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?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do.
As I read these passages I am trying to focus my attention on Jesus. What did he do? What did he say? How did he act? What might He have been thinking? More and more I believe how Jesus lived in his three years on earth was an intentional representation – a living model – of a perfect relationship with God. Not that I am likely to ever actually have such a relationship this side of heaven, but still, there is so much to learn if the Holy Spirit will give me eyes to see.
Jesus has attracted a crowd of followers because he has been healing people. Miraculous healings understandably would draw attention in any culture or time. How I might imitate Jesus in this healing way might be a thinking point for another time.
But now a large crowd is coming and Jesus asks a leading question to Philip. “Where are we to buy bread” for these people? Philip calculates a price that is surely beyond their means. Andrew looks to what they can scrounge up and finds it lacking.
Jesus had a plan all along. He will buy their provision from the Father. He does this by taking what they had and “giving thanks” and passing out the results. BOLD.BELIEVING if you ask me.
How do you get that kind of confidence?
Do I write this off because, hey, I’m not Jesus and he could do stuff like this?
Or do I consider why my believing My Father would do something like this might not be as BOLD as it could be?
And then there were the leftovers.
Of course the people who were fed saw them. The disciples would have had some tangible evidence of what Jesus had done. I mean, WOW – God can do all this? But Jesus had them gathered up so nothing would be lost. It makes me think that there was something important about the residual returns of BOLD.BELIEVING. There was food leftover to feed somebody else. There was bread enough and still there was bread.
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger,
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. Isaiah 55:1-3