Journey to Jerusalem Day 32
Saturday, March 20 John 6:1-15
1 After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. 2 And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. 3 Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. 4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. 5 Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” 6 He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. 7 Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, 9 “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. 11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” 13 So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. 14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!”
15 Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
Faith is hard in the face of need: financial need, emotional need, physical need, spiritual need, all of the above need. We, like Philip, look at the vastness of the need before us and then, like Andrew, at our less than sufficient resources, and conclude that it doesn’t add up.
Need is an excellent revealer of what our faith is in. The text tells us that Jesus was testing Philip, because he already knew what he was going do to meet the need. What type of answer was Jesus hoping for from Philip? Or what type of answer was he hoping to cultivate in Philip? When Jesus asks Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” you can almost hear him asking behind that question, “Do you believe yet that I am who I say I am?” But both Philip and Andrew fail to realize that the Bread of Life is asking them, “Where are we to buy bread?” and they stare at the seemingly impossible equation before them.
Where do you feel a need today? Are you quick to think of its vastness like Philip, or of your limited resources like Andrew? Now imagine Jesus before you, and perhaps for the first time, or for the hundredth time, look at Jesus. Jesus has provision for you. Offer him your fish and loaves. Ask him to open your eyes, to refresh your faith, to meet you again in your need. He very much wants to.
Lord, here I am again. Thank you that you have provision for me, even in this. Help me to come to you and turn my eyes from my own resources. Remind me of you faithfulness.
[Sing] “Great is Thy Faithfulness, O God my Father.
There is no shadow of turning with thee.
Thou changes not, thy compassions, they fail not.
As thou hast been thou forever wilt be.
Great is thy faithfulness!
Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed thy hand hath provided.
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!”
-- From the hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness”