“They Saw the Signs”
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“They Saw the Signs”

John 6:1–15  (ID: 3623)

During His earthly ministry, Jesus performed numerous signs, including feeding thousands of people by miraculously multiplying five loaves and two fish. Many who witnessed this miracle were fascinated, followed Christ, and yet remained unchanged, because they were more focused on the miracle than on what it signified. Others took offense at His words and walked away. As Alistair Begg explains, however, signs like this help us understand who Jesus is—the very Bread of Life Himself, God incarnate—and what He’s done so that by believing we will have eternal life.

Series Containing This Sermon

“Truly, Truly, I Say to You…”

Twenty-Five Divine Declarations from John’s Gospel John 1:1–21:25 Series ID: 29001

Sermon Transcript: Print

I invite you to turn to the Gospel of John and to chapter 6 and to follow along as I read the first fifteen verses. John 6:1:

“After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, ‘Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?’ He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, ‘Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.’ One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, ‘There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?’ Jesus said, ‘Have the people sit down.’ Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, ‘Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.’ So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, ‘This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!’

“Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.”


Father, thank you that you have revealed yourself to us. Thank you that you have given us our Bibles in our own tongue. Thank you that we are able to read them and learn of you and learn to trust in you. We pray that the work of the Holy Spirit at this moment and in our lives may be all that you have purposed for it to be and that our lives might be brought into conformity with your truth and with the image of your Son, in whose name we pray. Amen.

Please be seated.

Well, let me invite you again to turn to John chapter 6. We a few weeks ago began to chart our course through John’s Gospel by paying particular attention to the occasions when Jesus introduces a statement with the two words “Truly, truly,” or, in the King James Version, as some of us grew up learning them, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee.” It’s not that any of the other words that are not introduced in that way are any less significant, but it is simply that Jesus is drawing very careful attention to what he’s about to say. And we saw that in chapter 1, where he says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man”;[1] and then, in chapter 3, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God”;[2] on the last occasion, in 5:25, “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.” And now we come to chapter 6. And in chapter 6 there are four “Truly, truly” statements. And the one that I’m going to focus on, that I think demands our attention, is found in verse 53: “So Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.’”

Now, what we’ve said about each of these statements is that if we’re going to understand them, it is absolutely vital that we have an understanding of what both precedes the statement and what follows the statement. And we’ve tried to do that so far. In relationship to this particular statement in verse 53, all of us, I think, are aware of the fact that it is one of the most misunderstood and misapplied statements made by Jesus in all of the Gospels. And therefore, I decided that since it is set in this large surrounding section, that instead of descending, as it were, from above and dropping into verse 53, and in relationship to what we’ve said about the importance of what precedes it and follows it, I’ve decided that we should expound the entire chapter.

It is a very significant chapter. It’s the longest chapter in John’s Gospel. It’s actually the longest chapter in the New Testament. And it is a chapter that proves to be a turning point in many ways as Jesus goes through this material. And towards the end of the chapter, as we’ll see, the people who are listening to him, his disciples, say to him, “You know, these things that you’re saying, this is a very hard thing that you’re saying.” And Jesus says, “Well, if you take offense at this, what do you want me to say?”[3] And then John records—verse 66—“After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.” That’s how crucial it was. That’s how big of a crossroads it actually proved to be. So I hope you don’t mind that I’m somehow or another violating the plan. I’m not. Actually, I’m trying to do a better job of it. And so this morning we will look just at the first fifteen verses, which are very familiar verses. And, God willing, this evening, then, we will look at verses 16 through 21.

In these first fifteen verses, of course, we have another one of these signs. It’s very important that we have as a control in all of our reading of John’s Gospel what we have said previously, and that is that John 20:31 leaves us in no doubt about what John is doing in providing us with this Gospel. He’s saying that Jesus did more signs than are actually recorded in his Gospel, but all that he has recorded have been recorded in order that those who read of this might “believe that Jesus is the Christ … and that by believing” they might “have life in his name.” So the signs, when we come on them, we have to keep in mind always: the reason this sign is here is in order that we might understand who Jesus is and what Jesus has done.

