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The Lord's Barley Loaves

The Messiah's miracle of feeding thousands of people with a few barley loaves is well known: "6:13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten" (John 6:13 KJV). But did someone do such a miracle before Christ did? Yes. Centuries earlier, Elisha was given to feed a hundred men with a few barley loaves, with plenty left over, "according to the word of the LORD" (2 Kings 4:44 KJV). Does that mean that Christ emulated Elisha? No. It means that Elisha obeyed Christ.

"For the bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world"

Elisha's miracle happened long before the Christ was born as a man, but long after Christ began delivering sustenance to His people (see The 'God Of The Old Testament').

The Lord Leading His people

"4:42 And there came a man from Baalshalisha, and brought the man of God bread of the firstfruits [listen to the Sermon Pentecost: The People of God from our Sermons page], twenty loaves of barley, and full ears of corn in the husk thereof. And he said, Give unto the people, that they may eat.

4:43 And his servitor said, What, should I set this before an hundred men? He said again, Give the people, that they may eat: for thus saith the LORD, They shall eat, and shall leave thereof.

4:44 So he set it before them, and they did eat, and left thereof, according to the word of the LORD." (2 Kings 4:42-44 KJV)

Notice how similar Christ's miracle and message were to that of Elisha - not because Christ was merely repeating what Elisha said, but because Elisha was quoting what Christ had already said long before. Christ's miracle with "bread" long predated Elisha.

"6:8 One of his disciples [see Disciples of Christ], Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him, 6:9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?

6:10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 6:11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.

6:12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. 6:13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten." (John 6:8-13 KJV)

Christ then explained the significance of the miracle, describing the "bread" given to His people at the time of the Exodus. How do we know that it was Christ that Elisha was quoting when Elisha said "thus saith the LORD, They shall eat, and shall leave thereof" (2 Kings 4:43 KJV)? "10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ" (1 Corinthians 10:1-4 KJV)

"6:25 And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither?

6:26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. 6:27 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 [see Spiritual Conception].

6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

6:30 They said therefore unto him, What sign showest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? 6:31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.

6:32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 6:33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

6:34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.

6:35 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 never thirst [see Living Waters]. 6:36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 6:39 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. 6:40 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." (John 6:25-40 KJV)

Fact Finder: What was the significance of the "bread of the presence" in the Tabernacle - the instructions of which were given to the Israelites by Christ (i.e. "that Rock was Christ" 1 Corinthians 10:4 KJV)?
See Bread of the Presence


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