NEW TESTAMENT - LESSON 12
John 5-6; Mark 6:30-44; Matthew 14:22-23
- Jesus heals a man on the Sabbath and declares himself the Son of God.
- Jesus miraculously feeds more than 5,000 people.
- Jesus walks on the sea, invites Peter to come to him, and calms the
- Jesus declares that he is "the bread of life."
A study of this lesson should encourage us to look to Jesus Christ as
"the bread of life," the source of everlasting life.
A Man Healed On The Sabbath
- John 5:1-16 tells the story of a man with an infirmity who waited by
the pool of Bethesda.
John 5:15-16: "The man departed, and told the Jews that is
was Jesus, which had made him whole. And therefore did the Jews persecute
Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the
- He had been coming to this pool for 38 years hoping that he could be
the first into the pool after the angel stirred it. Because of his infirmity
others always beat him to the pool.
- When Jesus saw this man, he said to him: "Rise, take up thy
bed, and walk" (v8). The man was healed. It was the Sabbath.
- Shortly after, the man was questioned and asked who healed him on the
John 5:18 continues, "Therefore the Jews sought the more to
kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that
God was his Father, making himself equal with God."
- JESUS KNEW THAT THE JEWS WOULD BECOME ANGRY WHEN HE HEALED PEOPLE ON
THE SABBATH. WHY DO YOU THINK HE FREQUENTLY DID THIS?
- To teach that the Law (particularly the law of regarding the Sabbath)
is not a law to bind and restrict, but a law of love.
- To teach that the sabbath is a day to do good.
- When he was challenged, "Jesus answered them, My Father worketh
hitherto, and I work" (John 5:17).
IMPORTANT TRUTHS REGARDING THE SON'S RELATIONSHIP WITH THE FATHER FOUND
IN JOHN 5:19-31.
- WHY WERE THE JEWS OFFENDED BY JESUS' STATEMENT THAT GOD WAS HIS FATHER?
- It would undermine the authority of the scribes, Pharisees, and other
leaders if the people came to believe the teachings of Jesus and believe
that he was the earthly representative of God the Father.
- These Jews not persons with pure hearts seeking for the truth.
READ JOHN 5:31-39. Witnesses of Jesus.
- V19 - "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth
the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son
- The Lord is not creating a new gospel. He is doing that which he has
seen the Father do.
- V22 - "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all
judgment unto the Son."
- The stewardship of this world has been delegated to the Son. Jesus
Christ is the God of this world and all power regarding its operation and
dealings with the Father's children on this planet have been delegated
to the Son.
- If we understand this principle we will heed the counsel found in v23,
"That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.
He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent
- V31 - "I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father
which hath sent me."
- The Father's plan is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life
of man. Jesus is the executor of the plan upon this earth.
- READ JOHN 5:28-29. The resurrection of life &
- The Lord teaches of a resurrection based upon ones works.
- WHAT IS SIGNIFICANT ABOUT THESE VERSES RELATING TO THE DEVELOPMENT
OF THE RESTORED GOSPEL?
- It was while studying these verses that Joseph and Sidney received
their vision of the three degrees of glory.
- READ D&C 76:15-20. The opening of the vision
of the 3 degrees.
- The teachings revealed in this section reveal information regarding
the Father's plan which no other man or church teaches.
- WHAT WITNESSES OF THE LORD ARE LISTED IN THESE VERSES?
- The Lord himself.
- John the Baptist.
- The works of the Lord.
- The Father himself.
- The scriptures.
- DO WE HAVE THESE SAME WITNESSES? ARE THERE OTHERS?
- The Lord appeared to Joseph Smith.
- John the Baptist returned to restore the Aaronic Priesthood.
- The works of the Lord: such as the Church itself, its ongoing work,
and the great blessings we receive.
- The Father through the ministration of the Holy Ghost.
- The scriptures: in addition to what the Jews had in their day, we have
so much more.
- Other witnesses: The Prophet & Apostles.
