Andrew Fountain - What on earth does it mean to 'feed on Jesus' and why this is one of the most important things you can ever learn

  • After feeding the 5000 and walking on water, Jesus was asked to provide more food. The answer he gave was very strange, and resulted in many people walking away from him.


Sermon Outline - What on earth does it mean to ‘feed on Jesus’ and why this is one of the most important things you can ever learn

View or download the handout of the story here.

John 6 – Feeding the 5000

  1. After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (also called the Sea of Tiberias). 2A large crowd was following him because they were observing the miraculous signs he was performing on the sick. 3So Jesus went on up the mountainside and sat down there with his disciples. 4(Now the Jewish Feast of the Passover was near.) 5Then Jesus, when he looked up and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, said to Philip, “Where can we buy bread so that these people may eat?” 6(Now Jesus said this to test him, for he knew what he was going to do.) 7Philip replied, “200 silver coins worth of bread would not be enough for them, for each one to get a little.” 8One of Jesus’ disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, 9“Here is a boy who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what good are these for so many people?”
  2. Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” (Now there was a lot of grass in that place.) So the men sat down, about 5,000 in number. 11Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed the bread to those who were seated. He then did the same with the fish, as much as they wanted. 12When they were all satisfied, Jesus said to his disciples, “Gather up the broken pieces that are left over, so that nothing is wasted.” 13So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with broken pieces from the five barley loaves left over by the people who had eaten.
  3. Now when the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus performed, they began to say to one another, “This is certainly the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15Then Jesus, because he knew they were going to come and seize him by force to make him king, withdrew again up the mountainside alone.

Walking on Water

  1. Now when evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, 17got into a boat, and started to cross the lake to Capernaum. (It had already become dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.) 18By now a strong wind was blowing and the sea was getting rough. 19Then, when they had rowed about three or four miles, they caught sight of Jesus walking on the lake, approaching the boat, and they were frightened. 20But he said to them, “It is I. Do not be afraid.” 21Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat came to the land where they had been heading.
  2. The next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the lake realized that only one small boat had been there, and that Jesus had not boarded it with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. 23Other boats from Tiberias came to shore near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24So when the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.

Jesus the Bread of Life

  1. When they found him on the other side of the lake, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” 26Jesus replied, “I tell you the solemn truth, you are looking for me not because you saw miraculous signs, but because you ate all the loaves of bread you wanted. 27Do not work for the food that disappears, but for the food that remains to eternal life—the food which the Son of Man will give to you. For God the Father has put his seal of approval on him.”
  2. So then they said to him, “What must we do to accomplish the deeds God requires?” 29Jesus replied, “This is the deed God requires—to believe in the one whom he sent.” 30So they said to him, “Then what miraculous sign will you perform, so that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, just as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
  3. Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the solemn truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but my Father is giving you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34So they said to him, “Sir, give us this bread all the time!”
  4. Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. The one who comes to me will never go hungry, and the one who believes in me will never be thirsty.
  5. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so the one who consumes me will live because of me. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven; it is not like the bread your ancestors ate, but then later died. The one who eats this bread will live forever.”



  • To grasp what Jesus really means when he says “Feed on me!”
    and why this is one of the most important things you can ever learn


  1. Very brief recap of the story so far
  2. The story of Feeding 5000 and walking on Water
  3. What Jesus really means when he says “Feed on me!”
  4. A Challenge to Feed on Jesus

1. The story of feeding the 5000 and walking on water

John 6

  • Jesus said that people had to eat his flesh and drink his blood!
  • -This is a difficult passage
  • -But it’s not just difficult—it’s important
  • What on earth is he talking about? -—to some extent, but wine is not mentioned
  • -A key to understand is
  • v.57: “Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so the one who consumes me will live because of me.”

Key: John 4:32–34

  1. But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”
  2. So the disciples began to say to one another, “No one brought him anything to eat, did they?”
  3. Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to complete his work.”
  • How does this help us?

Pattern of relationship

Pattern of relationship

Image source: amf

Jesus Depends on his Father for everything

  • Tempted to turn stones into bread
    • how did he reply?
    • “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
The Father responded to Christ's
prayer, for example, raising Lazarus from the dead:
John 11:41 Then they took away
the stone from the place where the dead man was lying.
And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, "Father, I
thank You that You have heard me."

Mat 26:53 "Or do you think that I cannot
now pray to my Father, and he will provide me with more
than twelve legions of angels?"
Jesus chose to do all his miracles
only by the power of the Father:
John 5:19 "Most assuredly,
I say to you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what
he sees the Father do; for whatever he does, the Son also
does in like manner."

John 5:30 "I can of myself do nothing. As I
hear, I judge; and my judgment is righteous, because I do
not seek my own will but the will of the Father who sent

John 14:10 "the Father who dwells in me does the
Jesus spoke and did only what the
Father commanded him:
John 12:49-50 "For I have
not spoken on my own authority; but the Father who sent
me gave me a command, what I should say and what I should
speak. And I know that his command is everlasting life.
Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told
me, so I speak."

John 14:10 "The words that I speak to you I
do not speak on my own authority"

John 8:29 "And he who sent me is with me. The
Father has not left me alone, for I always do those
things that please him."
Jesus could at any time have
reached into the infinite knowledge that belonged to him
as God, but he voluntarily restricted himself to
knowledge the Father gave him:
Mark 13:32 "But of that
day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven,
nor the Son, but only the Father."

John 15:15 "all things that I heard from my
Father I have made known to you."
Although not in any way inferior to
the Father, Jesus placed himself in a position of
dependent submission:
John 5:26 "For as the
Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to
have life in himself."

John 14:26 "My Father is greater than I."

Jesus Relates to his Father

  • Summary:
  • Jesus lived every moment and breathed every breath to obey the will of the Father.
  • To do the Father’s will was his drink, his meat. It was everything to him.
  • He did not do anything in his own strength but did everything by the power that flowed from the Father.

He says “Follow Me”

  • Christ even gave up his personal desires.
  • This is a point where obedience and faith meet together
  • Sometimes it does not seem like the natural thing to do
  • We can only obey him if we believe him.


  • It is impossible to do this!
  • Gal 2:20 “it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God.”
  • Surrender our life, not in a passive but in an active way
  • What if you are not a Christian right now?

Death leads to Life

  • This life is one of death to self
    • but the irony is that eventually it leads to eternal life
  • “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it” (Luke 9:24).
  • “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to me. Hear, and your soul shall live” (Isaiah 55:2–3)

Pattern of relationship

Pattern of relationship

Image source: amf

Updated on 2019-11-24 by Andrew Fountain