Feeding the Five Thousand1
6:1After these things Jesus went away to the other side of the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias.2 6:2And a great multitude followed him, because they beheld the signs which he did on them that were sick. 6:3And Jesus went up into the mountain,3 and there he sat with his disciples. 6:4Now the passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. 6:5Jesus therefore lifting up his eyes, and seeing that a great multitude cometh unto him,4 saith unto Philip5, Whence are we to buy bread, that these may eat? 6:6And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. 6:7Philip answered him, Two hundred shillings' worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one may take a little. 6:8One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him, 6:9There is a lad6 here, who hath five barley loaves, and two fishes: but what are these among so many? 6:10Jesus said, Make the people sit down. Now there was much grass in the place.7 So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 6:11Jesus therefore took the loaves; and having given thanks,8 he distributed to them that were set down; likewise also of the fishes as much as they would. 6:12And when they were filled, he saith unto his disciples, Gather up the broken pieces which remain over, that nothing be lost. 6:13So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets9 with broken pieces from the five barley loaves, which remained over unto them that had eaten. 6:14When therefore the people saw the sign which he did, they said, This is of a truth the prophet that cometh into the world.
6:15Jesus therefore perceiving that they were about to come and take him by force, to make him king, withdrew again into the mountain himself alone.10
- The feeding of the five thousand is a symbolical representation of the steps taken and the ideas involved in supplying the outer, physical consciousness of man with inner, spiritual substance. Having quickened your idea of Power and Strength in Universal Spirit, you “sit down,” or center your forces within, and begin to bless and give thanks. In Divine order you make connection with the Universal Mother, or Vital Energy of Being, and fill your whole consciousness with vitality. The surplus energy settles back into the various centers as reserve force. This is the “twelve baskets” which remained over.
- Jesus went away to the other side of the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. Galilee represents life activity, whose power is greatest on “the other side” or inner side. Tiberias means promptness and order. The real meaning of this passage of Scripture is that one who makes this demonstration must act in spiritual life with promptness and order.
- Jesus went up into the mountain The I AM ascending to a high state of consciousness. When man enters into that high realization of his spiritual character, all his faculties (disciples) are lifted up with him.
- the great multitude that followed Jesus. The multitude of thoughts living in material consciousness.
- Philip. The power of the number “about five thousand” word. The word has not been used before to command spiritual increase sufficient to feed the hungry mentality, and it doubts its ability. But Jesus knows its capacity.
- Andrew, the lad with the five barley loaves and two fishes. Andrew represents spiritual strength, which has great faith (Peter) in the increasing capacity (lad) of a few seeds of substance (loaves) and fishes (life).
- Make the people sit down, there was much grass. Sitting represents a restful, expectant state of mind, and grass represents the consciousness of unfolding substance. Jesus' command symbolizes the I AM arranging receptive thought forces in just the order that will best enable them to receive spiritual inspiration.
- having given thanks, he distributed to them that were set down. Thanksgiving and praise are the key that opens the door into the great storehouse of spiritual ideas, the kingdom of the heavens. When this door is opened by one who understands and fulfills the righteous law of conserving and multiplying substance and life, a great flood of vitality flows to the whole consciousness of that one, and his every hungry thought is satisfied.
- filled twelve baskets. The twelve centers of consciousness in the body. All the hungry thoughts are fed, and the overflow sinks back to the subconscious and fills these twelve centers, giving complete satisfaction within and without.
- Jesus ... withdrew again into the mountain himself alone. Those who are evolving spiritually know whether or not they are equal to certain demands made on them, and they withdraw to the within for further spiritual realization and power.
Jesus Walks on the Water
6:16And when evening came, his disciples went down unto the sea; 6:17and they entered into a boat, and were going over the sea unto Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.1 6:18And the sea was rising by reason of a great wind2 that blew. 6:19When therefore they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they behold Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the boat: and they were afraid.3 6:20But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. 6:21They were willing therefore to receive him into the boat:4 and straightway the boat was at the land whither they were going.
- it was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. Lack of spiritual awareness.
- Wind. Waves represent the ordinary ups and downs which every ordinary life characterizes. Wind refers to the way things are going or appearing in movement to the consciousness.
- and they were afraid. Jesus at first is believed to be an apparition to the disciples; and this is the attitude of many people who for the first time hear these words “God is my help.”
- They were willing therefore to receive him into the boat. The first of the twelve to actually show willingness to believe is Peter, Faith, the ability to say "yes" to Truth, the affirmative faculty and the faculty which connects us with the substance of Truth.
The Bread from Heaven
6:22On the morrow the multitude that stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, save one, and that Jesus entered not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples went away alone 6:23(howbeit there came boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks): 6:24when the multitude therefore saw that Jesus was not there,1 neither his disciples, they themselves got into the boats, and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.