The Feeding Of The 5000
- Jesus & Twelve left Capernaum and sailed across the sea of Galilee
- Bruce R. McConkie suggests five reasons for leaving at this time (see
The Mortal Messiah, Volume 2):
- Both He and the Twelve are greatly in need of physical rest.
Their departure will have a much-needed quieting effect upon the people
- The intensity of the Lord's teachings and miracles.
- The Lord was a physical man and needed rest.
It seemed wise for Jesus and the Twelve to withdraw from the domains
and power of Herod.
The feeding of the hungering thousands could only take place in a solitary
place, in the deserts and hills where no food was available; otherwise
the need for divine intervention would not be compelling.
- John the Baptist recently killed.
- Jesus and the Twelve had been active in Galilee.
The multitude must be fed, at the appointed place, so that Jesus, back
again in Capernaum, can preach his incomparable sermon on the bread of
This miracle begins the 3rd year of Jesus' public ministry.
- Jesus must work this miracle, not alone to fulfill the Messianic tradition
had among them, but to bear witness in a unique way that he is indeed the
One of whom Moses and the prophets spoke.
This miracle is recounted in all four of the Gospels.
READ JOHN 6:1-14. The feeding of the 5,000.
- This year extends from the third Passover to the final Passover.
- 18 events recorded in first year.
- 27 events recorded in second year.
- 72 events recorded in third year.
- WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS GREAT MIRACLE?
- I am sure that Jesus performed this miracle for many reasons, among
them being that the people were hungry and He showed compassion for them.
- He tested the faith of his disciples.
- The way that He did this testifies that all that He does is organized
- The recipients of his goodness sat down in companies and ranks; they
were counted and numbered; there was no disorder, no commotion, no disturbance.
- Divine economy was in operation - the leftovers were gathered for use
at a later time - there was to be no waste.
- Bruce R. McConkie: "Because there is not and cannot be a natural
explanation of this act of pure creation, this miracle not only bears record
of our Lord's divinity, but is considered by many to be a miracle of transcendent
significance. And so, perhaps, it is. But why should it be deemed a thing
incredible that he whose words caused worlds to come rolling into existence
should speak to the elements and cause loaves and fishes to multiply?"
- Neal A. Maxwell: "Jesus miraculously provided loaves and fishes
for the hungry multitude of several thousand (see John 6:1-14). Within
minutes the loaves and fishes (of which there were 'enough and to spare')
were gone. The next morning some of the beneficiaries of that remarkable
blessing were hungry again. Jesus Himself observed, 'Your fathers did eat
[the miraculous] manna in the wilderness, and are dead.' They would have
remained forever dead, too, except for the blessing of the Atonement, a
blessing which in its effects is infinite and endless, not temporary. In
contrast to the daily-dissolving manna, Jesus is the 'true bread from heaven,'
filling us forever so that we will 'never hunger'." (A Wonderful
Flood of Light, pp52-53)
Jesus Walks On The Sea of Galilee
- READ MATTHEW 14:22-33. Jesus goes to his disciple
on the water.
- WHAT DOES THIS STORY TELL US ABOUT PETER?
- He had great faith, but it was not yet perfected.
- WHY DO YOU THINK PETER'S FAITH WAVERED?
- WHAT DID HE DO WHEN HIS FAITH WAVERED?
- He cried out for the Lord.
- His faith in the Lord and his power had not wavered.
- WHAT OUGHT WE TO DO WHEN OUR FAITH WAVERS AND WE ARE STRUGGLING?
- Cry out to the Lord.
- President Hugh B. Brown tells a wonderful story about facing a great
challenge and how he called upon the Lord:
President Brown began his mission in England
in 1904, at a time when many were hostile towards the Mormon. He was to
be assigned to the city of Cambridge. The mission president gave Elder
Brown these encouraging words, "You may be interested to know,
Elder Brown, that the last Mormon missionaries in Cambridge were driven
out by a mob at the point of a gun and that they were told that the next
Mormon missionaries who stepped foot in the city would be shot on sight.
