Year B – Proper 12 – John 6:1-21

After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand.  Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?”  He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do.  Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.”  One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?”  Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number.  Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted.  And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples,“Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!”  Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.  When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea,  got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing.  When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened.   But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.”   Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.

Summary – In these two well-known stories, Jesus demonstrates His authority over creation.  A lot of the populated places were near the coast of the Sea of Galilee, and was divided up into various precincts under different lords in the Roman Empire.  Thus, saying they “went to the other side” of the Sea doesn’t necessarily mean a strict crossing of the diameter of the lake, but a crossing of the border into the next precinct.  Jesus also demonstrates His purpose for His Kingdom:  He wasn’t going to be made king by human hands, but by His Passion and Ascension to the right hand of the Father.

Insight – Did you ever wish you could change something that happened in the world?  That you could stop some event from happening or make the world good by doing something?  People in Jesus’ time wanted to overthrow Roman rule and set Jesus up as their king forcefully.  But Jesus instead, “withdrew to the mountain by himself.”  Here we see that no matter how hard we try, it is not our work that will bring Christ’s Kingdom on earth!  We can’t make it happen on our own.  We must faithfully pray, “Thy Kingdom come,” with a mind that Christ will indeed subdue all His enemies on His own time and will use us.  But it’s His plan and His work, not ours.

Child Catechism – Who is King of the World?  Jesus Christ.

Discussion – Wouldn’t it have been easier for Jesus to just become a human king?

Prayer – Thank you Lord that in your perfect plan, you have chosen to reign over the world and submit it to your lordship.  Use us as vessels for your Kingdom and may your kingdom come in this world.  Keep us from trying to do your job for you.  In Christ’s name, Amen.

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