On Tuesday morning the pastors of Lutheran Saints in Ministry gather in Fairborn Ohio to discuss the texts for Sunday.

These are the contributions that are brought to the table.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Readings for Sunday August 2nd, 2015, the 10th Sunday after Pentecost

First Reading: Exodus 16:2–4, 9–15

2The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.  3The Israelites said to them, "If only we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger."
4Then the LORD said to Moses, "I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not.  9Then Moses said to Aaron, "Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, 'Draw near to the LORD, for he has heard your complaining.'"  10And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked toward the wilderness, and the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud.  11The LORD spoke to Moses and said,  12"I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, 'At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the LORD your God.'"
13In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp.  14When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground.  15When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, "What is it?" For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, "It is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat.

The Word of the Lord

Psalm 78:23–29 (BoCP)

23 So he commanded the clouds above 
    and opened the doors of heaven.

24 He rained down manna upon them to eat 
    and gave them grain from heaven.

25 So mortals ate the bread of angels; 
    he provided for them food enough.

26 He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens 
    and led out the south wind by his might. 

27 He rained down flesh upon them like dust 
    and wingèd birds like the sand of the sea. 

28 He let it fall in the midst of their camp 
    and round about their dwellings.

29 So they ate and were well filled, 
    for he gave them what they craved.

Second Reading: Ephesians 4:1–16

I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called,  2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,  3making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  4There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling,  5one Lord, one faith, one baptism,  6one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
7But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ's gift.  8Therefore it is said,
"When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; 
he gave gifts to his people."
  9(When it says, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth?  10He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.)  11The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers,  12to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,  13until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.  14We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people's trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming.  15But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,  16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body's growth in building itself up in love.

The Word of the Lord

Gospel: John 6:24–35

24So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
25When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, "Rabbi, when did you come here?"  26Jesus answered them, "Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.  27Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal."  28Then they said to him, "What must we do to perform the works of God?"  29Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."  30So they said to him, "What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing?  31Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'"  32Then Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.  33For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."  34They said to him, "Sir, give us this bread always."
35Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

John 6:22-35 - A Study of the Greek Text by Pr. Fourman

Greek Study John 6:24-35

v24 ενεβησαν (εμβαινω) enebaisen "got into the boats" - embarked. 
ζητουντες (ζητεω) zatoontes pres. part. "in search of [Jesus]" - participle is adverbial, expressing purpose; "and went to Capernaum in order to look for Jesus."

v25 ευροντες (ευρισκωeurontes aor. part. "when they found" - Participle is adverbial, forming a temporal clause, as NIV.
περαν της θαλασσης peran tes thalasses "on the other side of the lake" - Capernaum is on the North Western shore of lake Galilee, Tiberias is on the Western shore, so "across the sea" doesn't really fit. It is unclear where the actually feeding took place, most opt for the Eastern shore. "Across the sea" also serves to underline the miracle of walking on water. Jesus didn't just walk around the edge.
ραββι "Rabbi" - teacher. A title of respect.
ποτε ωδε γεγονας pote hodae gegontes "when did you get here?" – an idiomatic question that combines "when" and "how"; "How long have you been here?" As if they didn’t notice him before this!
v26 αμην αμην λεγω υμιν amen, amen lego hoomin "I tell you the truth " – John uses this phrase to introduce every important statement.
σημεια (ονsemeia "miraculous signs"
εχορτασθητε (χορταζωechortasthetay aor. pas. "had your fill" - were satisfied  The word was originally used of gross feeding of animals. Jesus implies that the crowd is just after the food, yet they are aware that the feeding is miraculous 6:14. Note that not all those present were also present at the feeding. Many had heard of the miracle, but not participated, so most of the crowd may well have just wanted full bellies. None-the-less, the real problem is that the crowd fails to see the significance of the miracle and so fails to identify the true nature of the person performing it. 