The Miracle

Now, of course, what we have is this miracle—this amazing miracle of the feeding of the five thousand. Interestingly, it is the only miracle, apart from the resurrection, that is found in each of the four Gospels. And so each of them decided, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, that it was important that they would have a record of this.

Now, let’s just look at it. And you see, first of all, we discover where this is taking place: “Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias.” There he is, in what is today the Golan Heights. As you watch your news at the moment and you find those maps appearing there, you can remember that this is actually where Jesus was engaging with his disciples and, in this particular occasion, on this section of the land. That’s where they are.

Who’s there? Verse 2: “a large crowd was following him.” And the reason they were following him is “because they saw the signs.” Particularly, “they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick.” Now, that man who had been raised after being paralyzed for thirty-eight years was surely a significant figure in the community. And anyone that looked at him and said, “Didn’t you always lie there?”—and he said, “Yes, I did, until I met that man.” “What man is that?” “Well, I didn’t know him at first, but I know that it is Jesus of Nazareth.” People said, “There’s something about this man.”

And so, there they are, the large crowd. And along with the large crowd, in verse 3, Jesus had gone up onto the mountain, to a vantage point, and “there he sat down with his disciples.” So where are they? On the side of the Sea of Galilee. Who’s there? The crowd, Jesus, and the disciples. And when was this taking place? Well, you have a little footnote there, don’t you, in verse 4? “Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand”—an annual recollection of God’s amazing intervention in terms of the people of God in the Old Testament. And John tells us that that was in the proximity of what was taking place here in chronological terms and gives to us a hint of the kind of enthusiasm, the kind of expectation, the kind of mentality that would have been in the minds of those who had come to follow Jesus.

The feast of the Passover, you remember, celebrated the exodus. The exodus took place when a lamb was slaughtered and the blood was sprinkled, and then the lamb was eaten. They all knew that. They also knew that when they stepped out and were in the wilderness with Moses, then there was manna that was provided. And we have already been introduced at the very beginning of John’s Gospel to the one who is “the Lamb of God.”[4]

And so, the people’s minds would be focused in some measure on, if you like, Moses and on manna. And I think it’s very clear that Jesus, recognizing all the context in which he finds himself, is then able to explain with great clarity about the bread that came down from heaven. He’s going to tell them later on—I find it hard not to jump ahead—he’s going to say to them later on, you know, “It wasn’t Moses who gave you the bread from heaven. It was my Father that gave you the bread from heaven. You’re looking at the wrong place if you look at Moses. Moses is a forerunner of me.”[5] Anyway, there we have it.

In verse 5, he has a question for Philip: “Lifting up his eyes … and seeing … a large crowd … coming toward[s] him, Jesus said to Philip, ‘Where are we to buy bread, so that these people [can] eat?’” Well, it would seem understandable that he would address this question to Philip, because Philip, we already were introduced to him as coming from Bethsaida, in 1:44. In other words, he was from this area. And so he says, “Is there a place around here that it would be good to get the food?”

Now, we’re told that it was a test. There you see it in the text: “He said this to test him”—verse 6. Jesus knew what he was going to do. But Philip comes back and answers very straightforwardly—you might almost say with a measure of sarcasm: “You know, if you had eight months’ wages,” he says, “if you had eight months’ wages, you couldn’t get enough food to feed this crowd, except they only got one bite each.” That’s how dramatic the circumstances are.

And then, in verse 8, you have the intervention of one of his disciples, Andrew. We’ve already met Andrew. Andrew seems to be good at bringing people places. Remember that he met Jesus, and then we’re told that he went and found his brother Peter, and he brought him to Jesus.[6] So maybe his personality is such that he just picks up people as he’s moving around. Anyway, for some reason he had fastened on to the fact that there was “a boy here”—verse 9—“who has five barley loaves and two fish.” But, he says, that clearly is not going to cut it. That’s a drop in the bucket for a crowd like this.

Our presuppositions are immediately and radically altered by a discovery of who Jesus is.

