Lent Devotional March 30, 2017

Isaiah 25:1; John 1:1-2John 6:1-15
Today we journey to places where Jesus spent his life and focus on his teachings.  By this time, the temple leaders were beginning to take notice.  This was no mere upstart rabbi from the backwaters of Galilee.  As Jesus continued His ministry of healing and teaching, the miracles increased in size and complexity as if to reveal His power by degrees.
Jesus had been teaching throughout the region of Galilee when He decided to take His disciples away from the crowds to enjoy the solitude of the hill country of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus performed the miraculous feeding of the 5,000 near Bethsaida.

  (Adapted from The Way, inside cover; The Greatest Life of All, Jesus, p. 115)

Once this had transpired, Jesus made His way to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (which some these days call the Sea of Tiberias). As Jesus walked, a large crowd pursued Him hoping to see new signs and miracles; His healings of the sick and lame were garnering great attention. Jesus went up a mountain and found a place to sit down and teach. His disciples gathered around. The celebration of the Passover, one of the principal Jewish feasts, would take place soon. But when Jesus looked up, He could see an immense crowd coming toward Him. Jesus approached Philip.
Jesus: (to Philip): Where is a place to buy bread so these people may eat?
 6 Jesus knew what He was planning to do, but He asked Philip nonetheless. He had something to teach, and it started with a test.
Philip: I could work for more than half of a year and still not have the money to buy enough bread to give each person a very small piece.
 Andrew, the disciple who was Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up.
Andrew: I met a young boy in the crowd carrying five barley loaves and two fish, but that is practically useless in feeding a crowd this large.
Jesus: 10 Tell the people to sit down.
They all sat together on a large grassy area. Those counting the people reported approximately 5,000 men—not including the women and children—sitting in the crowd. 11 Jesus picked up the bread, gave thanks to God, and passed it to everyone. He repeated this ritual with the fish. Men, women, and children all ate until their hearts were content. 12 When the people had all they could eat, He told the disciples to gather the leftovers.
Jesus: Go and collect the leftovers, so we are not wasteful.
13 They filled 12 baskets with fragments of the five barley loaves. 14 After witnessing this sign that Jesus did, the people stirred in conversation.
Crowd:  This man must be the Prophet God said was coming into the world.
15 Jesus sensed the people were planning to mount a revolution against Israel’s Roman occupiers and make Him king, so He withdrew farther up the mountain by Himself. 

John 6:1-15 (The Voice)

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