After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias.…
1. The great company flocking to Christ are the unbelieving nations of the world with a glimmering sense of their wants — a first pang of hunger for the bread of life.
2. The willingness of Jesus to supply bread is reproduced in the Church's obedience to the command "Go ye into all the world," etc.
3. The perplexity of the disciples has a counterpart in our acknowledgment of insufficient means and failure to propagate the gospel.
4. The miracle shows us that the world can only be fed by Jesus Christ. Let us consider —
I. THE NUMBER AND CONDITION OF THE MULTITUDES WHO ARE STRANGERS TO THE FAITH AND HOPE OF CHRISTIANS. 700,000,000 — about two thirds of the whole race — regarded under three great divisions.
1. Brahminism, professed by 150,000,000 — ancient, idolatrous, cruel, licentious. Not a growing religion. Energetic reformers within its fold are leading the most intelligent away from idolatry, but not to Christ.
2. Buddhism arose in the six century B.C. Its founder a philosopher, moral and benevolent. Disgusted with Brahminism, he invented a system of pure morality, but without a personal God and immortality. Numbers about 400,000,000.
3. Mohammedanism numbers about 80,000,000. It borrowed a little light from revelation; abhors idolatry; acknowledges Jesus as a prophet. Its morality is low, and its dream of a future life is tinctured with sensuality. Its history is a tissue of impurity and cruelty.
II. OUR CONDITION AND MEANS OF FEEDING THIS GREAT MULTITUDE. Christians not above 300,000,000 in number. From the commencement Christianity has been promulgated —
1. By foreigners visiting some gospel centre, as on the day of Pentecost, and carrying the seeds of life to their own homes. In no country are there so many heathen visitors as in England. Were their spiritual needs provided for here what vast good would result! 2. By colonists and traders. Professing Christian] Englishmen are everywhere. Would that they possessed what they profess.
3. By missions. Your duty is —
(1) To pray the Lord to raise up more missionaries.
(2) To ask your self whether you could go, and to encourage others to go.
(3) To support those who do go.
(4) To keep up, by reading, etc., a living interest in their work.
(W. T. Bullock, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias.