John 6:22 The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one whereinto his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone; 23 (Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks:) 24 When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. 25 And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither? 26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. 27 Labour not for the meat which 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. 28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
The day following – That is, the day after the 5,000 men, plus women and children, had been fed by the Bread of Life, with the five barley loaves and the two fishes. This was an unbelievable miracle that failed to produce the effect that miracles were designed for in the hearts of this great multitude.
For in the first public gospel message on Pentecost the Holy Spirit gave these words through the Apostle Peter: Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: (Acts 2:22). This feeding of the natural bread was intended to bring them to the spiritual awareness of the Bread of Heaven, the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Notice in verse 27 of our text that the Lord’s rebuke of these natural bread seekers that he adds this phrase, for him hath God the Father sealed! For it was in their very presence, and before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth! The Father Himself had spoken from heaven at the Son’s baptism, certifying and authorizing Christ as being well pleasing in His sight!
But a second notable miracle has also occurred which the Lord refuses to make known even to the specific inquiries recorded in verses 22 through 25 listed above. We should be careful in becoming too familiar with the Lord and his wonderful works, so that our hearts don’t grow calloused, causing him to shut us out of farther mighty works!
These verses (22-25) set up for us an interrogation from this crowd who knew shipping and it’s transportation in their day. They knew that there was none other boat there, and that the Lord didn’t get in it to cross the sea. They had to hire water taxis from Tiberias to get them ferried over! So they very pointedly confronted him with the question, Rabbi, when camest thou hither? – How did you get over here?
What a wonderful opportunity to tell them that he walked over there! And not around the sea, but across the sea! But he said not a word to them. This was only known by the disciples in the boat he stepped into to calm the horrible storm, and bring them immediately to their dock! John 6:21 Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.
But it was not allowed for these masses to go down to the sea in ships, to do business in great waters; The disciples alone were only allowed this experience that they might see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep! (Psalm 107:23, 24). For it was none but the LORD Himself who commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. He would have these disciples to mount up to heaven, that they go down again to the depths: in order that their soul is melted because of trouble. (Psa. 107:25, 26).
The Lord purposed for the disciples to reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end. For then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven. (Psa. 107:27-30).
Therefore the unbelieving multitude, like the masses of the actively religious in our day were kept from knowing of this second great miracle, occurring just after the miracle of the loaves and fishes! Neither did they know of it by the hearing, nor especially by the experiencing of it to the spiritual benefit for which it was designed!
And just what was the design of exposing these seasoned sailor-fishermen to such a perfect storm as made their hearts melt? It was to launch these chosen ones to the awareness of the most important, and most soul affecting condition – the awareness of the glory of God! Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! (Psa. 107:31). Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (1Cor. 10:31).
And that was the need of this event, as we showed in last week’s lesson! It is recorded in Mark 6:51,52 that the storm experience was essential for the recovery of the disciples’ hearts, For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened. They put too little store by the feeding of the multitude, but were amazed above measure concerning the calming of the storm! So they responded with no affection to the feeding of the multitude, but with inordinate affection to the walking on the sea!
But thank the Lord, these two conditions can be reckoned with! There were cold to the display of glory in the first and too hot in their affections in the latter. But as Christ told the Laodiceans, he wished they were either one of these and not a lukewarm indifferent! Rev. 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, (same Greek word translated lusts in John 8:44), and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
The children of God, born of the Spirit, walked in times past in the same inordinate affection as do now the unbelievers! For that which is born of the Spirit is being spirit; while that which is born of the flesh is still being fleshly! Therefore the Lord does send his disciples down unto the sea (into the masses of humanity – Rev. 17:1,15), while he intercedes for them in the mountain of his mediation, in order to cure them of the flesh!
Isaiah 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: God will make our emotionally high places, our ability to get excited about being excited, to be brought low. And God will cause our emotionally low and depressive places to be leveled up by designed and effectual fears, causing us to be cast upon him. Thus we will learn how to actually live Romans 8:28, and not just to quote it!
Our crooked, sin prone places will be made straight, and our rough, disrespectful places will be smoothed out in order that our Lord, who dwells within us by the Holy Ghost, will have a prepared way for deeper and more sanctifying entrance into our hearts!
1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Pastor Gene Breed
Jan. 24, 2010