1 After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. 2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased. 3 And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. 4 And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh. 5 When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? 6 And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.
The Doctrine of Miracles: “[A miracle] shows the intervention of a power that is not limited by the laws either of matter or of mind, a power interrupting the fixed laws which govern their movements, a supernatural power.
In the New Testament there are four Greek words principally used to designate miracles:
(1) Semeion, a “sign”, i.e., an evidence of a divine commission; an attestation of a divine message (Matt 12:38,39; 16:1,4; Mark 8:11; Luke 11:16; 23:8; John 2:11,18,23; Acts 6:8, etc.); a token of the presence and working of God; the seal of a higher power. (2) Terata, “wonders;” wonder-causing events; portents; producing astonishment in the beholder (Acts 2:19). (3) Dunameis, “mighty works;” works of superhuman power (Acts 2:22; Rom 15:19; 2 Thess 2:9); of a new and higher power. (4) Erga, “works;” the works of Him who is “wonderful in working” (John 5:20,36).”
(Easton’s Bible Dictionary)
What we can learn from this passage about miracles is: a) a great multitude followed Jesus because of the miracles they had witnessed (2); b) miracles were used to teach His disciples (6); c) when there was a large audience, it was a prime time for a miracle (5).
7 Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him, 9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? 10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. 12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. 13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. 14 Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.
The Doctrine of Money: ‘Pennyworth’ was how much a penny was worth, or would buy. A ‘penny’ (denari) was the amount of money given for a typical day’s wage; 200 pennyworth might translate to about $20,000 today ($100 x 200). That might buy a lot of bread… Though, their economy might have been a lot different than ours today. They were feeding 5000+ people. Also, even if it were enough money, they were not any where near a ‘store’.
The Doctrine of Miracles: His disciples didn’t yet have the right amount of faith that Jesus was desiring for them. Didn’t it enter their mind that God could take those few loaves and fishes and feed everybody?… no. When Jesus performed miracles He wanted it done decently and in order (sit down; distributed in an orderly fashion). If they weren’t sitting they might be likely to run towards Jesus as the miracle was occurring. Today’s so-called ‘miracles’ are anything but orderly and calm. He gave thanks for the food (11); for the miracle that was to be performed; thus, give thanks ahead of time…expect the miracle! The miracle fed the crowd until they were all totally full (11); it wasn’t just enough to curb their hunger till they could get home. In fact, there was even an abundance left over; this teaches on how when God blesses, it is beyond what we would expect or even ask for. The 12 baskets might be corresponding to a basket per disciple. A standard meal back then was bread and fish. This miracle caused the 5000 men to believe that Jesus was that ‘Prophet’ that Moses spoke of (Deut 18:15). Jesus’ miracles were used to cause people to believe that He was the Christ, Messiah.
People today have some strange views on miracles:
From AingLKiss.com (some ‘real-live’ modern day miracles???)
I’m a mother of two young children, a 9yr old and an 18 month old. My husband had taken my 9yr old son on a weekend fishing trip and I was home with my 18 month old baby boy. My son had woken up early, it was about 5am and I was snuggling with him in bed. It was a great feeling (mother to baby) and I said out loud – Thank you god for this wonderful baby, at that moment my lights in my bedroom turned all the way off then all the way on, then all the way off again and all the way on, I got scared and rose up out of bed and it stopped. My fear subsided because I sensed that it was a good thing. I now realize that it was a sign from god
It was a few days after my mom died in 1998. She was only 62 she years old. She died from throat cancer.
My husband and daughter wanted to take me out for something to eat. I was depressed and I didn’t want to leave the house. My husband keep on insisting on me to go. After a while later I agreed.
When we were standing in line at the chine’s restaurant, my daughter said mommy look there’s a penny. I said look there’s another one and than another. Moments later when we sat down at he table we opened our fortune cookie, the cookie said “a penny from heaven is knocking at your door” I knew at that moment it was my mommy. Thank you God for that peace!
15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone. 16 And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea, 17 And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. 18 And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. 19 So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. 20 But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. 21 Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.
The Doctrine of Miracles: The companion passage to this states:
Mark 6:49 But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: 50 For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. 51 And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. 52 For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.
They had rowed about 3.5 miles or so (a furlong = 600 ft); it was night; it was getting stormy; and then they see what looks like a spirit walking on the water (why would they think it was a ‘spirit’; did they have superstitions back then?). Miracles can catch one off guard; they can even scare some. Once they had faith that it was Jesus (performing an amazing miracle) they received him into the ship and then another miracle is done; the ship immediately lands on shore. People can have hard hearts and not consider/remember God’s miracles that He has done for them.
22 The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one whereinto his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone; 23 (Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks:) 24 When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. 25 And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither? 26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. 27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
The Doctrine of Miracles: Is it reasonable to seek after God when one witnesses a true miracle? I believe it is. Though, Jesus wasn’t too impressed with this reasoning –
John 4:48 Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.
Luke 11:29 …This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.
It wasn’t the miracles, per se, but what they got from the miracles that these people were after. They were seeking fleshly gain from it; they wanted another ‘free meal’.
The Doctrine of Christ: Here He is referred to as ‘Rabbi’; “a term used by the Jews of their religious teachers as a title of respect” (ISBE); similar to the word ‘Master’. He is known as the ‘Son of man’; probably Jesus’ favorite title, for He uses it of Himself the most.
“To seal is to confirm or approve as ours. So God the Father, by the miracles which had been performed by Jesus, had shown that he had sent him, that he approved his doctrines, and ratified his works.” (Barnes’ Notes)
Acts 2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: