Blog Archive

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Failing a Miracle

And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.
~ John 6:11 (NKJV)

This miracle—of Jesus multiplying five barley loaves and two fish to feed 5,000 men—is one of the few events in Jesus' life which are depicted by all four Gospels.

Each account begins by highlighting a different aspect of the miracle's context. Matthew, Mark and Luke also depict the disciples pointing out to Jesus the problem of feeding a large crowd late in the day, in a deserted place where provisions are unavailable. John gives us a fuller perspective—the disciples were responding to a test:

Jesus said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?" But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.
~ John 6:5-6 (NKJV)

As a demonstration of Jesus' power as Son of God, all four Gospels show the miracle as a huge success. But John also shows us that for many of Jesus' disciples—people who had indicated their commitment to follow in His footsteps—the miracle results in a dramatic "FAIL":

From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.
~ John 6:66 (NKJV)

Determining the measure of our belief or identity of His true disciples is never something God proves to Himself, since He already sees a person's heart (verse 64). God's tests serve to continually show us where we do not believe, and then asks if we will persist in unbelief, or will now choose to believe and follow.

Failure lies not in recognizing our lack of faith, but in what we do with that knowledge. Many disciples turn back. Others choose to take a new step of faith:

Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?" But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
~ John 6:67-69 (NKJV)

Comments are welcome and will receive a reply.
You may also contact author via Twitter – @anne4JC
or e-mail – buildingHisbody [plus]
Copyright 2011, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.


  1. I am so glad that you are part of the world, love you.

  2. Anne: I have always thought that was one of the saddest verses in Scripture. I think of the times I have turned away from Him too...beautiful post. Thank you for your insights into Scripture, I always get fed here! Lori

  3. isn't the placement of that verse a sign & wonder? 6:66.

    Jesus, saying "you followed Me just because you ate the bread." Always makes me cringe and then stand in awe at His great love. Knowing our hearts He still loves, still died, still lives. Thanks Anne.

  4. Denise, I can't imagine a world without your sunshine, love and prayers. ♥

  5. Lori, I agree about the sadness in that verse, and verses like it:

    And that servant who knew his master's will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. (Luke 12:47)


    For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.
    (2 Peter 2:21)

    Although the Holy Spirit is the One to convict, we have our role as well. I believe we have an obligation to not only share the Gospel with those we know to be unbelievers, but also to continually build up in faith those who seem to be believers, who may still have a few gaps in faith. Indeed, even confirmed believers can have moments of turning back, and every one of us needs one another, to lift up and be lifted up.

  6. Yes, Doug, the number is ironic, as is Isaiah 66:6 ~

    The sound of noise from the city!
    A voice from the temple!
    The voice of the LORD,
    Who fully repays His enemies!

    I've never quite gotten over the fact that I am one He counts as friend. Awe ... no other word for it.

  7. I really appreciate the way the Lord has been working in my life lately, constantly increasing my faith and enabling me to better trust in Him. I am trying so hard to "choose to take a new step of faith" each day. No matter where I stand today, I still ask God to continually increase my faith in I might be ashamed if it was truly measured.

  8. Mary, any one of us MIGHT be ashamed if our faith was measured. But then again, I think people like you may also be inspiration for angels, who see rather than live by faith.


Your comments are appreciated and you can expect a reply. If Blogger doesn't accept your comment, or if you prefer
another method, I hope you'll respond via Twitter or email
(see sidebar icons or the "Contact Me" tab, above).

(Comments to older posts and will appear after approval.)