v27 εργαζεσθε (εργαζομαι) μη ergasthesthay me pres. imp. "do not work for" - here in the sense of "do not strive after." This particular negative the imperative serves as a command to stop an  action already commenced; so "stop trying to earn what has been given as a gift.”
την απολλυμενην (απολλυμιtaen appolumenain "[food] that spoils" - participle is adjectival, describing "food". This is the food that is produced by working, food that does not last, hence the need to work forever.
την μενουσαν (μενωtain menoosain "[the food] that abides" - participle is adjectival, limiting "food"; hence "food that lasts."
ο υιος του ανθρωπου ho huios too anthrowpoo [which] the Son of Man [will give]" - Jesus uses his favorite messianic title, a title unrecognized by the crowd because the phrase can just mean man.
εσφραγισεν (σφραγιζωesphragaisain aor. "set his seal of approval" - to demonstrate by authentic proof the truth or validity of something or to put a mark on something indicating ownership. Its an usual phrase so it may be used here to mean consecrated to God's service, i.e. God has given Jesus the right to do what he has done.

v28 τι ποιωμεν (ποιεωtea poiomain pres. subj. "what must we do" a deliberative subjunctive, so "What do we do next?"
εργαζωμεθα (εργαζομαιergatsomaytha aor. subj. "do [the works]" Bultman suggests here that the crowd has no understanding of what Jesus is talking about, yet their question implies some understanding. Their stress is on "what they must strive to do" rather than on Jesus' sense of "striving after a gift”. They see the potential work that follows as the gift, but Jesus sees the gift as the work, God’s work. 
του θεου (οςtoo thae-oo "God requires" - genitive is treated as verbal, so ‘those works which God requires of us”. 

v29 το εργον (ονtoe ergon "the work [of God]" – now "the work" is now singular, and the genitive του θεου, "of God" is used, classed as an objective genitive. In the Greek God receives the action. A subjective genitive can also mean that God produces the action, in the sense of "the work that God does or accomplishes in Jesus”. It has been argued that it is plenary, i.e. both objective and subjective, but that would impose a level of Greek sophistication otherwise missing in John . 

v30 πιστευσωμεν (πιστευωpisteusomaen aor. subj. "believe [you]" – action in the present with ongoing impact on the future.
τι εργαζη pres. ind. ta ergatsay "what will you do?" - As noted, Jesus has already fed the 5,000, but that carries no weight with this crowd. It is clear that the "miraculous sign" in the minds of this crowd means the "heavenly food", i.e. more manna. The charge is that Jesus can only be trusted if he can performs a real sign for them; the feeding was so 5 minutes ago!

v31 οι πατερες (ηρ ροςhoi pateras "forefathers" - Our ancestors – this claim becomes an asserted norm, there is a strong sense of entitlement with this crowd (and those that follow)..
μαννα "Manna" - cf. Ex.16. the defining miracle for the Jews. It was later spiritualized, becoming a symbol for God's word, particularly the law, and of blessings of the age to come. 
καθως εστιν γεγραμμενον kathos estin gaegramennon as it is written" – a typical introduction to scriptural texts; the reference is unclear, probably Neh.9:15 or Ps.78:24.
φαγειν (εσθιωfagaen aor. inf. "to eat" - infinitive expressing purpose, "in order to eat."

v32 δεδωκεν (διδωμιdedoken perf. "has not [Moses] given" - Perfect tense expresses continuity of the action, so God (through Moses, i.e. Torah) continues to give.
διδωσιν (διδωμιdidomai pres. "gives"- present tense, being durative, also expresses ongoing action. "It is my Father who is giving you …”
αληθινον allatheenon adj. "true" an emphatic.  John uses the word αληθινον often in his Gospel, particularly at critical moments. The nature of "truth" for John cannot be understated.  Jesus exegetes the quotation in typical Jewish fashion. He makes two points. 1) Don't read "he" to mean Moses, but rather "my Father". 2) Don't read "gave" as a past tense, but rather as a present tense, "gives." The true bread from heaven is available now for the eating. Some doubt whether John wrote these words with an eye to the Eucharist, but clearly this chapter served as a source for liturgical images for the early church. 
v33 του θεου (ος) gen. "[the bread] of God" - the genitive can be read here as ablative, expressing source, the bread that comes from God.
ο καταβαινων (καταβαινωho katabainon pres. part. "he who comes down" – a substantive participle can be either personal "he who comes down" or impersonal, "that which comes down." In v34 the crowd takes it as impersonal, in a figurative sense; spiritual bread that gives life, bread from heaven, spiritual manna. Then in v35 Jesus proclaims (using this same grammatical construct) that he is this life-giving bread, or more particularly that his words are life-giving bread.
διδους (διδωμι) pres. part. "gives" - participle serves as a substantive, the bread of God is the one coming down from heaven and giving life to the world. The present tense is durative, indicating the ongoing action of life-giving. 
τω κοσμω (οςtoe cosmo "to the world" – literally the place of human habitation.
v34 παντοτε adv. pantowtay "henceforth" – always- adverb; the position is emphatic.
δος (διδωμι) "give [us]" - Note the similarity with the Samaritan woman of Chapter 4 the bread and the water move from wilderness manna (Moses) and the well (Jacob) – two scions of the Old Testament faith, to Jesus as the source. This is a BIG deal.

