John 6:1-9

John 6:1-9 contains one of the famous stories of Jesus as He fed a large crowd. This story is recorded in all four of the gospel accounts.  He was back in the Galilee region. “After this, Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee (some call it Tiberias). A huge crowd followed him, attracted by the miracles they had seen him do among the sick”.  People had seen or heard about His healing and miracles, and they were focused on being in His presence.  Everyone wanted to see what He might do next, or attempt to receive His blessing and a miracle for their own life or loved ones.

But Jesus had crossed the sea to have some downtime and get away, although it didn’t work out that way.  “When he got to the other side, he climbed a hill and sat down, surrounded by his disciples. It was nearly time for the Feast of Passover, kept annually by the Jews”. It was Passover time, and it is possible that the large crowd was on their way to Jerusalem for their annual trip for the feast.  Although Jesus was tired, He sees the crowd and has compassion.  He asks Philip about how they might feed the crowd.  “When Jesus looked out and saw that a large crowd had arrived, he said to Philip, Where can we buy bread to feed these people”?

There are a couple issues with this idea.  First, there was no place to buy enough food to feed this crowd.  And secondly, there wasn’t enough money even if they could find the food to purchase.  So why did Jesus ask?  “He said this to stretch Philip’s faith. He already knew what he was going to do”.  Jesus wanted to grow Philip’s faith, so He gives him an impossible task that he could not possibly achieve.  Jesus knew what miracle He was about to perform, but wanted to use the opportunity to teach His disciples. For Jesus this wasn’t only about getting a job done (feeding the multitude), but also about teaching His disciples along the way.  And Philip responds exactly as Jesus expected.  “Philip answered, Two hundred silver pieces wouldn’t be enough to buy bread for each person to get a piece”.

Philip only saw the limitations he faced.  Philip’s knowledge of the situation was accurate and impressive (two hundred denarii is more than six month’s wages), but his knowledge was useless in getting the problem solved. He thought in terms of money; and how much money it would take to solve the need of feeding the crowd. But Andrew, another of the 12, looked at it differently.  “One of the disciples—it was Andrew, brother to Simon Peter—said, There’s a little boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But that’s a drop in the bucket for a crowd like this”.  Andrew again introduces someone to Jesus.  First it was his brother Peter, now the little boy with the fishes and loaves.  Jesus took it from there.  All we need to do is offer Jesus time, talent or treasure.  He can take whatever we have to offer and use it to His glory!

One response to this post.

  1. Reblogged this on Matthews' Blog.


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