with God and his people. Jesus also says the purpose of his living here on earth. In John 6:35. Jesus says, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”This means that we can do everything in and with Jesus here on earth.
The bible says that there were 5000 men. In those days, they would have counted only adult men. If the women and children had also been counted, there would have been about 20,000 people. Jesus was planning on feeding about 20,000 people only with five loaves of bread and two small fish. This appeared impossible.
This miracle occurred about 2000 years ago. And yet these miracles can happen here today when God is with us and we give our hearts to him with whatever we have. For us today, 2000 years later, this means that once we believe and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we will become God’s children. These signs from Jesus show us he will provide us with physical and spiritual food. He will heal us and teach us so that we can see the way to follow him.
In summary, nothing is impossible with God. Our God gave us the great miracle of providing 20,000 people with food from just five loaves of bread and two small fish. More importantly this sign points to the fact that our Lord Jesus is still feeding his people with physical and spiritual food. We children of God need to see Jesus no matter where we go and what we do.
Rev Dr Je Cheol Cook