“On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” (John 6:22-25)
For the next several days were are going to focus our attention on the balance of John 6 which consists of Jesus’ Bread of Life Discourse. There is a lot to unpack from the text so I want us to take our time and not just blow through this like a gust of wind on the Sea of Galilee. Today, I want us to pay attention to the geographic setting for the dialogue Jesus would have with those who sought and found Him.
Following the Feeding of the Five Thousand (John 6:1-14), on the very next day, many of the crowd remained on the northeast coast of the Sea of Galilee. The text implies that the crowd was searching for Jesus. They came to the shore, found only one boat, and concluded that Jesus’ disciples had gone away alone.
At the same time, other boats containing people from the west coast Galilean town of Tiberius came near the place where they had eaten the bread Jesus multiplied. They too were looking for Jesus. When they could not find Him, they somehow concluded to travel back across the Sea of Galilee and travel to the northwest town of Capernaum. We do not know why they thought to look there but the text specifically tells us they were seeking Jesus.
Dr. John MacArthur explains, “These verses indicate that the crowds who witnessed Jesus’ healings and his feeding of the multitudes were still at the original site of these miracles (east of the lake) and, out of heightened curiosity, desired to find Jesus once again. Other boats loaded with people from Tiberias (on the northwest shore of the lake) also heard of the miracles and sought him out.”
They eventually found Him in the synagogue at Capernaum (John 6:59). They inquired, ““Rabbi, when did you come here?” (John 6:25). Jesus’ response to their question will frame and fill the rest of the chapter. Dr. Don Carson comments that, “The people were baffled how Jesus had reached the other side of the lake (John 6:25), and their question shows the purely human level on which they were thinking.” Jesus’ answer to their question will go much deeper than they could have ever imagined. More to follow.
Do you believe Jesus to be just a miracle worker? Have you recognized that He alone is the One who can deliver you from the penalty, power and eventual presence of sin? If so, rejoice that He is your Lord and Savior. If not, repent of your sin and receive Jesus and His righteousness as your own.
Soli deo Gloria!