[SW282] 05/12/2017 message notes by
Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017
“Jesus, Tester of Faith”
Text: John 6:1-21
Why does Jesus test your faith? To remove your “CAN’T!” He wants you to see that He is God the Son, with no doubt remaining. He wants you to see your lack, like I did, and then see His power!
He showed me there are three tests in this passage.
Verses 1-2 — The crowd follows because they want to see more signs and wonders. He will test their faith, later in Chapter 6. Jesus goes up on a mountain and sits down with His disciples. This is a teaching posture. He is about to teach them something!
TEST #1 —
Verses 3-5 — Jesus views the large crowd coming to Him. “Philip, where shall we BUY bread, so they may eat?”
Verse 6 — Thus He was saying to TEST Philip. He already knows Philip’s heart (John 2:25, Hebrews 4:13) , but Jesus wants Philip and the others to know their own heart. He shows Philip and the others, by testing them.
Verse 7 — Philip responds in the natural. It would cost over 200 days’ wages, and then it wouldn’t be sufficient for them. It CAN’T be done!
Philip did not remember the Lord’s prophecy and promise through Isaiah, a promise dependent on repentance —
Isaiah 55:1 “Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters;
And you who have no money come, buy and eat.
Come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without cost.”
Verse 8-9 — Andrew also responds in the natural. This boy has five loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people? It CAN’T be done.
He did not remember Elisha —
2Kings 4:42 Now a man came from Baal-shalishah, and brought the man of God bread of the first fruits, twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. And he said, “Give them to the people that they may eat.” 43 His attendant said, “What, will I set this before a hundred men?” But he said, “Give them to the people that they may eat, for thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and have some left over.’”
Or the Lord’s word to Jeremiah — “Is anything too difficult for Me?” (See Jeremiah 32:27.)
Verse 10 — Have them sit down, Jesus says to the disciples. What? There are five thousand, plus women and children (Matthew 14:21)!
Verse 11 — Jesus takes the loaves, gives thanks, and distributes the loaves and fish via His disciples (see Matthew 14:19), AS MUCH AS THEY WANTED. There was just more and more, as He breaks them! He is creating them as He goes! Back and forth, back and forth go the disciples. They know Jesus is creating the food as they come to refill their baskets!
Verses 12-13 — They were FILLED. And there were leftovers! Twelve baskets full! PRAISE BREAK! He is the God of more than enough! Did they not remember the Israelites in the desert wanderings for 70 years? Food, water, all they needed, for approximately 1 million Jews. Even their sandals and clothes didn’t wear out (Deuteronomy 29:5)!
Verse 14 — The people say, “This is truly the Prophet,” per Deuteronomy 18:15. Just as Moses provided manna (with which they made bread) in the desert, so would the prophet Moses said was coming. And Jesus had given them bread.
They still have no idea that Jesus is the Christ, as we will see next time, when we learn why they were seeking Him! PREVIEW — Verse 26!
TEST #2 —
Verse 15 — Jesus goes up to the mountain, alone. He knows the people are looking for a natural king, and are about to force Him into it. Matthew records that Jesus tells His disciples to go on ahead of Him in a boat. He will come later.
Verse 16-18 — These, who are mostly experienced fishermen are on the sea, in a boat, in the dark, headed for Capernaum, Jesus’ “base camp.” Jesus has not yet come to them. The wind comes up, and with it, high waves!
Verse 19 — They keep on rowing for 3-4 miles, then see Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat. Fear! Is it a ghost? (See Matthew 14:26.) No MAN can walk on the water! It CAN’T be done.
Verse 20 — I AM! Ego eimi, in the original Greek! I am the I AM who spoke to Moses from the burning bush (see Exodus 3:14)! I AM and always have been and always will be! I AM God the Son! Stop being afraid! Let ME remove your CAN’T!
He will put you to the test, you will be afraid, but He does it so He can remove YOUR CAN’T!
