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April 13, 2021 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ.
Tens of thousands of people followed and why, because he was the son of God because he spoke the truth. No interest because of even their signs and use about God. The phone because he made sure just isn't really self just if you have what would be called a miracle ministry. You can have a fake miracle ministry and you can draw enormously large joining us today on this additional fellowship of the word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana Pastor Bill Gebhardt now again he shows us how God's word meets our work. I had just been saved a couple years I was saved in my early 20s and this was just a couple years later and due to some very unusual circumstances. I was given the opportunity to first preach and that the church we were attending and then through some more extraordinary circumstances, I began preaching in several churches in the Western Pennsylvania area and up. I can remember being overwhelmed with the feeling of being totally and completely inadequate to be able to do this. I didn't go up in a church so I didn't. I never saw people in church and I just got say went to church. The next thing you know I'm up here and I just was overwhelming to me. So at the same time and I was doing this I was also teaching a weekly Bible study at the primary church we went to, and I was teaching on the Gospel of John and out at the at that time I had one commentary. It was written by a W.
Pink and it was a big thick commentary Scottish man and that I would read what Pink said about the verses that were coming in I would go and tell the people what Pink told me so that that's how we learned and as we were going through the this commentary we came to John chapter 6 and this great miracle that will look at today that what's called the feeding of the 5000, and Pink wrote these words he said God uses inadequate people who give what they have. To him to do great things for his glory and those words way back then change me and I can still remember those words. In fact, they're basically the basic words of my entire life and ministry that God uses inadequate people to give what they have to him to do great things were in a series that I've called the seven signs of the son of God.
When John wrote his gospel and remember all the other gospels were finished Matthew Mark and Luke, 30, 35 years before John wrote, and so when John wrote his. He had a different thing in mind than what is called the Synoptics when the Gospels it's on pretty similar. John wanted to prove that Jesus Christ is deity that Jesus Christ is the son of God and so consequently on that basis he used seven different what he called signs even though you could say they were miracles, but we call them signs and so John wrote the seven signs in each one tells us about the power of Jesus Christ but also each one tells us about the heart of God or the heart of Jesus Christ.
It reveals more than just this power, so the first one was the wedding of Cana and that wasn't expected.
I don't think Jesus even in what we expected everything that he knew everything, but he he did that sort of just the spur of the moment and it taught us that there is nothing too small for Jesus, just nothing. He would even turn water to wine, which wasn't that big a deal. A lot of charlatans and that in Israel the timer doing the same thing but the second one was. He healed the noble man from current Capernaum. He healed his son when he was still in Cana, 18 miles away only told the nobleman was your son as well. I didn't see him. I don't touch and nothing in it showed his power over distance and when the man went back on his way to Capernaum.
He ran in the servants. The servants told him that her son was fine. He said when did it happen exactly at 1 o'clock in the afternoon when Jesus stood spoken to the man. Then the third one was back in Jerusalem and in the pool of Bethesda and he was a man who was an invalid quadriplegic likely for 38 years and was literally a thousand other people in need.
He picks out this one man in the hills and he tells them just stand up, pick up your pallet and walk and it shows that the time has nothing to do with Jesus. Whether this man was a paraplegic for 38 years had no meaning at all. So now in chapter 6 of Matthew we move into what would be in certain levels. The biggest magnitude of a miracle that he ever performed and the reason is he's not performing a miracle in an individually's performing a miracle.
Countless individuals it is unique in many ways. So in verse one in John six, it says after these things Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee or Tiberias.
After these things is the question. After what things well remember last time I said that when Jesus was in Jerusalem was in the fall of the year. The feast was Tabernacles now or in the spring of the year and the feast of Passover, and so is on the northern coast of the Sea of Galilee.
But notice what John says. He also says or Tiberias. The reason is John wrote in the 90s. The Romans had destroyed Israel and ran them out of their own country in the 70s at 70 A.D. it's a consequently the lake wasn't known then as Galilee. It was at the time of Christ. But Tiberius who was a Roman Empire and then it says in verse two. A large crowd followed him enormously large crowd and will to see the reason for the next part of the verse because they saw signs which he was performing on those who were sick.
He had an enormously large crowd thousands, tens of thousands of people follow Jesus and why because he was the son of God, not because he spoke the truth. No, not really interested in that because of even their signs that he would who he is about.
That is God now.