As you are the next missionary who is going to set foot in that city, I
thought you might be interested in this."
He went with an Elder Downs to Cambridge.
Elder Downs assisted Elder Brown in finding a place to stayand how to mark
his tracts. Elder Downs left the next morning leaving this new missionary,
Elder Hugh B. Brown, all to himself. There were no other members of the
Church within 120 miles. He says he "felt very lonely."
But he went about his work. He tracted all day Friday, his first day, without
success. He continued tracting on Saturday, again without success. "I
came home, and in my heart I felt a mistake had been made in sending me
there--in fact, in sending me on a mission at all."
That evening a man came calling at the house
where Elder Brown had a room. When Elder Brown heard the man he thought
to himself, "...that this was the advance guard of a mob."
The man was shown to Elder Brown's room. The man asked Elder Brown if he
had left the tract he was holding in his hand. When Elder Brown responded
in the affirmative, the man said he represented a group of 17 families
that had left the Church of England. He asked, "Will you come tomorrow
night and be our pastor?"
"I said what any Mormon missionary
would have said: I told him that I would come. But after he left I could
not help but wonder what I was up against. I had not been in the mission
field three days. I had never attended a meeting in the mission field.
I had never spoken before an audience in the mission field. I felt terribly
weak and incapable.
"I worried about it all night.
I went up to bed without supper. I went up to my room, prepared for bed,
knelt at the side of my bed, and for the first time in my life I actually
talked with God. I told him of my predicatment, of the challenge that lay
ahead of me, of my inadequacy, of my lack of training and knowledge, and
I asked for help. I seemed to get no reply.
Elder Brown continued in this attitude
of discouragement and unrest until the next evening when he left for the
house where the meeting was to be held. Upon arriving at the house he found
a large room completely filled with people. "Not knowing anything
else to do I said, 'Let's sing "O, My Father",' the Mormon hymn
by Eliza R. Snow. They looked at me with a blank stare, but we sang it.
It was a terrible cowboy solo. I was much embarrassed."
"Thinking that I would be less ill
at ease if they knelt and took their eyes off me, I suggested to them that
they turn around and kneel at their chairs while we offered the opening
prayer. I knelt with them, and at that very moment every bit of worry and
concern and doubt and question left my mind."
Elder Brown then stood and spoke to this
congregation for forty-five minutes, "More accurately, the Lord
spoke to those people." At the end of the meeting, the people
surrounded him and said, "This is the gospel we have been asking
"I mentioned earlier that I had to
drag myself to that house. On my return home that night, it seemed to me
that I only touched the ground once, so elated was I that the Lord had
come to my assistance." Within three months every man, woman,
and child in that room had been baptized.
(see The Memoirs of Hugh B. Brown, edited by Edwin B. Firmage, pp21-24)
The Sermon on the Bread of Life
- READ JOHN 6:24-26. The people find Jesus.
V27: "Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that
meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give
unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed."
- His response to the people was that they followed him for food.
- He then began His sermon on the Bread of Life.
V28-29: "Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we
might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is
the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent."
- These people had gone to the effort of getting across the Galilee to
find Jesus in hopes of finding more free food.
- The Lord says not to labor for that meat or food which perishes, but
for that meat which the Son will give which leads to eternal life.
- HOW MUCH EFFORT DO WE EXPEND IN PURSUIT OF THAT WHICH "PERISHES"
IN CONTRAST TO THE EFFORT EXPENDED ON THAT WHICH PROVIDES ETERNAL SATISFACTION?
V30-31: "They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou
then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? Our fathers
did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from
heaven to eat."
- They asked what this labor of God is.
- Jesus answered: Believe in Him who the Father has sent.
- Belief in Jesus Christ encompasses acceptance of His gospel and the
living of His precepts. Formost among these precepts is to assist in bringing
others to His gospel.
V34: "Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this
- They asked for a sign of His calling. Can you believe that after they
saw the Master feed the 5,000 they would ask for a sign.