V35 εγω ειμι ego emee “I am" - Best translated as an emphatic "I myself am [the bread]". The presence of the predicate, "the bread", means "I am" is not being used as a divine title. Jesus is continuing to exegete v31 by pointing out that rather than acting as a Moses figure who expedites bread, Jesus is the bread. 
της ζωης (ηtoe zo-aes "[the bread] of life" - genitive is adjectival, attributive, so a life-giving kind of bread.
ο ερχομενος (ερχομαιho erkomaynos pres. part. "he who comes" - the one coming. As with ο πιστευων, "the one believing", participle serves as a substantive. Note the parallelism here where "comes" and "believes" carries the same sense. Continuing with the exegesis of v31, Jesus makes the point that those who ate the manna got hungry and had to eat again. But once a person has tasted/believed in the life-giving Christ, they are eternally satisfied.

ου μη πειναση (πειναωwho may paynasay aor. subj. "will never be hungry" - the double negative with the subjunctive is a subjunctive of emphatic negation. So “will certainly never ever be hungry” again.

Where are you? - A Reflection by Pr. Kruse

Christ is the one to whom “the prince of this world” comes but can do nothing against. If we don’t want the prince of this world to take the Church into his hands, we must entrust it to the One who can defeat the prince of this world, — Pope Francis.