They followed him because he made them well that's all sure. Just like people now these are really self-absorbed people just like today if you have what would be called a miracle ministry. You could have a fake miracle ministry and you can draw enormously large crowds of people just all I got to go this a miracle ministry and we still have those things going on to this this kind of very day but did Jesus point of view he wanted something more than that. In fact if you look kind of verse 26 of the same chapter. Jesus answered and said to them, truly, truly, I say to you you seek me not because you saw signs because you ate the low Summerfield biggest one to take advantage of Jesus.
So I would call them the self absorbed crowd.
There's another thing that's going on just as well, though.
Jesus is tired and his disciples are tired their very tired. In fact, in Mark chapter 6.
It tells us that Jesus had just sent the disciples out in pairs to preach the gospel and he said they preach the gospel.
They they came in confrontations with demons. They anointed the sick with oil and healed them in their exhausted and their ministry was checkered. They had some success in a lot of failure but they were exhausted and what they did also. In Mark six.
We find out a second thing in the second and refinanced Mark six is John the Baptist has been beheaded by Herod and so the opposition is now pretty high, so he wants to spend what you and I would call quiet time. It says in verse four now the Passover, the feast of the Jews was near. The reason the crowds were so big in this rural area of northern Galilee near the Sea of Galilee is that everybody in the northern part of Galilee, who were men would have to go to the Jerusalem for the Passover three feast. The year you have to go. They never would walk south from Galilee into Samaria and then in the Judah and Jerusalem. You don't go that way. Jews do not walk in Samaria so they would go around the northern shore. The seed Galilee and then they were turned south on the east bank of the Jordan walk the whole way down then cross the Jordan again and then go to Jerusalem, so there were a lot of people are following them at this time. The other all four Gospels talk about this miracle.
Any others it it says this is secluded place today. If you were ever in Israel. This would be in the Golan Heights.
If you know where the Golan Heights I have ever been Israel. The war that took place. Syria and Israel fighting in the Golan Heights. That's where he sat now, they are drawn.
He says because of the miracles that was interesting about this is that therefore Jesus lifting up his eyes and seeing what a large cried. I was coming to him. Jesus decides he's going to speak I love this. It said he said to Philip, were we to buy bread, so that all of these meet what you find out in a minute there somewhere between 15 and 25,000 people here, not 5000 adjustment Jesus Jesus is the photo we can buy bread for these people know what you think of your fellow money asked what you always talking Peter, James and John, Peter, James and John. When he has one of them know what hot I am an idea about this when you see the reason in the next verse he said he was saying this he was saying to test him, for he himself knew what he was intending to do.
We move from self absorbed crowd to faithless disciples. Now is a good one. I hope you see something here identify with both groups and I know most of you well enough to know so you were part of a self absorbed crowd and were also pretty faithless as disciples as you see in just a moment now. I just couldn't imagine what is running through Phillip's head at that time I was trying to figure this out. The disciples by the way, it already said to Jesus in the other Gospels send them away, 15, 20,000 people, were they going to go in the middle of nowhere. This is desolate.
They're just following Jesus because of what he's doing. So Philip answered him and said 200 and Mary were the bread is not sufficient for them for everyone to receive just a little 200 and bread is two thirds of the years wages so whatever your wages are. Think of two thirds of the year.
He said if we spent that much money on bread.
We don't have enough to give everybody just a little bit what you do there they shall faith or to use what you and I do logic facing an enormous problem when we go to almost immediately.
Logic was the logic we need to do now would be the logical thing to do. You see him. And if you think about it from another point of view. What should've he said to Jesus about this. Your Jesus is the creator. In fact you created all things I've seen you do miracle after miracle after miracle after miracle. What we ask of me for your Jesus, I trust just what Mary said do what he says at the wedding of Cana, but he doesn't say that all he does. Will we often do, he decides that he's going to try to think his way through this and he said this is impossible. There's no way were going to feed these people. I guess that the disciples and the other Gospels that you got to send these people away now. One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother said to him, there is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But one of these is it one of these for so many people. One is these for all these people when we could help.
Please understand the back story he told all 12 of them to go out among the crowd and find all the resources of the crowd had spoke. Find anything and Andrew finds one little guy that were lad in Greek means very small boy, I'd save four, five, six years old and he says I found the boy and he has five loaves and two fish and I found him think a little boy he might be an extraordinary little boy or he may just been intimidated by a stranger who was walking with Jesus and why does he have this women because what he has is a furry little boys lunch. You see, now I know how you guys think about this and you think about it in a very different way. Notice that he says here he says he has five barley loaves. Okay, first of all remember something.
