Text: John 6: 1-15
Text verse: John 6: 6
Verse 1 emphasises once again that multitudes followed Jesus due to the miracles He performed. This false perspective then leads to them wanting to make Jesus king by force (vs. 15). It is clearly not about Jesus and his will for them, but about what they can benefit from the situation.
Their faith is extremely limited.
Then we see how Jesus also puts Philip's faith to the test. Philip saw all the miracles Jesus had performed so far. That is why Jesus now wants to see if he has enough faith in Him that he will trust Jesus in this humanly impossible situation.
Philip does not pass the test because he sees only the human means at his disposal. As a result, Philip remains in desperation: “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” (John 6:7).
It makes one think of those desperate situations we also often face. Situations where you see no outcome and feel totally hopeless. Financial bankruptcy and the humiliation on top of that. A relationship that is failing. The powerlessness you feel when your stock dies during a drought. That powerless feeling makes us feel desperate. In turn, this desperation can lead to alcohol abuse, committing fraud or even suicide.
The wonderful thing though, is to see Jesus intervene to save us when we reach a point where we realise there is no solution to our problem.
Here, too, where people need to be fed without food, Jesus is a host. What is striking about this miracle is that the two miracles that John described so far, have to do with bread and wine (also see 2: 1-12) – the two elements used in the Lord’s Supper.
This miracle points to so much more than just another miracle. It points to God’s faithful care. We stand before God in great desperation with our sin and shortcomings. Day by day our debt increases. God also intervenes here by sending Jesus to earth. He takes care of our spiritual needs. He goes out of his way to feed us. He dies for our salvation.
As in any relationship, we do not get everything we ask for. But one thing we learn very clearly from this miracle, is that God gives us what we need. He provides for our daily needs as we also ask in the Lord’s Prayer.
We don’t need to search for human solutions. We just need to trust. Our God is in control and He leads us to the green pastures.