Verse 21 — They receive Him into the boat, and IMMEDIATELY they reach their destination. The boat is at the shore of Capernaum. Once He removes your CAN’T, things happen IMMEDIATELY! YOU REACH YOUR DESTINATION! PRAISE BREAK!
TEST #3 —
Verses 22-24 — The crowd knows Jesus didn’t go with the disciples in their boat. There is no other boat there except one that is empty, and it is on the side of the sea of Galilee where Jesus was nowhere to be seen. Others come, in small boats. The whole crowd sees Jesus is not there, so they come to Capernaum, seeking Him. (For what? We will learn next time!).
“Rabbi, when did you get here?” (You had no boat! It CAN’T be done!)
Do you see it? Philip said they didn’t have enough money to feed 5,000 plus women and children. Andrew said five loaves and two fish would never be enough. Jesus provided so much that they were all FULL and there were LEFTOVERS.
This should have given the disciples greater faith, but in Matthew 16:5, they have forgotten their lesson! But when they are baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit, they will remember and believe Him, whatever He says to them!
This was my CAN’T — Healing is not “for today.” I was sure of it. I CAN’T be cured of the incurable disease called MS. It CAN’T be done.
What is this vision Pastor Doc has had, though?
It CAN’T be done, say my fellow Christians. Don’t listen to Pastor Doc! He’s giving you false hope! What will you do when you fall back into MS? What will happen to your faith THEN? It CAN’T be done.
But there was that vision, and I thought, “Could it be?” I pursued Jesus, and He caught me and healed me IMMEDIATELY and completely, almost 16 years ago!
But I knew I needed power to give testimony of what He had done. For two months, I prayed, “I CAN’T, but You CAN, Lord!” And He answered, suddenly, IMMEDIATELY, when Jennie and I prayed for me to be baptized in the Holy Spirit!
And later . . .
Jeff’s badly damaged heart can’t be repaired, the doctors say. It CAN’T be done. “He had a widow-maker. He’ll need a defibrillator. It is very possible his heart will stop and he will just up and die, suddenly.”
But Jeff’s CAN’T and my CAN’T have been taken away through my testing.
“Jesus, we are looking at you, and not the circumstances,” I cried to the Lord, as Jeff went gray and began to pass out. It was a massive heart attack!
Jeff was at peace. It’s better to be with You, Lord, but if you want me here, You’ll do it. No CAN’T in Jeff!
Then came Romans 8:11! A word! Life for Jeff’s heart muscle by the Spirit who is within him! I clung to Jesus for all I was worth! HE CAN! HE CAN!
I kept hearing the bad reports. “Lord, should I have brought him to the ER, or kept him at home and prayed? Will he be a cardiac cripple, as the doctors say?”
But I kept clinging to Jesus!
Then — THE “CAN!” The Lord said, “Go, take your guitar and music, and worship with Jeff in his hospital room.” I obey. I know it is the Lord! IMMEDIATELY, Jeff is healed.
Was it easy to walk through? No! Had He removed my “CAN’T?” YES!!!
Jesus gave me a CAN! He increased Jeff’s and my faith when I went through my MS test — do you believe the vision? AND He filled Jeff and me with Him, so now we have His faith in us, a fruit of His Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). He was our ever-present help in time of need, in the heart attack test.
What are your “CAN’Ts?”
Is it, “I CAN’T be healed?”
IMMEDIATELY, He will do it, regardless of what the doctors or your fellow Christians say!
Is it, “I CAN’T get to my destination, Lord?”
IMMEDIATELY, He will bring you to Himself, when you stop trying to do it in your own strength! That is your true destination, beloved!
Is it, “I CAN’T stop sinning, and my sin has wrecked my life?”
IMMEDIATELY, He will set you free from slavery to sin, when you are baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire! IMMEDIATELY, He will purify your heart! And He will restore what the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25)!
You are in a test. Ask Jesus to remove your CAN’T. He will!