This is terrible bread to the Jews wheat is what they make bread out of most the time poor people sometimes and make bread out of barley. Now he has five loaves of barley.
But again, you're good to be wrong when you think about this. I know what you get.
You guys are thinking of French bread.
He's got like five loaves, you know that's what he has there.
Forget barley loaf at this time is the same size as the CD and almost as thin. It's a cracker. You and I would call to Chris not Levan. There's no rising is a cracker and is made of barley. It's not very tasteful. This is not he has five of those and assist with two fish in your thinking redfish and I was got to be redfish know the word here for fish is a pickled fish that you season and the English equivalent would be a sardine.
Okay, it's about this big argument out so he has five CDs and two sardines. That's all that he has given everything more than that. That's what he had why he's a little boy that's all he needs for a meal and see that's that's it so so far what we have is you have this whole idea of a self absorbed crowd that are only interested in what Jesus can do for them. That's her only interest in you faithless disciples and I'm saying that's most of us that's almost the way we all act as American Christians. So many of us are so self absorbed that we think Jesus is in our life for us so that he will give us what we want or desire.
Now he's healing people in Lane people are walking and blind people are saying but even today, some of the largest churches in America where they offer you health, wealth and success. Who doesn't want that. And how do we show up in enormous crowds just enormous crowds of people crowd into a church, I got because that's what I want, but if you take any and Jesus did himself if you take the words of Jesus. You need to be repentant of your sin, you need to grieve over sin, you need to trust Christ totally. You need to follow him completely, you need to bury your cross for him. You need to be persecuted for him you would be even willing to die for him. When you preach.
I guess what a lot of people showing up. That's all I'm for for what is going to give me.
It hasn't changed any and all these thousands of years. The disciples on the other hand decided to solve this problem. As I said, just kind of the way we do. I gotta figure this out, but no math is going to help anyone in this case so you have faithless disciples self absorbed people and now were introduced to the son of God, the King of Kings and Lord of lords of Messiah of Israel, the Savior of the world and the first thing he says the little bit surprising. Verse 10 Jesus said, have the people sit out to another was much grass in a place of Mensa done number by 5000 men. That's why you get between 15 and 25,000 people, their wives and families are with okay so you have this enormous number two said okay let's sit down now. On the other Gospels. It talk about this he organize them in blocks 500 will block he organize them in blocks. He said get them all sat down and get them organized.
Now if your disciple what are you thinking what would why I mean if Jesus was going to do a miracle when you do just a miracle. I mean they have to sit out into the disciples have to scan them in groups present this Jesus have to do a thing like that. For example, for nearly 40 years in the wilderness God provided manna every morning for Israel. Every morning, supernaturally, can Jesus just called down from heaven and feed him. Of course he could, but he doesn't. So, I can just see to the disciples walking together like you know how long it's going to take us to organize all these people into groups and any people are some meniscal going to be in this group are gonna want to be in this group. Jesus told us government and all the kid has his five CDs into sardines. What are we doing here about. He said then have the people sit down and then 11 it says Jesus then took the loaves, and having given thanks, why love to give thanks. 20,000 people need need not have five cracker CDs into sardines.
He's thanking God very important principle.
Why would God provides is always enough to accomplish his will. Whatever God provides is always enough to accomplish his will. Jesus knows that's why he prayed that way. So he does that and he gives thanks and he distributed to those who were seated likewise also of the fish, as much as they wanted as much as they wanted. And when they were filled. This is in a meal this the banquet as much as they could possibly eat. That's how much you provided basket after basket 20,000 people hungry bellies became happy bellies effect.
A lot of people probably lean back and said to need another bite.
I just can't eat another bite and it just kept coming know something I thought about most other people who you would call a scholar and not thought about it so you know what not to call me but the one of things I thought about is why did they love the need to so much it's barley bread and some fish barley bread that Jesus provided their income from a cursed earth.
These were little seedlings are grew up and were harvested as more these were created by Jesus and of sardines never slam anywhere user created by Jesus, the bread and the fish had nothing to do.
He just created.
It must've been the tastiest bread they've ever had the best crusade every pastor broke your if you ever missed one of our broadcasting or maybe you dislike the method one more time. Remember the little green website called in one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen the fellowship and the word online event website you will find on with today's broadcast but also many of our previous audio programs as well at Fellowship in the Word.
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