The Greater Prophet
“12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
14 After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.” John 6:12-15 NIV
Today’s devotion will be heavy in Scripture as this section in John has heavy references to the Old Testament. In the book of John, there is much talk of the signs Jesus performed. In order to understand the signs it’s important to understand the context that Jesus was in. We’ll learn from this passage that Jesus is the Greater Prophet.
In Exodus 16:16, when God’s people were in the wilderness and God fed them with the manna from Heaven, Moses’ commanded them to gather together the manna to eat, and that no one was to keep any of it until morning.
“16 This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.’”
17 The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. 18 And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.
19 Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.”” Exodus 16:16-19 NIV
1 – Jesus succeeded where Moses failed.
In Exodus 16:19-20, we see that the people didn’t listen to Moses. They failed to and did not gather the manna as they were instructed and left part of it until morning when it was full of maggots and because foul.
“20 However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.
21 Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. 22 On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much—two omers[b] for each person—and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. 23 He said to them, “This is what the Lord commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of sabbath rest, a holy sabbath to the Lord. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’” Exodus 16:19-23 NIV
Now we fast forward to John 6:12-13. Jesus’ disciples DO gather the Messianic quantities of bread in verse 13.
“12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.” John 6:12-13 NIV
Here’s the point. Jesus succeeded where Moses failed. When it came to Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand, here’s what the people saw.
2 – The feeding of the five thousand was a sign where Jesus revealed Himself as the greater Prophet Moses spoke of in Deuteronomy.
In Deuteronomy 18, Moses prophesied that a prophet would come was like him, but greater than him. In John, Jesus feeding of the five thousand was never stated to be a miracle. It was a sign.
A miracle is the supernatural intervention of God in the natural world.
A sign is something that points to something and identifies it.
Those who witnessed this sign of Jesus multiplying the bread and fish surely thought Jesus was an indicator pointing to Jesus as the prophet of whom Moses spoke.
“15 The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. 16 For this is what you asked of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the Lord our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.”
17 The Lord said to me: “What they say is good. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. 19 I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name. 20 But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.”
21 You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?” 22 If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.” Deuteronomy 18:15-22 NIV
In John 6, Jesus was revealing that He is the prophet Moses spoke of. The people saw that Jesus succeeded where Moses failed. As a result they wanted to make him their king to liberate them from Roman rule.
This is an example of how grace abounds were the law failed. This is the sign. Jesus is greater than Moses. Jesus is Messiah. Jesus is Lord. Jesus is the King of Kings.
Lord Jesus thank You for the signs that point to You as Messiah. In the name of the greater prophet Jesus Christ, amen.
Ty Tamasaka is an author who hold a Master of Arts Degree from Pacific Rim Christian University in Christian Ministry He is a Bible teacher who loves to encourage people to enjoy Jesus’ grace and extend His Kingdom. Ty just released his new book More than a Conqueror: 5 Pathways to Personal Revival.