When we are gainfully employed we sometimes refer to ourselves as: “Breadwinners.” It is an endearing phrase to be sure that has meaning and peril. It first and foremost reminds us that, all other claims to the contrary, we work for our food, our daily portions. How the word “winner” got incorporated into the phrase I know not but the inter-web assures me that the term originated in the early 19th century but that its use was limited until the 20th century but then became a commonly used term. The same world wide inter-web also suggests that the term “winner” was read in the sense of “struggle for” or “work hard at.”
I took the tack last Sunday from the pulpit to suggest that food, bread to be exact, is a very complicated substance. It is all too easy to think of it as something picked up quickly on the way home from work. But, it is not that easy, really. Bread comes form flower. Flower comes from grain via a mill. Grain comes from the field, via a seed. Seed comes from grain. Grain comes from seed, and suddenly a longs chain of repeating and intertwined events, each and every link important, stands behind the loaf. Bread is not easy, nor simple, it has roots all the way to the beginning of time and dirt. Yes, dirt. You cannot grow grain without dirt and dirt is made of . . . I will spare you that chain. It is lengthy but it does involve volcanoes, so that makes it kind of neat.
Bread connects us to the beginning of creation. (the fish do too but it would get too lengthy to explain that, let me talk bread here, you can talk fish and wine by yourselves) The term, “Breadwinner” is peculiar if take at 21st century face value. We do not “win” bread. We might not even be able to earn it. The only parts that are in our control is the sowing, reaping and processing. All other things are under the control of time, creation, and the loving hand of the Father. (SC) 
As 21st century people we are even further removed from a healthy connection to the reality of our lack of control over our bread. We have cut out the tedious and risky processes that grows the bread. We do jobs, get money, and exchange it for bread (preferably flat, toped with tomato sauces spices, cheese and meat, cooked by someone else and boxed neatly) and then we shout: “Pizza! Let’s eat.”
Moses had no bread to give. We have no bread to give. Behind each and every bit of bread stands God and the fraction of eternity already passed since the beginning of the world. It is too big to be bought, earned, or won. Eating is at some level a receiving of God’s word in creation: “let there be.” Will we received it like Cain?
How did I get to Cain? Let me explain a bit. In Genesis 4 we see Cain and Able laboring over their chosen mode of farming. Both bring sacrifice but God “considered” Able’s sacrifice but not Cain’s. The fact that they will have to labor hard has been told to Adam and Eve in chapter 3. Nothing will come without labor after the Fall. But what is that labor and what is the meaning of the sacrifice made by the brothers? Is the sacrifice given in pride for the labor or in thanksgiving for the unfathomable chain of events that make the harvest possible? And in spite of the labor involved, in spite of the success of our harvests, our riches, our capacity to bring home the bacon, do we not do well to eat our bread in humility? Cain does not think so and gets even more alienated from land and labor. (Gn 4:12)
Manna, to bring this back to Moses and the Gospel of John, is a good example of the need for humility. Israel had done absolutely nothing to set itself free. Moses had done nothing that God did not command and the one time he did depart from God’s instructions by adding his own symbol action, it cost him his ticket into the Holy Land. (Nu 20:2-12) The people and the prophet in the book of Exodus receive from God. They have no cause to boast. If we look at the story closely, it is revealed that they were their own worst enemy at times and were known to complain that they had to be free. (ex: Ex 16:2-3 “the flesh pots of Egypt”)
Manna is received. It is not earned. It is the tangible reminder to Israel that all is in God’s hands even when, and maybe especially when, they think otherwise.
The Holy Eucharist is received. It is not earned. It is the tangible reminder to the One Holy Catholic And Apostolic Church that all is in God’s hands even when, and maybe especially when, we think otherwise. John Kavanaugh writes:
If there is any pre-eminent task for us as we celebrate the Eucharist, then, it is not that we execute it well or work out our different roles, helpful as these things may be. Our task is to believe that our God, in Jesus, is our very food and drink.
The liturgy is not just a meal we have made, not just fellowship, not something we have artistically dreamed up. Its reality does not depend upon our ingenuity or virtue, our expertise in preaching or singing. It is fundamentally an act and gift of God.
"What must we do to perform the works of God?"  Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe (lit. put your Faith in) in him whom he has sent.” (6:28-29) 
Faith is to stick with Jesus, no matter what. As for the sign for which they ask (6:30), he has already given it, and they should know it. It is because of this sign that they are talking to him at this time. But the sign is not enough. Maybe it is not even that, maybe the sign is already forgotten. Maybe it is too simple, too every-daily, too trivial. Who wants a sign that is merely bread? If bread, which, as I said is neither simple nor easy, is not enough of a sign, what will be? Will turning water into wine be enough? (Jn 2) Will healing sick children be enough? (Jn 4) Will healing the lame be enough? Jn 5) Will multiplying the loafs and fishes be enough? (Jn 6) Will walking on water be enough? (Jn 6) Will making the blind to see be enough? (Jn 9) Will raising the dead be enough? (Jn 11)
Faith is to stick with Jesus, no matter what. To have and cherish him as the Lord of your life because he is the Son and therefore the author of it. What will it take to for you to have Faith? Will it take an “act of God?” Such was had. You can read about it in chapter 19 and 20 of John’s Gospel. And again, Faith is like bread, like Manna. It is simple but complicated. Easy but hard work. It reaches to heaven but falls in pride. Humble Faith is just “mere” Faith. There is no proud Faith. There is only the Faith you received from Father, through the Son, by the Holy Spirit. 

There is Bread and Wine. The Lord and the blood of his sacrifice. Where are you?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Readings for Sunday, July 26th, 2015, The 9th Sunday after Pentecost

First Reading: 2 Kings 4:42–44

42A man came from Baal-shalishah, bringing food from the first fruits to the man of God: twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. Elisha said, "Give it to the people and let them eat."  43But his servant said, "How can I set this before a hundred people?" So he repeated, "Give it to the people and let them eat, for thus says the LORD, 'They shall eat and have some left.'"  44He set it before them, they ate, and had some left, according to the word of the LORD.
The Word of the Lord

Psalm 145:10–19

0All your works praise you, O LORD,
and your faithful servants bless you.

11They make known the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your power;

12that the peoples may know of your power
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.

13Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom;
your dominion endures throughout all ages.

14The LORD is faithful in all his words
and merciful in all his deeds.

15The LORD upholds all those who fall;
he lifts up those who are bowed down.

16The eyes of all wait upon you, O LORD,
and you give them their food in due season.

17You open wide your hand
and satisfy the needs of every living creature.

18The LORD is righteous in all his ways
and loving in all his works.

