Coming to The One Who Comes to Us – Part 4

John 6:1-21

Coming to The One Who Comes to Us – Part 4

Don’t let the disciples get lost in the crowd

I. Getting the FOCUS on the right PLACE. (Jn 6:1-21)
A. John’s RETELLING is DIFFERENT. (6:1-21; Mt. 14; Mk. 6; Lk 9)
B. It’s more about the DISCIPLES than the CROWD. (v.3)

The feeding of the 5000 is the only miracle that makes it into all four gospels. Because we are so familiar with it, we often read it quickly…thinking that John is just repeating what Matthew, Mark, and Luke have written. But a closer examination and comparison can yield some surprising ideas.

1. Kid’s Question: Imagine you were the child who offered the 5 loaves and 2 fish to Jesus and the disciples? What would it have been like to see it feed everyone?
2. What stands out to you about the differences between the telling of this story in the 4 gospels? Do the differences bother you?

II. A TEST with multiple STAGES. (v.5-21)
A. A QUESTION that seems OUTRAGEOUS. (v.5-9)
B. A TASK with inherent QUESTIONS. (v.10-11)
C. REINFORCING a powerful TRUTH. (v.12-13)
D. A MODELLING of the right PRIORITIES. (v.14-15)
E. A DEMONSTRATION of true KINGDOM power. (v.16-21)

When we focus in on the disciples we begin to see that Jesus is teaching and training them for what is coming through this experience of feeding the multitudes on the mountainside. He is intentional in the way things happen in order to communicate what the Kingdom of God looks like to His disciples.

3. Put yourself in the place of the disciples in this story. What questions or thoughts would you have had as you lived through this experience?
4. Why do you think it was so important to pick up all the baskets of leftovers?
5. As they reflected on the experience, especially Jesus’ running from the people’s desire to make him King, what do you think they were thinking as the rowed the boat across the water? What would you have been thinking?

III. COMING to Jesus as a DISCIPLE. (Mt. 11:28)
A. EXPECT your thinking to be STRETCHED. (v.5-9; Mk. 8:33)
B. Be OBEDIENT, even amid the QUESTIONS. (v.10-11; Ps. 119:105; Jn 13:7)
C. REFLECT, don’t RUSH. (v.12-15; Ps. 46:10-11; Jn 6:15)
D. The KINGDOM is where JESUS is. (v.16-21; Mk. 1:14-15; Jn 6:33)

So as we follow Jesus what kinds of patterns do we see in His interactions with the disciples that might help us to know how He is leading us? How does He lead and teach differently than the patterns of the world around us? How can we work with Jesus in our own transformation instead of clinging to the ways we think things should happen?

6. When has God stretched your thinking…or your trust…maybe even in ways that you didn’t particularly appreciate? How did you respond?
7. How can you better live your life to “reflect” on what God is doing instead of “rushing” to the next thing – even the next good thing?
8. If Jesus lives in you by the Spirit, and the Kingdom is where Jesus is, what does that mean to your everyday life, experiences, and relationships? What might God be saying to you through that?