So, a question for Philip; an intervention by Andrew; and the direction, then, from Jesus: “Jesus said, ‘Have the people sit down.’” “Please be seated.” There was a lot of grass in the area, “so the men sat down, about five thousand in number.”

Incidentally, the way they counted at this time in terms of men, it’s more than likely that those men represented heads of families. So that would then mean that you’re looking at a crowd of potentially between fifteen and twenty thousand people, depending on how many people were in your family. You can double it with a wife, and then you can multiply it in terms of children. So it’s quite a challenge, I think, that is entrusted to the disciples to have the people sit down.

Can you imagine it taking place, a huge crowd like this—people towards the end of the day, hungry children in the usual posture of children, and people saying, “Where is Mary?” and so on? And in the midst of all of that, now the disciples started to move among the crowd, and they said, “Jesus would like you to sit down, please. Could you please take a seat?” Can you imagine somebody saying, “I don’t want a seat. I want a sandwich! I mean, what is… No! No.” But anyway: “Please be seated.” And then maybe Andrew says, “And hey, son, I think you should stay close. You may… Your lunch somehow or another may actually prove to be important here.” And the people sitting down, saying, “Why are we sitting?” Someone says, “I don’t know. Wait and see.”

Verse 11: “For what we are about to receive,” says Jesus, “may the Lord make us truly thankful.” Perhaps he prayed, “We thank you for this food and for those who prepared it”—namely, one little boy’s mother, at the moment, presumably. He gave thanks, and then he distributed it, and then it multiplied, and in that process of multiplication there was the participation of all who were present. Because this is actually a different miracle from the miracle at Cana. The miracle at Cana, remember, Jesus’ mother comes to him and says, “They have no wine.”[7] “They have no wine.” That was a miracle of transformation, where he transforms water into wine. Here there is food—a tiny amount of food. It doesn’t need to be transformed. It needs to be multiplied.

And I take it… One of the questions when you read a passage like this is “Well, how did this take place? How did that happen? When did it happen?”—if your mind goes in that direction. You think about it in relationship to Cana: At what point did the water actually become wine? It’s a kind of futile exercise, because there is no answer to it. But as I thought about it: if the multiplication only took place in the hands of Jesus and there were twenty thousand people there, the person who was twenty-thousandth on the list of waiting would be there till well past midnight, because it was only going to take place when Jesus had it in his hands. So I assume that the multiplication was taking place miraculously as people passed the material from one to another. It’s not that God is doing a trick, like sending stuff down or showing that it’s hanging on trees. No, he’s working in the natural in a way that is phenomenally supernatural. And if you think about it, we would be surprised if that were not the case.

Notice what we’re told: so they all sat down, and when they had eaten their fill and when they had enjoyed as much as they wanted, Jesus said, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” I’d like to have been present to hear the conversation between the disciples from the initial question: “Do you know anywhere that we could get food for this crowd?” “No, that’s not a possibility. We do have a boy. He’s got a small thing here.” Well…

And then they’re walking around at the end of the day, picking up the leftovers—enough to fill twelve baskets. They didn’t know that Paul, when he wrote to the Ephesians, would end chapter 3 by saying, “Now unto him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we could ask or even imagine…”[8] What an amazing miracle this is!

That’s the miracle. Two questions: What does it mean? And why does it matter?

What Does This Miracle Mean?

What does it mean? Well, essentially it means this: that the sign of the bread Jesus multiplied was intended to point to the one who performed the miracle. The sign of the multiplication was, as with all the other signs, intended to point to Jesus himself. It means that, then, we are confronted with the generosity and with the authority of Jesus.

Now, let’s just stop there for a moment and acknowledge the fact that there will be some within earshot of me now who are saying, “Well, I can’t believe this stuff. I came here to Parkside Church. I thought it was a fairly sensible group. But now you’re actually telling me, apparently, that you and perhaps others that are around me here really do believe in miracles. Actually you believe in these miracles.” And the answer to that is a wholehearted yes. It is inescapable—unless you want to become a liberal Christian; unless you want to become a person that doesn’t actually believe the Bible; unless you want to decide that you believe the parts you like, and you disbelieve the parts you don’t like, and anything that stretches means you leave it aside.

