Feeding of the 5000 | Part 4: What’s Your Problem?
September 22, 2020
September 22, 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)
I love what Jesus does with the disciples here. Notice how he quizzes the disciples.
He didn’t say, “Where will you buy bread so that these people can eat?”
He said, “Where will we buy bread so that these people can eat?”
By including Himself in the equation, Jesus was communicating to His disciples that He was right there with them. This problem of feeding the masses was His problem too!
What’s your problem? Has it occurred to you that Jesus knows all about your problems? He is right there with us!
When I think about some of the problems that I’ve encountered in years past, I’m embarrassed to report that sometimes I don’t even think about Jesus at all. It’s all about: How am I going to fix this? How am I going to solve this? How am I going to answer this?
Of course, Jesus knew exactly what He was going to do in that critical moment, too. He was asking this question because He was testing them.
What’s your test? Has it occurred to you that Jesus is using your problems to test you? Has it occurred to you that Jesus is using those tests to develop you, to bring you close to Him, to show you that He has the answers to teach you, and so you will rely on Him?
Jesus is with you in the midst of your problems. He may very well have sent those exact problems to us for many reasons. Jesus is testing you. He knows exactly what He’s doing and why He’s doing it. He knows what you need when you need it.
I think Phillip’s answer is logical and typical. He is looking at the problem only through his human eyes. In essence, Phillip is saying, “Jesus, if we were going to buy enough food for all these people, it would take $4,000, and we do not have $4,000!”
Phillip’s answer concentrates on what they didn’t have, but Andrew’s answer concentrates on what they did have: 5 small loaves and 2 fishes.
Even Andrew’s answer of what they had is laden with the realization that the little they had would not be nearly enough to feed the masses massing in front of the Master. He says, “What are they among so many?”
He doubted that Jesus could use what the little boy had to offer. Next time, we’ll look closer at this little boy and his contribution as a miracle-helper.
Kevin is a Pastor at Blackman Baptist Church.