6 Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), 2 and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. 3 Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. 4 The Jewish Passover Festival was near. 5 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. 7 Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” 8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. 12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. 14 After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.
I love this beautiful story. Jesus performs an incredible public miracle, caring for those who have come to hear him.
The effect was to totally shift people’s perception of him – v14. The people recognised Jesus was from God, that he was more than just a wise teacher. While their plans (v15) did not align with God’s, they did change their understanding on Jesus’ identity. Just as their eyes were opened to Jesus being from God, I want opened eyes to see and praise God for his work in my life, in the lives of others, through miracles, through restoration.
I also try to place myself in the shoes of the disciples who witnessed this incredible event, in particular Phillip and Andrew. “It’s impossible” is Phillip’s position, while for Andrew there is the “possible”, as he indicates the paltry food available. (I especially love the emphasis John puts on the smallness of the loaves and fish. Just enough for a boy’s lunch out of which flows amazing abundance.) Why else would Andrew tell Jesus about this little bit of food unless he expected Jesus could use this? Their 2 perspectives remind me that my mindset must be guided by the Holy Spirit. He tunes me into God’s perspective. For Phillip, it is just his practical mindset of cost and the size of the problem. For Andrew it is a start of belief, as he begins to catch a glimpse that Jesus is God.
Like Phillip, my heart gets overwhelmed by the size of the problem, and how I cant solve it. But if I look at the situation from God’s point of view, things become possible. He is the God of the Possible!
Dear Lord Jesus, as I read this event again the Holy Spirit reminds me that you are Lord of the Possible! I am believing you for that today. Amen
Written by Claire Moore