When He looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward Him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for all these people to eat?” He said this to test him, for He Himself knew what He was going to do. John 6:5–6
Jesus asked a trick question as a teaching technique. How do you feed thousands of people? Philip and the disciples had no idea. How can we blame them? If we found ourselves in need of feeding five thousand people, we would be at a loss to know how to do it. Where do you find all that money? How do you provide for people out of your own meager resources? Five loaves of bread and two fish cannot possibly be enough!
Jesus’ test was a method of teaching. He wasn’t expecting Philip or the other disciples to have the answer. No. Jesus wanted to teach something new. Where can you buy bread for five thousand people on the shores of the Sea of Galilee? The answer is, you can’t! You can’t provide for all these people. You don’t have enough to get the job done. Your resources are not sufficient. To feed the crowd, to accomplish the goal, to take care of everyone is beyond your ability. A task like that requires something more, someone more—God…and God will not disappoint. The answer to Jesus’ quiz is that to meet the demand, God will need to supply the resources. Once the disciples and Jesus began dividing up what they had, that is exactly what happened—God provided!
What question might Jesus ask you?
Lord, You are always teaching us, instructing us, desiring to show us the way. You do not seem to be interested in our grades but in our learning. Thank You for that grace, and please continue our education. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.