19The LORD is near to those who call upon him,
to all who call upon him faithfully.

Second Reading: Ephesians 3:14–21

14For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,  15from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name.  16I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit,  17and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love.  18I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth,  19and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine,  21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
The Word of the Lord

Gospel: John 6:1–21

After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias.  2A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick.  3Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples.  4Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near.  5When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?"  6He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do.  7Philip answered him, "Six months' wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little."  8One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him,  9There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?  10Jesus said, "Make the people sit down." Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all.  11Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.  12When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, "Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost."  13So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets.  14When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, "This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world."
15When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

16When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea,  17got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.  18The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing.  19When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified.  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 reached the land toward which they were going.

Greek Text Studies for John 6:1-21

Greek Study John 6:1-21

v1 μετα ταυτα "at some time after", a temporal construction.
περαν + gen. "crossed to the far shore" -  Spacial - crossed the sea of Galilee. Note the possible conflict that exists in Mark and Luke regarding the actual site of the feeding.
της Γαλιλαιας (α) gen. "[of the sea] of Galilee" - The genitive is an idomaic identification; "called the sea of Galilee."
Τιβεριαδος (ας) gen. "Tiberias" - Only John gives this name to Galilee, a name popular only late in the first century.
v2 ηκολουθει (ακολουθεω) imperf. "followed".
εθεωρουν (θεωρεω) imperf. "they saw [the miraculous signs]" The word is used of observing something with continuity, often with the implication that what is observed is unusual. John is telling a slightly different story from Mark.  It was culturally common in Mark’s world for healings, but by the time of John’s rendering such signs are uncommon.
των ασθενουντων (ασθενεω) pres. part. "the sick" - participle serves as a substantive.
v3 εκαθητο (καθημαι) imperf. "sat down" - [there] he was sitting down. In typical rabbinic fashion, Jesus sits to teach, although John does not mention any teaching.

v4 των Ιουδαιων (ος) το πασχα "the Passover of the Jews" – the second Passover in John's chronology. John has little interest in a chronological narrative (as he has him moving north to south to north again) – rather he is providing a theological narrative..

v5 επαρας (επαιρω) aor. part. "when [Jesus] looked up". This participle, along with "having seen", is adverbial, possibly temporal, or even modal.
αγορασωμεν (αγοραζω) aor. subj. "[where] shall we buy [bread for these people to eat?]" – notice the word ‘agora’ – ‘buying/market place’ embedded in this word  - a deliberative subjunctive evoking Sinai. Moses asks "where am I to get meat to give all these people?" and "Where shall we ever by bread for these people to eat?"  (Num.11.)

v6 πειραζων (πειραζω) pres. part. "[he asked this only] to test [him]" - the participle is adverbial expressing purpose, "in order to test". Used here in the sense of trying to learn the character of someone by submitting them to testing. The word also carries a sense of temptation, which seems unlikely given it is Jesus. This is a redactive note setting aside any implication that Jesus' question implies he didn't know what to do.
ηδει (οιδα) pluperf. "[he] already had in mind" – a case used for emphasis.
ποιειν (ποιεω) pres. inf. "[he was going] to do".
v7 διακοσιων δηναριων (ον) - "half a year's pay" (two hundred denarii). A denarius was the standard pay for a day's work. 

v9 παιδαριον (ον) "[is] a boy" –or servant, literally “powerless one” - without political influence or standing (not old enough to vote or pay taxes or bear influence). Perhaps an allusion to Gehazi, Elisha's servant. John is the only gospel writer to identify the source of the bread and fish.
αρτους κριθινους "barley loaves" - the staple for the poor. Wheat bread was more expensive. The boy had five such loaves/rolls, probably flat breads. Luke implies three loaves were a staple meal, Lk.9:5.
οψαρια (ον) "fish" - dried or preserved for eating with bread. Only John uses the word for "little fish" which means they were meant to serve as a condiment. John uses the same word in chapter 21 for breakfast over coals on the beach.
τι "how [far will they go]" - what [are these to so many]? A rhetorical question. Andrew is probably using the child's lunch to illustrate the impossibility of providing food for such a large crowd.
v10 αναπεσειν (αναπιπτω) aor. inf. "sit/lie down – recline” the infinitive forms an object clause of indirect speech expressing the content of Jesus' command, namely, "sit down." Reclining was the normal posture for eating.
χορτος (ος) "grass" - Mark emphasizes it is "green grass" - lush.
οι ανδρες (ηρ ρος) "the men" - "men" rather than "people" is intended so the crowd is larger than 5,000 given that the women and children are not counted.