- It was a tradition among the Jews that their Messiah would bring again
manna from heaven like unto Moses.
V35-40: "And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life:
he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall
- The Jews then ask Him for this bread.
"But I said unto you, That ye
also have seen me, and believe not.
"All that the Father giveth me
shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
"For I came down from heaven,
not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
"And this is the Father's will
which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing,
but should raise it up again at the last day.
"And this is the will of him
that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him,
may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day."
V41-42: "The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I
am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus,
the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that
he saith, I came down from heaven?"
- That which he teaches is no longer milk, but meat.
- Jesus proclaims Himself - He is the bread of life.
- He came down from heaven to do the will of the Father.
- All that believe in the Son (partake of this bread) shall have eternal
V43,48-51: "Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur
not among yourselves....
- The Jews question the Lord's divine Sonship. They know his parents
and family. How is it possible a neighbor from Nazareth could be the Redeemer,
the Savior of all mankind?
"I am that bread of life.
"Your fathers did eat manna in
the wilderness, and are dead.
"This is the bread which cometh
down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
"I am the living bread which
came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for
ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for
the life of the world."
V52: "The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How
can this man give us his flesh to eat?"
- The Lord again bears witness of his divine Sonship.
- He that partakes of this bread shall live forever.
- He teaches that He will give his life for the world.
V53-59: "Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto
you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye
have no life in you.
- This was more than the Jews could comprehend/accept.
"Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh
my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
"For my flesh is meat indeed,
and my blood is drink indeed.
"He that eateth my flesh, and
drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
"As the living Father hath sent
me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live
"This is that bread which came
down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that
eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
"These things said he in the
synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum."
V60-69: "Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard
this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?
- WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO EAT THE FLESH & DRINK THE BLOOD OF THE SON?
- Bruce R. McConkie: "To eat the flesh and drink the blood of
the Son of God is, first, to accept him in the most literal and full sense,
with no reservation whatever, as the personal offspring in the flesh of
the Eternal Father; and, secondly, it is to keep the commandments of the
Son by accepting his gospel, joining his Church, and enduring in obedience
and righteousness unto the end. Those who by this course eat his flesh
and drink his blood shall have eternal life, meaning exaltation in the
highest heaven of the celestial world. Speaking of ancient Israel, for
instance, Paul says: They 'did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did
all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock
that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.'" (Mortal Messiah,
"When Jesus knew in himself that
his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?
"What and if ye shall see the
Son of man ascend up where he was before?
"It is the spirit that quickeneth;
the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are
spirit, and they are life.
"But there are some of you that
believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed
not, and who should betray him.
"And he said, Therefore said
I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him
of my Father.
"From that time many of his disciples
went back, and walked no more with him.
"Then said Jesus unto the twelve,
Will ye also go away?
"Then Simon Peter answered him,
Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
"And we believe and are sure
that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God."
- WHY DO YOU THINK MANY OF JESUS' DISCIPLES MURMURED AND "WALKED
NO MORE WITH HIM" AFTER HEARING THE SERMON ON THE BREAD OF LIFE?
- WHAT DID JESUS TEACH THAT IS THE KEY TO UNDERSTANDING HIS WORDS AND
GAINING A PERSONAL WITNESS OF THEM? (see v63)
- WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES OF DISCIPLESHIP THAT YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED?
Daily we labor for that "bread" which enables us to
continue here in mortality. It is part of our mortality. But we also need
to labor for "the bread of life", that which will nourish
our souls more completely than the bread that nourishes our bodies. Unlike
physical bread, the "bread of life" nourishes our souls
so completely that it goes with us into the eternities.
Lesson 13: Matthew 15:23-17:9
Additional Reading: Mark 7:24-9:10; Luke 9:18-36; 12:54-57; Bible
Dictionary, "Revelation," 762; "Transfiguration, Mount of,"
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Changes last made on: Sat Mar 13 1999