After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias.…
What is it, what is it in us, that will ensure this taking of the supplies and bestow them upon us? First of all, what was it in this people?
1. They would not have sat down, you may be very sure, if they had not been very hungry. Desire draws blessing.
2. Confident expectation brings Him with all His supplies. Yes, expectation of blessing fulfils itself in a great many regions, in a great many common things of life. If a man expect to be successful, he will be in a great many of them. It is what you are making up your mind to do you will do. And in the spiritual region the measure of the expectation is the measure of the success. The expectation which has got the essential element of faith in it is the confidence in the things unseen, as though they were present. Expectation, yea, an expectation right in the teeth of sense, is the sure way to bring down the blessings.
3. Well, then there is another last point, and that is: the use of the appropriate means, which are appropriate simply because they are appointed. "Make the men sit down; and Jesus therefore took the loaves." Well, in regard to some things in this world, yes, some outward things, we very often do come to a point where the only thing is to sit still and see the salvation of God; and in a very profound sense they also work, as well as they also serve, who only stand, or sit, and wait. But I think that this generation wants a lesson, and the Christian communities of this generation want the lesson — sit down there and be quiet, and let His grace sink into you, as it won't do with you for ever fuss, fuss, fussing, and moving from this place to the other. Why, if you go into the woods, and into a coppice, the nightingales, and the thrushes, and the whole of the quick-eyed creatures that rustle among the leaves there, shyly hide themselves there as long as your foot is rustling over the leaves; no other living creature will stir. Sit down quietly, don't even move your eyelids, and when you have sat for awhile, still as any stone, one after another they begin to peep out of their copses, and come out into the open, and in an hour's time the whole place will be alive with beauty and with happiness. Yes, and so it is in a loftier fashion in this great kingdom of our Master's. The men that go hurrying through the gospel sphere see nothing of its beauty, nothing of its delicate, recondite beauties and mysteries. You have got to be quiet. And so go ye into a desert place and rest — sit still. That does not mean any vacuous indolence, drowsing and dormant, but it means suppressing the sensuous life, the life of the enemy that belongs to the outer world, in order that the life of the spirit may rise stronger and stronger, for as the eye of the flesh closes, the eye of the spirit opens. They are like the doors in banks, you shove one open and the other shuts. And so to be quiet is to hear Christ speak.
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias.