John 6:6-10
John 6:6 (KJB)
And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.
Prove - Test
Here the Lord is testing Philip to see if he understood yet who He was with. It must always be understood that we are tested for our good and those tests will grow us one more step in the faith. Since Jesus knew what He was going to do, He wanted Philip to understand. Many times testing programs come into our lives and we may think it is not for our good but as Christians the Lord always has our growth and well-being in mind. Whenever we come into circumstances we feel are overwhelming, all we have to do is re-read Genesis 37-50 and there we will find the story of Joseph. We must always keep in mind the Lord’s timing in our lives. Joseph languished in prison for thirteen years before God made him Governor of Egypt in one day. While Joseph was a slave in Egypt, he did not feel sorry for himself but He trusted God during the training period and was placed in charge of Potiphar’s house and then when in prison, he was in charge of all the prisoners. As a good brother told me once he knew two men in prison, who became saved, that were not serving time but allowed time to serve them. This is exactly what Joseph did and this is what we must do during times of testing because times of testing are not only short, but they can be, yet most of the times, are extended periods.
John 6:7 (KJB)
Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.
Pennyworth - Denarius
A penny was approximately one day’s labor for a worker. The denarius was a silver coin minted by Rome from 268 B.C. to about 200 A.D. You can purchase these coins today as a biblical keepsake. The denarius was worth about 15-20 cents and 200 would have yielded about 30-40 dollars. This would hardly be enough to feed 10 people, never mind five thousand men, which number could probably be doubled if you counted women and children in the crowd. So Philip was looking at the meager amount of money they had and stated it would not be enough. This is a great spiritual lesson for the believer. Philip was looking to the world as his source of materials to do the work of the Lord. Many times Christians will do the same thing. They believe they cannot make an impact for the Kingdom of God because they are not wealthy or famous. This is untrue because every single tract or dollar given to send forth the true Gospel will have an impact for the Kingdom of God. Sometimes we think that giving five or ten dollars makes no difference so we do not give it. Instead we feel that giving large sums of money is the only way to reach people with the Gospel. This is Satan’s trick, to get you to believe you are incapable of doing the Lord’s work without much dedicated material goods. Let us break it down to see how wrong that is. World Missionary Press in New Paris, Indiana can print 25 booklets for one dollar. If you sent them $10 a month, you would be reaching 250 people with the Gospel. Now in countries other than the USA, where people throw the tracts in the garbage or litter the streets with them, a tract is normally read by more than one person which means for $10 per month, you may be reaching 1,000 people. So now how does $10 a month look? It seems like a good impact for the true Gospel. Here is another reality. The website which you are reading this on costs me $208.45 per year which breaks down to 57¢ per day. You see when we start analyzing, how Satan’s strategy falls apart? We will see in this miracle that a little in the hands of the Lord means BIG!
John 6:8 (KJB)
One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him,
Andrew was the one who brought his brother Simon to the Lord who became Peter. I don’t think there is any Christian on earth who would not like to meet Peter. He must have been unique among the twelve.
John 6:9 (KJB)
There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?
Here Andrew states that there is a boy who has five loaves and two fishes, and just like Philip, he looks at it and basically says that how could this little lunch possibly feed so many? Isn’t it interesting that right at the moment that Jesus is going to perform the miracle, the materials which He is going to use arrives. Again, we must always look at the timing of the Lord. I remember some years ago I sent a monetary gift to a missionary ready to hit the field. She wrote me back and told me that it came right in the nick of time because she needed new glasses and the gift covered it completely. Now I had no idea she needed the glasses but here again is the principle, God’s timing was perfect in her life as she got the glasses right before she went to the field. Sometimes we may never know what impact we have on people and that is why faithfulness must be part of every Christian’s life. Now barley is mentioned and in Israel at that time, it was a much cheaper grain than wheat. So this boy’s lunch, was really a meager lunch. Now the phrase “small fishes” in the Greek can be understood as “tiny fishes.” So here we see a tremendous miracle. The lunch was a very small lunch just enough to feed a child.
John 6:10 (KJB)
And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.
Sit down and Sat down - Reclined or lean back
Now Jesus had the provisions in hand as He would now begin the feeding. He had the men sit down and they would go into a position of reclining. Whenever there was a banquet or festivity which included food, the normal position for eating was in a reclined position. (Psa 23:2 KJV) He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. Just like our souls lie down in rest and comfort as we rest in the Lord, the 5,000 were also made to sit in the grass which would have been a large field big enough to sit thousands. Now sitting down showed someone at rest rather than standing which would show a certain anxiety or readiness to move. Once our souls have found rest in Christ, we rest in the green pastures of Christ and He feeds our souls eternally. To rest means that fear has no home, for fear is the enemy of rest. This is why those who are steeped in religion are always having to do something because their souls have no rest in the green pastures before the Lord.