v11 ευχαριστησας (ευχαριστεω) aor. part. "gave thanks" - giving thanks. The participle is probably attendant circumstance, expressing action accompanying the main verb "he took", and so translated as a finite verb, "Jesus took the loaves [and] gave thanks to God, ...." Some scholars argue that John is using the word with its particular Jewish meaning of "blessing" so he is performing the accustomed Jewish blessing over the bread prior to the meal ("blessed are you, O Lord, king of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.") None-the-less, an act of thanksgiving is more likely. There is a strong indication to maintain the idea of "thanksgiving" as a direct connection to the Lord's Supper. In fact, a number of words in this account of the feeding appear in early communion services, but this does not necessarily mean John is drawing from the Eucharistic tradition of his day, as the nearest evidence of this comes from the second century – at least 75 years later. It would seem that the opposite is the case - the early liturgical phrases were sourced from John, not the other way around. 
διεδωκεν (διαδιδωμι) 3rd. sing. aor. "distributed" - used in the sense of give something to a series of persons. In the synoptic gospels the disciples help with the distribution, and from a practical point of view this would be necessary. John is telling the story to emphasize Jesus as the one who gives the bread of life in the same way that God gave bread to Israel in the wilderness.
τοις ανακειμενοις (ανακειμαι) dat. pres. part. "to those who were seated" - participle serves as a substantive, dative of interest, advantage.
οσον "as much as [they wanted]" - from the little there was much, all ate to the full.
ομοιως adv. "he did the same" – a comparative adverb; "in like manner."
εκ + gen. "with [the fish]" - What we have here is a liturgical narrative…the elements are highly stylized and likely the result of repeated and formal re-telling.  This is likely a later story, used within the church, and appropriated by the Gospel writer.
v12 ενεπλησθησαν (εμπιπλημι) aor. pas. "they had all had enough" - they were satisfied. A different verb is used in verse 26 where "eaten your fill" takes a negative sense. Here the sense is positive. John uses the concept of “full, satisfied, abundant” in his Gospel as a way of describing the Kingdom Life.  
τοις μαθηταις (ης ου) dat. "to [his] disciples" - Dative of indirect object.
συναγαγετε (συναγω) aor. imp. "gather" - The aorist is possibly ingressive where the focus is on the beginning of the action - "start gathering" and so is another allusion to the wilderness wanderings of Israel and the provision of manna, Ex.16:16ff. This detail is also only found in John.
κλασματα (α ατος) "pieces" - fragment or piece resulting from the action of breaking. The disciples are probably not cleaning up the scraps, but rather the unused portions of the broken bread.
ινα + subj. "-" - in order that [nothing be lost], an adverbial purpose clause; "so that nothing may be wasted". There is an object lesson here, namely that given the starvation level in Palestine, to leave the food lying around was an insult to the divine giver. Yet, given the value set on food at this time, any surpluses would have been happily carried off by those present. There is also a spiritual lesson, namely that God is never impoverished by his generosity, he never ‘runs out” of love, grace, or miracles.  So John’s readers are urged to imitate that liberality; "one man freely gives, yet grows all the richer", Prov.11:24. It seems likely that collecting the food remaining into twelve baskets proclaimed the dawning of a day of plenty, the full realization of the promised blessings of the covenant, divine manna given now. The accessibility of that Abundant life that is another of Johns themes.
v13 δωδεκα "twelve [baskets]" - "Baskets", woven baskets of various size. Is John interested in symbolic weight attached to twelve baskets for twelve tribes? Why then does the fish fade into obscurity? Since the discourse is about the bread of life with allusions to the wilderness manna follow this story, fish have no symbolic value and so are ignored.  This means that the detail of 12 baskets is likely a Johannine addition, and it is found nowhere else.

