Jesus answered, “You’ve come looking for me not because you saw God in my actions but because I fed you, filled your stomachs – and for free. – John 6
When I was newly married I dreamed of being the mom of four boys. I’m not sure why. May be it was because I came from a household of girls and knew next to nothing about raising boys. All I knew was that I was bound and determined to have four boys running around my household.
Then we got pregnant.
We didn’t find out what the sex of the baby was. However, deep down in my soul I knew it was a girl. I just knew. I told no one. Not even my husband. On the contrary I instead told everyone that I just knew it was a boy. God was growing me a baby boy in my belly. The first of three that he would bestow upon my womb. Because I just knew if I wished hard enough and denied the truth long enough – that God would just give in and change that baby girl to the boy I had dreamed about for so long.
Then she was born.
My sweet, beautiful baby girl. After 32 hours of labor she finally entered into this world with the most perfect little face. I was instantaneously in complete love with her. In fact there was not another thought about the fact that God had trashed my dream because you know what? He had replaced it with something so much better then I could’ve ever imagined! I laugh about it now and tell people that God knew EXACTLY what he was doing when he gave me my sweet baby girl, because this mom is definitely NOT a mom of four boys. One boy is the perfect amount for me.
Today we are at a very well known story in John 6. I know that you are quite familiar with it. It happens to be told in all four of the gospels. I’m pretty sure that means it’s important to note. I would just ask that you stop, take a breath, clear your head, and really listen to the story today like you’ve never heard it before. This story is so much more than just another miracle that Jesus performs. So here’s to the “Bread and Fish”…..
After this, Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee (some call it Tiberias). A huge crowd followed him, attracted by the miracles they had seen him do among the sick. When he got to the other side, he climbed a hill and sat down, surrounded by his disciples. It was nearly time for the Feast of Passover, kept annually by the Jews.
When Jesus looked out and saw that a large crowd had arrived, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy bread to feed these people?” He said this to stretch Philip’s faith. He already knew what he was going to do.
God still does this for us today. He already knows what he is going to do in your life because he already knows the choices that you will be making. He makes all things possible. Just like stretching Philip’s faith he wants us to dream big. He wants us to continue imagining all the things that we can do in this world because he doesn’t want us to settle. He wants us to accomplish our dreams.
Philip answered, “Two hundred silver pieces wouldn’t be enough to buy bread for each person to get a piece.”
One of the disciples – it was Andrew, brother to Simon Peter – said, “There’s a little boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But that’s a drop in the bucket for a crowd like this.”
Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” There was a nice carpet of green grass in this place. They sat down, about five thousand of them. Then Jesus took the bread and, having given thanks, gave it to those who were seated. He did the same with the fish. All ate as much as they wanted.
When the people had eaten their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the leftovers so nothing is wasted.” They went to work and filled twelve large baskets with leftovers from the five barley loaves.
The people realized that God was at work among them in what Jesus had just done. They said, “This is the Prophet for sure, God’s Prophet right here in Galilee!” Jesus saw that in their enthusiasm, they were about to grab him and make him king, so he slipped off and went back up the mountains to be by himself.
Often we will read about Jesus going off on his own. I envision that time being spent renewing himself in prayer. Being in relationship with God in order to continue to teach, heal, and perform miracles. We can learn something vitally important from this. We all need to renew ourselves with prayer. We all need to be in relationship with God so that we can be assured that our dreams are aligned with God’s plans for us. I know for a fact that my dreams of being a mom were aligned with God’s plan. But he had different plans for what that looked like. We MUST take the time to be by ourselves with God so we can be aligned with him.
In the evening his disciples went down to the sea, got in the boat, and headed back across the water to Capernaum. It had grown quite dark and Jesus had not yet returned. A huge wind blew up, churning the sea. They were maybe three or four miles out when they saw Jesus walking on the sea, quite near the boat. They were scared senseless, but he reassured them, “It’s me. It’s all right. Don’t be afraid.” So they took him on board. In no time they reached land – the exact spot they were headed to.
Even the disciples, Jesus closest friends, forgot about the miraculous ways he accomplished things. They had literally just been a witness to how he fed thousands of people with close to nothing. Yet they turn around and are fearful when they see him walking on the water! We can learn from them that a relationship with God and Jesus is lifelong. That we must always be making sure that our dreams are aligned with the actual plans he has for us. Just because one dream occurs doesn’t mean from here on out all of them will. We must continue to trust that Jesus will steer our boat through this life of ours and will land us exactly upon the spot we were meant to be at. Because no matter what God is with us and we don’t need to be afraid.
The next day the crown that was left behind realized that there had been only one boat, and that Jesus had not gotten into it with his disciples. They had seen them go off without him. By now boats from Tiberias had pulled up near where they had eaten the bread blessed by the Master. So when the crowd realized he was gone and wasn’t coming back, they piled into the Tiberias boats and headed for Capernaum, looking for Jesus.
When they found him back across the sea, they said, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
Jesus answered, “You’ve come looking for me not because you saw God in my actions but because I fed you, filled your stomachs – and for free.
Dare to dream bigger than what you think is possible. These stories in John are a testament to that. Don’t focus only on your physical wants and needs. Dream big and be open to God making that dream a reality. Even if it doesn’t turn out exactly as you dreamed it, it will turn out exactly as GOD planned it.
That will be a dream come true.