4 Now the Passover, a Jewish festival, was near. 5 Therefore, when Jesus looked up and noticed a huge crowd coming toward Him, He asked Philip, “Where will we buy bread so these people can eat?” 6 He asked this to test him, for He Himself knew what He was going to do.
7 Philip answered, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread wouldn’t be enough for each of them to have a little.” John 6:4-7
Have you ever wondered how something is gonna work? I mean, you just know that there is no way it’s gonna happen…it just can’t. And then it does! There’s something about Jesus that goes beyond explanation. There’s something about trusting that He knows what He’s doing even when none of it makes sense to you. There are several cases in the scripture where this type of thing happens: Jesus does something that goes beyond the realm of belief and everyone is left scratching their heads asking, “How did He do that?” As we explore some of these thoughts and concepts over the next couple weeks, I hope that you too will discover Jesus working some wonderful, unbelievable things in your own heart and life. Perhaps you’ll be scratching your own head and saying: How did He do that?
Have you ever felt like you are in a situation where there is no possible way that you can see how anything good is gonna work out? Have you ever felt so overwhelmed by the sheer numbers or enormity of a challenge that all you wanted to do was go home? The passage above gives us some great insight into the way Jesus operates. Jesus asked the disciples a thought provoking question because He wondered what route they would take? He wanted to see what their heart’s response would be to meeting other’s needs when they had nothing left to offer. He wanted to see what their plan of attack would be and just how much they’d be willing to do to serve even though they were tired and weary.
How is Jesus “testing” you these days? Is He asking you a question about where something will come from? Maybe you’re asking yourself that question. In these days of financial turmoil and hardship, it wouldn’t be far from any one of us to wonder where the food is gonna come from? It wouldn’t be hard for us to look at some of life’s situations and become overwhelmed. For some, there are people around us who for whatever reason are depending on us to give them something and we feel quite inadequate and ill-prepared. Take heart! Jesus knows exactly what He is going to do even though you may not have a clue!
Jesus asks questions that we might make statements about Him.
How great would it have been if right off the bat, Phillip would have declared: “Master, I have no idea where we can get anything for these people…but I believe you can do something about it! I don’t have a thing to offer you but I believe you have something to offer us all!”
He is The Provider!
He is The Giver of all good things!
He is The Servant of all!
He is The Lover of my soul!
He does care about me and my situation!
Jesus asks questions to see if our hearts are with His.
Jesus “noticed” the people. Some translations use words like “compassion” in regards to the way that Jesus looked at people in need. How do you look at people…especially when you are tired and ready to leave? When you have had a long day? His disciples didn’t notice the people the way He did. They looked at them as getting in the way…a hassle. How is your compassion lately? Do you find yourself asking God why He has you in a situation? Are you wondering why you should care any longer? Remember that Christ wants us to love and be loving especially when it’s not easy, when it’s inconvenient, and when it’s for people we are just tired of dealing with.
Jesus asks questions so we will be reminded that we must look to Him.
It wasn’t like Jesus didn’t already have a plan in place. But the disciples were not looking in the right place or to the right person. We can all fall into this trap where we feel like we have more needs to meet than is humanly possible. And it’s true. Humanly, there is nothing we can do about some things…nothing other than pray. Nothing other than come running to God. Nothing but look to Him to do something that is simply unbelievable. When we do,we come to an end of ourselves and that’s exactly the answer God is looking for!
George Lockhart is a missionary with Vision 2 Hear and serves as the Youth Pastor at New Vision Church in Fayetteville, GA