v14 ιδοντες (ειδον) aor. part. "seeing” - participle is adverbial, forming a temporal clause.
σημειον (ον) "the miraculous sign" - miracle, sign..
ελεγον (λεγω) imperf. "they were saying”- imperfect is probably inceptive, the focus is on the beginning of the action. So “Seeing {this} they were saying {that}!”
ο προφητης "the prophet" - Given the context, the crowd probably thought in terms of Moses rather than Elijah. 
v15 γνουσς (γινωσκω) aor. part. "knowing" – seeing, saying now knowing. 
αρπαζειν (αρπαζω) pres. inf. “[they are about to come and] to seize [him] to make him
βασιλεα (βασιλευς) "a king" - If the crowd thought Jesus was the promised prophet, why try to crown him king? Two possibilities.  One is the standard, that they combined the roles of prophet and king in their understanding of messiah. The other is political, Herod Phillip claimed the title of King, so maybe they saw Jesus as the Jeb Bush to his Donald Trump.
ανεχωρησεν (αναχωρεω) aor. "withdrew/escape" – whatever they thought Jesus reaction was to escape!
το ορος "a mountain" - the definite article serves to identify a particular hill and is possibly an allusion to Mount Sinai.
v16 οψια adj. "evening" – actually late afternoon.  

v17 εμβαντες (εμβαινω) aor. "got into a boat" - the meaning of the verb here is more likely "embark", i.e. they had a specific destination in mind.  This is a planned excursion.
ηρχοντο (ερχομαι) imperf. "set off" - they were in the process of crossing,
ηδψ adv. "by now [it was dark]" – temporal; what we have here is another crafted narrative with a likely independent existence outside of Johns Gospel. 
εληλυθει (ερχομαι) pluperf. "[Jesus] had [not yet] joined [them]" - This phrase, along with "by now it was dark", explains why they embarked, not that they were expecting Jesus to come to them while they were sailing in the boat.
v18 πνεοντος (πνεω) gen. pres. part. "a [great wind was] blew" -  reminiscent of Genesis 1
v19 εληλακοντες (ελαυνω) perf. part. "when they rowed" - participle is adverbial, forming a temporal clause.
σταδιους (ον) "[three] miles" - [twenty] stades; a “stade” was about 800 feet.
περιπατουντα pres. part. "walking" - present tense indicates ongoing action, while the participle, γινομενον, " approaching", forms a dependent statement of perception expressing what they saw.
επι + gen. "on [the water]" – a spacial preposition used a number of times already of being "on the lake". Some suggest that John is not describing a miracle but rather that Jesus is walking "by the seashore." If so the whole point of the story is lost to me. The synoptics use the phrase επι την θαλλασσην (on the sea) in their accounts.
εφοβηθησαν (φοβεω) aor. pas. "they were terrified" – and again, why be afraid if Jesus is taking a stroll on the beach?
v20 εγω ειμι "it is I" - possibly being used to emphasize that the miracle is a theophany; an allusion to the great "I am."
μη φοβεισθε (φοβεω) pres. imp. "fear not " - present tense is durative, "do not keep on being afraid."
v21 λαβειν (λαμβανω) aor. inf. "[they were willing] to take him [into the boat]" - the infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "were willing." There is debate over whether Jesus got into the boat. At any rate, the disciples, having heard Jesus speak, are reassured that he is no ghost.

ευθεως "immediately" – (how did Mark’s word sneak into John?) John is surely emphasizing the boat reached the shore unheeded. So, rather than "the boat instantly reached shore", we would do better to go with "and the boat quickly reached shore."

And he withdrew . . .

1 And concerning the Eucharist, hold Eucharist thus: 2 First concerning the Cup, "We give thanks to thee, our Father, for the Holy Vine of David thy child, which, thou didst make known to us through Jesus thy child; to thee be glory for ever." 
3 And concerning the broken Bread: "We give thee thanks, our Father, for the life and knowledge which thou didst make known to us through Jesus thy Child. To thee be glory for ever.
4 As this broken bread was scattered upon the mountains, but was brought together and became one, so let thy Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into thy Kingdom, for thine is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever."
5 But let none eat or drink of your Eucharist except those who have been baptized in the Lord's Name. For concerning this also did the Lord say, "Give not that which is holy to the dogs.” — DIDACHE; CHAPTER 9, The Eucharist (1-2 cent)

It is time to begin our journey into the Bread of Life discourse from John 6. We read the opening sign in that discourse today: The Feeding of the 5,000. We note quickly that there are similarities with the other Gospels but also differences. John tells us what time of the year it might be: It is Spring, near the passover, right at the time of the first grain harvests, with barley being the fastest ripening and therefore the first harvested grain. 
We can also note that the Elisha story from 2 Kings includes “Barley Loaves” and a miraculous feeding. But it is not likely that Elisha is on John’s screen in this story. In the prologue John has said: “1:17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.” Note that Moses might have given the law, but he never saw God. The Son on the other hand has. 
Moses makes another appearance in chapter 5: 

 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?” (John 5:45-47)

This is after it is stressed again that Jesus, unlike Moses, has seen the Father: 

“5:19 Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.”