6:25And when they found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither?6:26Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw signs, but because ye ate of the loaves, and were filled. 6:27Work not for the food which perisheth, but for the food which abideth unto eternal life,2 which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him the Father, even God, hath sealed. 6:28They said therefore unto him, What must we do, that we may work the works of God? 6:29Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.3 6:30They said therefore unto him, What then doest thou for a sign, that we may see, and believe thee? what workest thou? 6:31Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness4; as it is written, He gave them bread out of heaven to eat. 6:32Jesus therefore said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, It was not Moses that gave you the bread out of heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread out of heaven. 6:33For the bread of God is that which cometh down out of heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 6:34They said therefore unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.
6:35Jesus said unto them. I am the bread of life5: he that cometh to me shall not hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 6:36But I said unto you, that ye have seen me, and yet believe not. 6:37All that which the Father giveth me shall come unto me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 6:38For I am come down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 6:39And this is the will of him that sent me, that of all that which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 6:40For this is the will of my Father, that every one that beholdeth the Son, and believeth on him, should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
6:41The Jews therefore murmured concerning him, because he said, I am the bread which came down out of heaven.6 6:42And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how doth he now say, I am come down out of heaven? 6:43Jesus answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. 6:44No man can come to me, except the Father that sent me draw him: and I will raise him up in the last day. 6:45It is written in the prophets, And they shall all be taught of God. Every one that hath heard from the Father, and hath learned, cometh unto me. 6:46Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he that is from God, he hath seen the Father. 6:47Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth hath eternal life. 6:48I am the bread of life. 6:49Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 6:50This is the bread which cometh down out of heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 6:51I am the living bread which came down out of heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: yea and the bread which I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world.
6:52The Jews therefore strove one with another, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 6:53Jesus therefore said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, ye have not life in yourselves. 6:54He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life: and I will raise him up at the last day. 6:55For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 6:56He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood abideth in me, and I in him. 6:57As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father; so he that eateth me, he also shall live because of me. 6:58This is the bread which came down out of heaven: not as the fathers ate, and died; he that eateth this bread shall live for ever. 6:59These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.
- when the multitude therefore saw that Jesus was not there. After feeding the multitude, Jesus retired to the mountain and spent the night in prayer. It is the universal testimony of those who are in the regeneration that they have to spend much time in prayer on the mount of spiritual realization. To pray all night is not unusual with one who is striving to make complete atonement with God.
- Work not for the food which perisheth, but for the food which abideth unto eternal life. The proclamation of one who has found the real substance and source of supply . The outer consciousness strives for the things of sense.
- This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. To do this inner work that redeems the whole man and puts him in touch with spiritual realities, one must believe on, or have faith in, him “whom he hath sent.” This one who is sent of God is Christ, Spiritual Man, the higher self of every man. We must believe that there is a Spirit in man that transcends the mortal, and that it has power to do all that we conceive possible to God. Thus God's work is done in us.
- Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness. Moses caused manna to fall from heaven to feed the Children of Israel. The body of Christ is a spiritual substance that we incorporate into consciousness through faith out of the heavens of mind. That the food we eat has a spiritual source is proved by those who fast in spiritual faith much longer and easier than those who are forced to starve.
- I am the bread of life. The I AM is the living principle that enables us to make our desires manifest in whatever form we choose. To do this we recognize and draw upon universal substance.
- I am the bread which came down out of heaven. The tendency of men to believe that some prophet or wise one has access to God which they have not must be refuted. The Jews counted the manna given to their ancestors by Moses as in some way having to do with their salvation. Jesus says, “The bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven.” You must be your own high priest and prophet. God is the sustaining substance and life, manifesting through each soul; how, then, can he pass his resource to that soul through some human instrument? He cannot, and all dependence upon such helps is weakening and futile in the end. “I Am the bread of life.” Whoever believes on the spiritual I Am as his Oversoul, and affirms it as his substance and life, shall never hunger nor thirst.
The Words of Eternal Life
6:60Many therefore of his disciples, when the heard this, said, This is a hard saying; who can hear it?6:61But Jesus knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at this, said unto them, Doth this cause you to stumble? 6:62What then if ye should behold the Son of man ascending where he was before? 6:63It is the spirit that giveth life; the flesh profiteth nothing:1 the words that I have spoken unto you are spirit, are are life. 6:64But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who it was that should betray him. 6:65And he said, For this cause have I said unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it be given unto him of the Father.
6:66Upon this many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 6:67Jesus said therefore unto the twelve, Would ye also go away? 6:68Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 6:69And we have believed and know that thou art the Holy One of God. 6:70Jesus answered them, Did not I choose you the twelve, and one of you is a devil?6:71Now he spake of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.
- It is the spirit that giveth life; the flesh profiteth nothing. Being, the original fount, is an impersonal principle; but in its work of creation it puts forth an idea that contains all ideas: the Logos, Word, Christ, the Son of God, or spiritual man. This spiritual man or Christ or Word of God is the true inner self of every individual. Man therefore contains within himself the capacities of Being, and through his words uses the creative principle in forming his environment, good or bad. So we make our own heaven or hell.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks.
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