First of all, our presuppositions are immediately and radically altered by a discovery of who Jesus is—that the philosophy that underpins the naturalism of man stands back from this and says, “It cannot be.” And that is where many of us actually started our lives, until one day, in a miraculous encounter—a John chapter 3 encounter—we were born again. We were born again. And something happened to us that changed not only our relationship with God but changed our mentality on things and convinced us of things that otherwise we would have been unconvinced of. We began to read John 1, and we discovered what John is saying: that “all things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that [has been] made.”[9] That’s the starting point.

So, the creator of the universe is introduced to us in the prologue of John’s Gospel. The creator of the universe now steps down into our neighborhood, steps down into time. It would be very surprising if the creator of the universe, then, who established the laws of nature, would not be able to interact with them. Having created them, he can also do what he likes with them. We might say so.

The miracles of Jesus are about the disclosure of his identity.

Now, C. S. Lewis says much along the same lines when he writes this way in God in the Dock:

The Christian story is … of one grand miracle, the Christian assertion being that what is beyond all space and time, what is uncreated, eternal, came into … human nature, descended into His own universe, and rose again, bringing nature up with Him. … If you take that away there is nothing specifically Christian left.[10]

Now, if you think about it: people who go to churches where the minister feels it is his obligation, in order to let them know that he is both very intelligent and so are they, that you can just pretty well dispense with this kind of stuff. It’s the kind of thing that you have in William Barclay’s commentaries, when we come to tonight. He cannot—Barclay cannot—accept what John says about Jesus walking on the water. He doesn’t want to, and therefore, he doesn’t. So he decides that the boat is not in the middle of the water; the boat is along the side. And when they found themselves immediately at the end, when you read the text, he says, “And that was just the sound of the boat hitting gravel on the edge, and they realized it all,”[11] as if to make it more amenable, more appealing.

No. Any narrative—any narrative—that we want to immediately discard as being unhistorical because it includes the miraculous challenges us at every point. Because, you see, the miracles are an indication of Jesus’ power over nature—his power over nature. His healing miracles: if you think about this idea that the sign points to the person, the man born blind is a dramatic display of the fact that Jesus is the Light of the World. The feeding of the five thousand is a dramatic indication that Jesus is the Bread of Life. There is actually no Christianity without supernaturalism at all. In fact, Christianity is the one religion that demands this, because it crumbles entirely without it. Think incarnation. Think resurrection. And it’s in that context that we find this.

Who else would we expect to be doing this other than the Creator? The miracles of Jesus, as we say, are about the disclosure of his identity. His identity. Because the question is: Who is Jesus? Who is Jesus? Is he just a guru? Is he just another man? Is he just another teacher? Somebody who hung around for a while and now is long gone? No, he’s not! The miracles are declaring that in the identity of Jesus you have the coming of the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God: all that is anticipated in the Old Testament, where the kings come, and they reign, and they fall apart, and they fail, and they go on to another king. All the way through, the longing is “There must be a king that is going to come who can do all the things that need to be done.”

And that’s why Jesus at the beginning of Mark’s Gospel, he stands forward, and he says, “The kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe … the [good news].”[12] And people say, “Well, how are we going to know the kingdom of God is at hand? Is it all dusted and finished?” No, but it’s in process. And how would we have indication of the fact that the King was present in his kingdom?

Well, that is the very question, of course, that John the Baptist was asking when they put him in prison. Don’t you find it fascinating that John the Baptist is the one who is able to say, “I’m not worthy to untie his shoelaces; I am just a finger pointing towards him: ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world’”?[13] And then, a few chapters later, he’s in the prison. And in the prison, he hears what Jesus is doing. And he says to himself, “He doesn’t seem to be doing what I said he was going to be doing.” You remember, he was very strong on “The fire is already kindled, and the ax is at the root of the tree.”[14] But he hears what Jesus is doing, and it doesn’t sound like there’s any fire burning, and there doesn’t seem to be an ax anywhere in sight.