We are on a mountain. There is a multitude. There is bread on a mountain in a lonely place. Could this entire episode be a statement about a better manna in the desert? 
Furthermore, there is a eucharistic character to Jesus’ actions — or, better, we have taken some cues from this story for the enactment of our Eucharist Liturgy.
Finally, we need to make note that John is quite clear: This is a sign — a miracle —  and the people in the story acknowledge it as such and receive it as such. This is re-enforced by the next little story that follows; another sign: The walking on water. Only John’s account of it is short and sparse when compared to, especially, Matthew. 

The law came through Moses and grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (Jn1:17) They wanted to make him king after this episode but he removes himself from the place. Later he will point out that they seek him just for bread. (Jn 6:26) It is sort of like Moses’ struggles. He came with the law and the promise of a land from the mountain only to find that the bellies that were satisfied with manna had made their own “god.” There is bread and there is God. Can they be separated? 
To put it another way: A man lay by the pool of Bethesda on his mat, too weak to enter the water. Jesus in passing bid him to rise up and go. But, it was the “wrong day to be healed,” a Sabbath day. Jesus’ reply to the challenge that he had healed on Sabbath was that: “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working,” and further: “The Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does..” (Jn 5:17 & 19) Can one then pray to the God of Moses for help and healing but complain when that healing comes at an inconvenient time? 
The Law came through Moses but grace and truth through Jesus. God discloses divine will in the Torah. But that Torah is not God. God discloses divine mercy in the providence of earth, given to just and wicked alike (Mt 5:45) but that providence is not God. To take either by force and make it “king,” grasps at things less than the totality of God and as a result makes an idol of what God has supplied as self disclosure. All idols eventually fail to supply what their worshippers demand though for a while they are “a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light.” (Jn 5:35)
Jesus’ flight following the feeding of the 5,000 and his quiet slipping into the crowd after healing the lame man at Bethesda are what God does when the danger arises that we seek only the benefit of the divine presence but not the heart of the Trinity. God will quietly withdraw leaving the echo of the passing of the Holy presence.
The problem with idols is that once, like the stone tablets and the temple, they were a holy self disclosure, but then something went wrong and they were sought out for their own sake and not for the sake of the Triune God who gave them. In a way the cross can suffer that fate as well. We love it because God forgave our sins but we do not love the God who forgave those sins through the cross. We love the resurrection because it hints of our eternal life but we overlook that that eternal life is beyond our definition of how we shall live it. It is not our’s to shape, God will do so according to the will set clear in Torah which you better not love for its own sake but rather cherish as the Holy will of a Holy Triune heart. 

The Holy Eucharist is a mystery. Hold the bread for a moment as you take it. Are you thankful for the bread that has spent over a year being created? Are you thankful for the salvation in Jesus that stands behind it? Are you grateful that the Holy Spirit will at that moment renew Faith and recreate life? Is it just bread? Is it just medicine against condemnation? Is it just the presence of the Spirit? And if you said: “yes,” to all, is that a complete answer? If the Word became flesh is even the “yes” to all those questions sufficient? 
The bread will be eaten the wine will be drunk. They will pass out of sight. They must. It would be heartbreaking if we made idols out of them. They are but gracious hosts, carriers, of the Holy to us. With them, we become likewise carrier of that Holy presence to the world, though we are never the presence itself. Cracked vessels that carry the Holy but are not holy, that will pass from life, and that will be gathered from the hills into one to Jesus Christ. 

Moses and Torah, the fish and barley loafs, are invitations: There is a totality of God that you are being invited to. Do not settle for less. The Eucharist is such an invitation: It is “only wine and bread” but it is always “all” of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is Torah and Gospel, providence and grace. It is all, until it withdraws into . . .