John 6:1-14 “Invitation or Instruction?”

Six months after Jesus had declared that God was His Father and He was God’s Son, He took His next steps to reveal it. John the Baptist had been executed, Jesus had moved from Jerusalem to the other side of the Sea of Galilee and the Passover was approaching. News of Jesus’ miracles, of the healing of diseases and the casting out of demons was spreading throughout the country so there was a curiosity about Jesus. When we add to that curiosity, the uncertainty and grief that the nation was experiencing after the death of John, the first prophet in over 300 years, we can understand why multitudes, literally thousands of people decided to go and find Jesus. Before we dive into the text it’s important that we understand that, according to Matthew’s account of this story, Jesus was trying to get away, to be alone with His disciples, possibly to process John’s death and to prepare for the fact that His own death was only about a year away. Jesus was not building a crowd, but the Father was working in the hearts of the entire nation to bring a crowd to Jesus. This event allows us to see a test of the disciple’s faith but also the faithfulness of Jesus’ heart.