John 6:3-9 “Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. When Jesus looked up and saw a great multitude coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.”
“Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
Focus: God is always thinking and planning to meet our needs, and He can provide for us in unusual and unexpected ways.
These stories were written to give us practical lessons of God’s Love and Thoughtfulness towards us. We can gain vital lessons from the study of God’s Word, when we are guided by His Holy Spirit. The first section of our verses for today tells us that Jesus was on a mountainside teaching His disciples. A mountainside is an elevated slope; which gives a good view of the surrounding area. Even as Jesus looked up and saw a great multitude coming toward Him, God has already seen the ‘great multitude’ of issues that will be coming our way.
God is always aware of what is presently happening, or will happen in our lives, and because of His Great Love for us, He is never too busy to meet our needs, even planning to do so ahead of time. Jesus questioned Philip as to how the multitude could be provided for, just to test him. Sometimes God will test us, not with a Question but with Quietness, to see what we will do in a particular situation. There are times when we are praying to God about a problem, and He tests us by His Silence. We seem not to be getting any answers from Him to help us with the issue. In times like these, God is testing us to see if we will WAIT patiently, or WORRY persistently.
Jesus knew all along what He would do to meet the needs of the multitude, even though they had not yet reached Him, neither had they asked Him for anything. Likewise, God has full knowledge of all that He needs to do for us at all times. We are told in Psalm 139, that God’s Thoughts of us are Precious, and if they were to be counted, the number would be more than the sand. Sand cannot be counted, therefore we learn from this Psalm, that we are always on God’s Mind, and He is always on a Mission for us.
This wonderful news should give us Great Assurance, Peace, and Freedom from Anxiety. God wants us to constantly remember that He has a Plan for our lives, and He will Provide all that is needed to fulfill His Purposes.
In this case, provision was made through a little boy’s lunch, which consisted of five small barley loaves and two small fish. With this small supply, Jesus was able to satisfy the needs of all the people, and still had a surplus. This is revealed in John 6:13, where we are told that they had twelve baskets of leftover bread.
These things were written for our learning; so that we might have Faith in God and His Promises, which He has given to us. Those people were provided with an unexpected meal, in an unusual way. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He is well able to surprise us in unexpected ways, from His Unlimited Supplies. Therefore, let us trust Him fully, for all things at all times, even as we rest in His Unconditional Love.