John 6:4-5 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a multitude was coming to him, Jesus said to Philip, "How are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?"
In the game show Jeopardy, the answer is, What is the question? Often in life, the question is more important that the answer. You see the questions we ask, shape what we see. If I ask Ė say did you see the sign? Someone might say, yes Ė and thatís all. If I ask Ė what did the sign say? Then I might get a better answer. In our text, the crowd sees the sign, but I donít think they quite see, what it says.
Hereís what I see.
Jesus is outside the promised land in the wilderness.
There is a great multitude following who will soon be hungry.
There is nothing at hand that will meet the need.
The Passover is near.
So, how do you read the sign?
Here is one script Ė Deuteronomy 18:15
"The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brethren - him you shall heed."
The question then, is how is Jesus like Moses? And the bigger question is, if Jesus is like Moses, could it be that Jesus is the promised Messiah?
If you feed the hungry in the wilderness, will you not also bring the people out of captivity and into the promised land?
And the people see enough that they can say Ė This surely is the prophet, who has come into the world!
Sometimes we donít even see that much. Perhaps because we get mired in the details Ė and we look at 5 barley loaves and 3 small fish. Or we consider 12 baskets of fragments left over. Or we wonder where 5000 would gather so that Jesus could speak to them, without an amplifier. Or perhaps its wondering just how many people were there Ė for 5000 is the number of the men, but we suspect there were women and children too. Its not that the sign isnít there, we just didnít know how to read it.
You see, if you donít see your sins, you donít see a need for a savior. And if you donít see a prophet, you donít listen to his message.
What is the message? Take eat, this is the true body of your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ given unto death, for the forgiveness of your sins. Itís a sign, that this is what it points to.
For in the body and blood of Jesus, given for us, we have the forgiveness of sins, peace with God and everlasting life. Jesus is leading us to the promised land. And Jesus will bring us safely there.