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The Scriptorium

King Me?

Jesus is King, and He knows it.

The Gospel of John: John 6.1-21

Read and meditate on John 6.1-21.

Jesus is, indeed, to be King of Israel, but only in His time, and by His chosen means. He will not be made into a political figure; He will not be dictated to by human agendas; and not even the constraints of the natural world – whether shortages or raging storms – will keep Him from doing as He wants. Because He is King, and He knows it. Do we?

1Then after these things Jesus crossed the Sea 
of Galilee (today that sea would be
Tiberius). 2And many followed Him,
because they saw the signs which He for them
performed, especially those who were diseased.
3He climbed up on a mountain, where it pleased
Him to abide with His disciples. 4And
the Feast of Passover was near at hand.
5Then Jesus lifted up His eyes and said 
to Philip, “Tell me, where shall we buy bread
for all these people?” For He saw that to
Him many were approaching. 6But He knew
what He would do, and only said this as
a test. 7So Philip answered, “Lord, who has
sufficient money so that everyone
could even have a little?” 8Then said one
of His disciples – Andrew, Simon’s brother –  
9“A lad here has five barley loaves, and other
food – two small fish. But what are these among
so many?” 10Jesus said, “Now tell them, young
and old alike, to sit down in the grass.”
And so they did – 5,000 men amassed
there on that hill. 11And Jesus took the bread,
and broke it, when He had thanksgiving said,
and His disciples took it all around,
the fish likewise, to those who on the ground
were seated, just as much as they could eat.
12When all were finished, and the meal complete,
He said to His disciples, “Gather all
the leftovers, each piece and fragment, small
and great, so none of it is lost.” 13They did,
and filled twelve baskets right up to the lid
with food. 14Then all those men, when they had seen
this sign that Jesus did, said, “This must mean
that Jesus is the Prophet who is come
into the world!” 15 But He departed from
there, when He knew that they would want to make
Him king, and would use force to try to take 
Him. So He went up on the mountain by
Himself. 16Then His disciples thought to try
and cross the sea unto Capernaum.
17They got a boat, but Jesus had not come
to them, and so they left. Already it
was dark when they departed in that ship.
18Then suddenly, the sea arose. A great
wind blew, 19and rowing, they could only make
a few short miles. Then Jesus came to them,
and He was walking on the sea! When Him
they saw, they were afraid. 20But He said, “Do
not be afraid, for it is I.” 21They knew
Him then, and took Him in the boat. Then they
arrived at land, right where they planned to stay.

- John 6.1-21

1.  The idea that people might make Jesus king by force is laughable. As Psalm 2 reminds us, God has appointed Jesus as King, and given Him all authority in heaven and earth. What in the stories in John 6.1-21 bears witness to the sovereign rule of King Jesus? Complete this prayer: You are Lord and King, Jesus my Savior, and today I will observe Your rule as I…

2.  Food shortage? No problem. Meager resources? Not to worry. People trying to force you to do something you know you shouldn’t do? No sweat. Storms at sea? All our best ideas coming to naught? Worn out and exhausted from all your striving? Look to the mountain, and Him Who waits for you there. Apply this principle to your daily life. Help me to keep my eyes on You, Lord, or I will surely…

3.  What lessons did Jesus want His disciples to learn from the two situations reported on in these verses? What should we learn from these stories? Let me always keep learning more about You, Jesus, and from these stories, let me learn…

4.  How would you describe the power of Jesus, as revealed in John 6.1-21? Do you experience this power in any ways? How should you respond if you do? I know that Your Spirit and Kingdom give me power, Lord (Acts 1.8; 1 Cor. 4.20), so today, help me to…

5.  When we see Jesus like this, in all His grace and power, how can we avoid the temptation that overtook the men who wanted to make Jesus king by force? How can we know when we’re trying to use Jesus rather than simply love Him? Bring together into one prayer the prayers you composed for questions 1-4.

“The divine substance is not visible to the eye, and the miracles of the divine government of the world and ordering of the whole creation are overlooked because of their constancy.… Because of this, God has reserved for himself acts that are above and beyond the established course and order of nature that he does at suitable times. He does this so that those who overlooked the daily course of nature might be roused to wonder by the sight of what was different from—though not at all greater than—what they were used to. The government of the world is certainly a greater miracle than satisfying the hunger of five thousand with five loaves; and yet no one wonders at this. The miracle excited wonder, not from any real superiority in it but because it was rare.… But it would be wrong to gather no more than this from Christ’s miracles.… Let us understand that the Lord on the mount is the Word on high.… He saw the multitude and knew they were hungry, and so he mercifully fed them not only in virtue of his goodness but also of his power. For what could mere goodness do when there was not even enough bread to feed the hungry crowd? If power had not accompanied goodness, the crowd would have remained fasting and hungry. In short, the disciples, hungry themselves, also wanted to feed the multitudes, but they did not have the wherewithal to feed them.” Augustine (354-430 AD)

Where do you need the feeding of Jesus? His power to still the storms of your life? What tests do you expect to encounter today?

Closing Prayer
Praise the LORD!
Sing to the LORD a new song,
AndHis praise in the assembly of saints.
Let Israel rejoice in their Maker;
Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
Let them praise His name with the dance;
Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp.
For the LORD takes pleasure in His people;
He will beautify the humble with salvation.
Let the saints be joyful in glory;
Let them sing aloud on their beds.
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth,
And a two-edged sword in their hand…

Psalm 149.1-6

Psalm 149 (Toulon: I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art)
Sing to the Lord a glorious song and new!
Praise Him you people, to Whom praise is due!
Let us rejoice, let us be glad in Him
Who has created us and cleansed our sin.

Praise Him with dance, with tambourine and lyre!
To be so praised is God’s one great desire.
Lord, beautify Your holy ones with grace;
Show us the mercy of Your saving face.

Sing to the Lord, exult with great delight!
Sing on your beds with joy to God by night!
Sing praise and take His Word into your hand;
Publish His grace and wrath in every land!

T. M. Moore

Visit The Ailbe Seminary, where our course, Introduction to Biblical Theology, can help you gain a better overall understanding of the focus, themes, narrative, flow, and application of God’s Word. Study at your own pace in this free, online course. For more information or to register, click here.

We are happy to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in our series on the Gospel of John by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series IV a and b: John, edited by Joel C. Elowsky, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006. Verse translation of John by T. M. Moore.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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