You can read the passage by clicking HERE.
The feeding of the 5000 is a pretty familiar story. In fact it is the only miracle that is recorded by all 4 of the gospel writers. But I have found myself pondering it in a different way than I have often thought it. There was one particular verse that caught my attention that I had never really thought about before.
As an editorial comment to Jesus’ question to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” John writes, “He asked this only to test him, for He already had in mind what He was going to do.”
Philip answered this exactly the way I think I would have answered the question. I would have looked at all the people and done a quick calculation in my head of what the grocery bill would look like and responded to Jesus’ very analytically, ” First of all, we only have enough in our till to get us through one more day. Second, there is not a grocery store anywhere close to where we are – especially one with enough food in stock to feed all these people. Third, do you have any idea how much time it would take to make a store run and then get everybody fed. Fourth, I don’t think it is our responsibility to feed everybody. One meal is not going do much for them but it would bankrupt us.”
Come to think about it, this is my response to just about everything that Jesus asks of me – essentially I tell Jesus that it can’t be done. I think about everything analytically and in terms of what I can do, rather than supernaturally and in terms of what God can do. I severely limit God!
What if I started thinking out of the box? What if I started praying and asking God to do a work in me and through me that is beyond my own natural abilities? What if my prayers for our church started sounding insane because they were so ridiculously out of reach from a human perspective.
Perhaps God is using this passage to test me like He tested Philip. And perhaps God is using this passage to test you as well.
“Father, by Your Spirit would You help me to see beyond the natural and what I can do in everything, to see the supernatural and what You can do. Change my prayers! Change me!”
Next Week’s Passage: John 6:16-24