And so he sends two of his disciples—this is so amazing!—two of his disciples: “Could you go and ask Jesus…”

“What do you want us to ask him?”

“Just ask him this: ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we be looking for somebody else?’”[15]

People always say, “Do you ever have doubts, Pastor?” Well, if John the Baptist can, maybe I can have a few as well. I don’t have any in my mind right now, but hey: “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” “Are you the one who is to come?”

And what is the reply that Jesus gives? He says, “Go and tell John what you hear and what you see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”[16] That’s a little “Hey, hey, John, in the jail. Hey, hey: blessed is the one who’s not offended by me. Are you actually offended by me, John?” And when you read on in this chapter, you will discover that that’s exactly what happens: they took offense at what he said.

So, here we have it: on this particular and unforgettable day, as the disciples gathered up the leftovers, Jesus has in this miracle provided a picture of what he came to do. And what he came to do was to provide men and women with food for our souls.

Now, what John makes clear is that the crowd saw the sign, but they failed to see what it signified. They saw the sign but failed to get the significance. Why do we say this? Well, because they were focused on the food. They were focused on the food. Jesus says to them, “You came looking for me not because you saw God in my actions but because I fed you. I filled your stomachs for free.”[17] That’s exactly what had happened to them: “Wow, this is magnificent! This is amazing!” Carson, in a wonderful sentence, says, “Their attention was focused on food (v. 26) and victory.” They said, “Let’s make him a king.” But of course, they have no idea of the kingship of Jesus, and he has to slip out. “… focused on food … and victory … not on the divine [disclosure] mediated through the incarnate Son, not on the Son as the bread of life, not on a realistic assessment of their own need.”[18] They were fascinated. They were followers. But they were unchanged.

Why Does This Miracle Matter?

That brings me to the final question: Why, then, does this even matter? Why does it matter? Well, it matters for a whole host of reasons, but at least for this: in this Jesus is saying that without him, without feeding on him, men and women starve eternally. Without feeding on Jesus, men and women starve eternally. That’s why you will notice, if your Bible is open (and we’ll go on to see this), he says to them—after he said, “You were only here because of the sandwiches”—“Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give … you. For on him,” on the Son of Man, “God the Father has set his seal.”[19] And they immediately say, “Well, what do you want us to do to be doing the works of God?” And he says, “The works of God are to believe on him whom he has sent.”[20]

Religious people always want to be told what to do: “What do I have to do to get in? What do I have to do to complete the project? What do I have to do to be acceptable?” And they’re asking the same thing. “Don’t work for the food that perishes.” This doesn’t mean “Don’t go to work.” But it means “Don’t establish your life, don’t establish your whole existence on the strength of the here and the now. Think about the food that endures to eternal life.”

Jesus is saying that without him, without feeding on him, men and women starve eternally.

It’s interesting, too, isn’t it, that Jesus is the Bread of Life? Jesus doesn’t say, “I am the guide to life,” nor does Jesus step forward and say, “Here are a few rules for your life.” No. And this is the first of the “I am” statements in the New Testament. No, he says, “I am the bread of life.”[21] In actual fact, he’s not simply saying, “This miracle points to me.” He’s actually saying, “I am the miracle. I am the miracle. You think that Moses gave you this stuff? No, God sent it down from heaven, and God has sent me down from heaven. That’s the miracle.”

The fact is that they saw the sign, but they never arrived at its destination. And that, of course, is true whenever the Word of Jesus is proclaimed. I said at the beginning that this chapter represents something of a crossroads. And we stand at a crossroads as well. Every time someone—whether it be myself or a friend or someone else, or one of my colleagues—is opening up the Bible and saying, “This is who Jesus is, and this is what he’s come to do,” it’s crossroads time. We stand at the crossroads.

You say, “Well, I like to come. It’s a relatively painless way to spend an hour, and I feel better about myself,” or whatever it is. “I like to hear these stories. I don’t have any real interest in turning my life upside down or having my life turned upside down or not.” And once again, today, some will turn back and no longer walk with him. I wonder what your response will be.

