Feeding of the 5000 | Part 3: 5,000 People or 5,000 Problems?
September 18, 2020
September 18, 2020
So when Jesus looked up and noticed a huge crowd coming toward him, he asked Philip, “Where will we buy bread so that these people can eat?” He asked this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread wouldn’t be enough for each of them to have a little.”
One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There’s a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish—but what are they for so many?” (John 6:5-9)
The disciples had a big problem on their hands. Thousands and thousands of people were coming to them. Logistically, this situation was becoming worse by the minute. Jesus saw the gathering storm of people and put the question to the disciples: “Where will we buy bread so that these people can eat?”
The disciples doubted. They didn’t understand. They were logical. They focused on the problem, not the One who could provide the solution.
Just imagine if 5,000 people showed up at church on Sunday and they stayed and they stayed and they stayed, and we realized we were going to have to feed them. Imagine ordering enough deep-dish pizza to feed them all. That would cost a lot, wouldn’t it? Can you imagine there would be some scrambling? I know some ladies in the church would be absolutely freaking out!
People are getting tired and hungry – maybe even hangry! The local Slim Chickens is closed for renovations. The nearest McDonald’s is in Jerusalem. And Pizza Hut doesn’t deliver to this location. And don’t forget the budget!
The disciples make a very practical suggestion: send them away and let them find food. That’s logical. I don’t believe that the suggestion was made from bad motives. I believe that the suggestion was made because it’s the only thing they could think of in themselves. The disciples had almost no resources to meet this enormous need.
They had no food, no money. What else could they do? But the key word here is that they had almost no resources. They actually had the greatest resource of all. That is the Lord Jesus Christ. The disciples didn’t see 5,000 men. They saw 5,000 problems.
Ray Pritchard said this: “Most of us would have reacted in the same way. We’re quick to see what we can’t do and quick to talk about what we don’t have. The disciples saw the crowds and realized their inadequacy. Somehow they forgot that the Son of God was standing right there with them.”
It’s easy for us to say, “Those disciples are so dumb!” But we do the same thing. We forget that we have the Holy Spirit in us. Jesus said where two or three are gathered in my name, I will be with you in your midst.
Are you forgetting the Holy Spirit’s power in your life?
Kevin is a Pastor at Blackman Baptist Church.