As I’ve mentioned before, we encourage a very quick and simple 2 stage approach to our Home Group Bible studies. We ask “What is going on?” and then “What does this mean for us?”
Here’s an example of such a Bible study
- What is going on?
- What happens
A feeding sign (v 1-14)
Large crowd -they are hungry
Testing Phillip -does he have faith in Jesus to provide
Andrew – a child’s lunchbox -he brings it but isn’t convinced
The crowd of over 5000 are sat down. Jesus prays, then the food is distributed. All are well fed.
12 baskets left over
The crowd say “He must be The Prophet”
A power over nature sign (v 15-21)
The disciples get in a boat to cross Lake Galilee
There is a great storm that blows up and the weather
Jesus is walking on the water towards them and they are afraid.
Jesus calls out to reassure them that it is him. He gets in the boat and they are immediately brought safe to shore
- Things to think about – further discussion/digging a little deeper
- Significant that it is near to the Passover
- A focus on Moses and the Exodus signs including manna from heaven
- Jesus will move to talk about himself as the “flesh and blood” they must eat – beginning to make an important link for John with the Passover Lamb
So, this is beginning to set us up for part 2 of the chapter -will look at in more detail next week
- Jesus as “The Prophet”
- -nb this is more than just a prophet. Jewish tradition that Deuteronomy when it talked about coming prophets had a specific eschatological prophet in mind. This is someone who would be in the mould of Moses and have a particular role in bringing God’s revelation (see Deuteronomy 18:18).
- Are they right to talk about Jesus as the prophet? -Yes he is The Prophet, Priest and King. Note this means he speaks God’s Word so we must listen to him. This is apologetically important e.g. with Islam. We cannot honour a prophet separate to their words. Jesus’ words about himself that he is the Christ and that he is The Son (see John 5) must be taken seriously
- They begin to recognise his Kingship but their understanding is faulty and they want to make him King by force.
- The disciples do not recognise Jesus at first when he walks towards them -power beyond their expectations that surprises them (seeing him as a ghost/spiritual being).
Overall theme -we have seen in chapter 5 that Jesus is the true son who does his father’s work this is accredited to by witnesses -specifically that a Trinitarian witness, the Father by sending him to do his work and the Spirit through the miracles. Jesus does not need Moses as witness because he is the one greater than Moses who is here. The miracles of crossing the Sea and feeing God’s people point to this
- What does this mean for us?
- What is our right response to Jesus?
- What stops us from recognising him at work and listening to him?