But let me end in this way: it matters. It matters not simply to the person who’s considering the claims of Christ, but it matters to those of us who claim to be followers of Christ. Because the question that Jesus put to Philip as a test remains, if you like, as a challenge to those of us who say that our stated purpose is to see unbelieving people become the committed followers of Jesus Christ. That’s actually what we’ve said is the purpose statement of our church. When you sign up, as Sue and I have done, and when you realign yourself with our commitment, you’re making a commitment to that. And Jesus looks at us, and he says, “Where will the people around here find the food that lasts to eternal life?” And we say, “Well, there’s no one place they could go, but we do have a small offering that we could put into the program.”

“Look at the huge crowd,” says Jesus. “How are you going to feed them?” In fact, in one of the other Gospels Jesus says to them, “You give them something to eat.”[22] “You give them something to eat.” To which the reply comes, “Well, what are we going to give them to eat?” Well, the only thing we can give them to eat is the Bread of Life. But how could you ever convince somebody of the benefits of the Bread of Life if you’ve never eaten it yourself? What a strange thing, to try and press the claims of Jesus upon other people when the claims of Jesus have never taken root in our own hearts!

It’s a challenge, too, to make sure that we don’t succumb to the temptation to invest our lives only for time but instead for eternity. As I sat at my desk during the week, I said to myself, “I wonder what was going on in the mind of Frances Ridley Havergal.” She was a very clever lady. She knew Hebrew. She knew Greek. She was a very talented musician. But she chose only to use her gift to the end that people might come to know and love and follow Jesus. And on one particular occasion, she has been in a house party with a few friends, and she has been greatly concerned that some of the ten people present in the house party either don’t know Jesus or have lost their love for Jesus. And during that time, she continues to pray that she might be useful in influencing them in relationship to who Jesus is. And over the course of the weekend, she says, there was a remarkable response on the part of these people. And she sat in her bedroom, and she took out a pen, and she wrote down,

Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise ….

Take my love; [O] Lord, I pour
At [your] feet its treasure store,[23]

and so on. Remarkable hymn—an old hymn and our closing hymn.

Please pause and pray with me:

Lord, in the stillness of the morning hour, far away from the Golan Heights, we hear your voice. We thank you for your straightforward declaration that you are the Bread of Life—that whoever eats of you will never hunger, whoever believes in you will never thirst.[24] To whom else could we possibly go with such a message—and from whom we go to tell others that message? Help us, we pray. In your Son’s name. Amen.

[1] John 1:51 (ESV).

[2] John 3:3 (ESV).

[3] John 6:60–61 (paraphrased).

[4] John 1:29, 36 (ESV).

[5] John 6:32–33 (paraphrased).

[6] See John 1:40–42.

[7] John 2:3 (ESV).

[8] Ephesians 3:20 (paraphrased).

[9] John 1:3 (ESV).

[10] C. S. Lewis, “The Grand Miracle,” in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics, ed. Walter Hooper (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970), 80.

[11] William Barclay, The Gospel of John, vol. 1, Chapters 1 to 7, rev. ed, The Daily Study Bible (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1975), 209. Paraphrased.

[12] Mark 1:15 (ESV).

[13] John 1:27, 29 (paraphrased).

[14] Matthew 3:10 (paraphrased).

[15] Matthew 11:3; Luke 7:20 (paraphrased).

[16] Matthew 11:4–6, Luke 7:22–23 (paraphrased).

[17] John 6:26 (paraphrased).

[18] D. A. Carson, The Gospel According to John, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Leicester, England: Apollos, 1991), 271.

[19] John 6:27 (ESV).

[20] John 6:28–29 (paraphrased).

[21] John 6:35, 48 (ESV).

[22] Matthew 14:16; Mark 6:37; Luke 9:13 (ESV).

[23] Frances Ridley Havergal, “Take My Life and Let It Be” (1874).

[24] See John 6:35.

Copyright © 2024, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations for sermons preached on or after November 6, 2011 are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

For sermons preached before November 6, 2011, unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® (NIV®), copyright © 1973 1978 1984 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Alistair Begg
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.