Monday, February 3, 2014

The Gospel of John 6:1-15

Jesus is teaching a huge crowd of people.  It is starting to get late and the people have been there all day.  Jesus goes to Phillip and asks him a question.  I think it is amazing that he asks a question like he does.  He is Jesus, and he already knows the answer.  In the synoptic Gospels (Mathew, Mark, and Luke) the disciples come to Jesus and tell him to let the people go home to get something to eat.  Jesus asks Phillip where can they go and buy enough bread to feed such a large crowd.  You have to figure that Jesus already knows how he is going to handle this.  He has planned this from the beginning of the day.  I believe he is testing Phillip.  He wants to know how Phillip sees this situation.  Phillip answers by saying that it would take months to earn enough money to pay for that much bread.  In the synoptic Gospels Jesus test is even more challenging.  He simply tells the disciples to give the people something to eat.  They reply in a similar fashion as Philip.  They say they only have 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.  Jesus takes that small meal.  He blesses it and then starts to distribute it.  Every one is full.  Everyone gets all they can eat.  The disciples then gather up the extra and they end up with 12 baskets of left overs.

I think that God often tests are faith.  Sometimes things can look pretty bleak.  Perhaps he asks us questions to see what we see.  It may be that you see no way out of your situation.  Think about if the disciples had not trusted Jesus, and had attempted to buy enough for every one.  Do you think that their human solution would have fed every one to their fill?  There is probably a very real solution to your problem.  Perhaps you think that is the best way to go, but is God asking you to hold on for just a little while longer?  Is he testing and stretching your faith?  Perhaps you are in the same type of situation that the disciples were in.  God is on the verge of astonishing you, and he only wants you to trust him.  Jesus said that the faith of a mustard seed could enable us to move a mountain.  I am sure what you are facing is not a mountain.  Just trust him.  He has this all under control.  He is working on something.  It may not turn out the way you thought it would, but he is working on you too.  He is bringing you closer to himself, and causing you to rely on him in a deeper way.  I think it is awesome that when they are done, that the leftovers were enough for each of the disciples.  They didn't believe Jesus.  As a sign of their unbelief they each have a basket in front of them to remind them of the great power of God.  I am trusting him.  I pray that he will help me to believe him more.  I am sure many days I am just like the disciples.  In the end, I will be sitting there just like them looking at a basket of leftovers and just marveling at all that God has done for me.  Trust him.

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