“Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, ‘Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?’ ” John 6:5
Have you ever tried to buy food for five thousand people?
In today’s story we’re told that Jesus was being followed by a crowd of people and that in that crowd there were five thousand men. Most scholars agree that to get a real idea as to the size of the crowd you’d really need to double or triple the number to account for the women and children that would have be present. Even today you’d have a very hard time going to a single store and buying enough bread to feed a crowd that size. It would take a lot of advance planning today to feed that crowd and even more so two thousand years ago.
Jesus knew this, that’s why John says that Jesus knew what he was going to do and that he was only testing his disciples when he asked them where they could go to get food.
With the miracle of the water turned to wine, in John chapter two, Jesus shows his care and power in providing when our best efforts and plans are insufficient. With today’s story, the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus demonstrates his ability to abundantly provide even when it would be humanly impossible.
How did Jesus feed the people? He took a boy’s lunch of five barley loves and two small fish and gave it to the disciples who then gave what they’d been given to the people. Time after time Jesus’ hand reached into the lunch basket and each time it came out with more food.
God is still able to provide today just as he did that day in Galilee.
Our tendency, though, is to look at the little we have and to see that as our limit. We need to instead look to our God and believe in him, and trust in him. His ability to provide what we need knows no limit. He’s not limited by the money we have, or don’t have. He’s not limited by our health or strength. He’s not limited by the presence or absence of talent or ability. God’s only limit when it comes to serving others through us is our faith. Are we willing to trust in what we know about the power of our God to work through us and take the action he’s calling us to take?
O God help me today to trust in you and believe in you. Help me to see the opportunity present in the challenges I have to face today.