These two miracles are recorded by John to be signs pointing to Jesus’ greatness. We know that Jesus is the Lord of All, since he is able to provide for his people and control all of nature.
Throughout the Bible, food is often regarded as a blessing from God. For example, Solomon says, “I commend joy, for man has no good thing under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful” (Eccl 8:15). Whenever we eat, we should be reminded that he provided all of our needs, even those that many would take for granted, like the gift of food.
So, when we look at this familiar story about Jesus feeding the five-thousand, we should remember that he is the one that blesses in abundance. He has previously changed water into wine, now he changes a few bits of food into enough to feed a multitude. He does both of these miracles to announce that the great expected king has arrived, the Messiah has come.
This is a high point in Jesus’ ministry. The crowds (most of whom are more interested in a free lunch than anything else) believe that he is the great prophet (Deut 18:15). Fueled by nationalistic fervor, they are prepared to carry him on their shoulders to Jerusalem and pronounce him to be their king in defiance of their Roman overlords. Jesus rejects this earthly kingdom. Ironically, the crowds are prepared to make him king, yet on their own terms, and they fail to inherit the kingdom he offers to them.
The second miracle displays Jesus’ control over nature. He may have rejected the earthly kingdom that the Jews offered to him, but he was and still is the king of the whole universe controlling even the wind and the sea. Though the storm was raging and the darkness setting in on the disciples in their little boat, Jesus came walking across the water and calmed the sea, transporting them safely to the shore.
Through these two miracles, we should realize that Jesus is able to provide for all of our needs. There is nothing that he is unable to provide, there is no problem he is not able to solve. He is our provider and our protector through all of life’s troubles, and he will bless us in abundance both in this life and in the life to come.