Daily D – John 6:5-6
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.
JOHN 6:5-6 (CSB)
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?” He said this to stretch Philip’s faith. He already knew what he was going to do. (The Message)
Football games aplenty will air on television this weekend. Each game will be narrated by a lead announcer. Alongside him (or her in one case or two) a former player or coach will provide color commentary. The word “color” here indicates the insight of the firsthand knowledge this person brings to the broadcast.
Years ago, Verne Lundquist was the sports anchor for WFAA Channel 8 in Dallas. He was also the lead announcer for the Dallas Cowboys. Brad Sham provided color commentary. Brad broke the mold for color commentators since he never played or coached a down in the NFL. However, he was, and is, one of the most astute observers of the game in broadcasting.
Lundquist once had a challenging day as he struggled with his voice. As the game wore on, he became so hoarse that he could no longer continue. Brad Sham had to step in and call the game. He was outstanding and became the lead announcer when Lundquist left for CBS Sports. Sham has now been in his role for a generation.
Some people are able to rise to the occasion and seize the opportunity offered to them. Stretched in new ways, they reveal depths and insights no one knew they possessed.
Jesus often stretched his disciples by asking questions. This is one of those occasions. Five thousand people or more, perhaps many more, were coming their way. Jesus and the disciples saw the multitude. Jesus’ question revealed two worldviews.
One worldview indicated that no matter what they had, it was not going to be enough. Five barley loaves and two fish were not enough to feed a gathering multitude (verse. 9). Two hundred days’ wages were not enough either (verse 8).
The other worldview indicated that where God guides, God provides. In his presence, there is always enough.
So the question at hand when considered at this distance from the actual event is akin to the question Jesus asked this same group of disciples when they were on vacation in Caesarea Philippi. He asked them, “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15).
Peter gave the right answer: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” (verse 16). That was also the correct answer in John 6. Keep reading this chapter and discover that some people would agree with that confession until they became hungry again. Jesus used the opportunity of their hunger to teach deeper truths. The people preferred full bellies to full minds and turned away.
An occasion beginning with a multitude ended with Jesus and twelve guys, and one of them he called a devil (verse 70). This kind of success rate will stretch your thinking, will it not?
Here’s a thought worth thinking: When Jesus asks you a question, know that he knows the right answer. He knows what he is going to do. What we have to decide is whether he is the Messiah and since he is, if we are going to join him both for a miraculous meal and a new finish line to this race? When multitudes dissipate and followers are few and one of them is not all he seems, will you stick with Jesus?
That question might stretch you. The right answer will equip you for whatever comes next. Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. Trust him for all things at all times.
I will trust Jesus for all things at all times.
Our Father, thank you for stretching us. Thank you for enlarging our lives. Thank you for allowing us to think along with you and for showing us new truths we could not conceive on our own. Thank you for revealing yourself for who you are. Thank you for this journey of discovery. How will you stretch us today? Amen.
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Luke 8:24, 25 They came and woke him up, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to die!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves. So they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, “Where is your faith?” (CSB)