Sometimes God puts us in situations that ask questions about our faith. Will she trust I will provide financially? Will he trust I am willing and able to bring about a miracle here? In John 6 we find the disciples in such a predicament wherein Jesus poses questions “to test” the disciples (v6).
Referring to the hungry thousands before him Jesus enquired of Philip “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” (v5). It’s a test to unveil the disciples mindset, have they trusted in Jesus and who he is? Have they understood of the goodness of the Father? Are they willing to ask for and expect a miracle? Neither Philip nor Andrew pass the test, they think purely in a natural, materialistic way in referring to the very little resources they had to offer. Would you or I have passed that test if in their shoes?
Regardless of their limited perspective Jesus moves in compassion for the crowd and multiplies five bread loaves and two fish to feed over five thousand people. Calvin comments on this saying “For if he took care of those who were led to him only by a sudden impulse, how would he desert us, if we seek him with a firm and steady purpose?” Do you trust Jesus as your provider? Even when things get desperate? Even after having gone through failure or hardship? As believers we are to press into the truth that Christ is with us in our struggles. He is with us to help us. And there’s always a good reason for the hardship he allows us to go through, though we may not fully know all the details on this side of life.
In noticing this miracle many remarked “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” (v14). Isn’t it wonderful when people see a sign for what it is and are directed the right way! Jesus truly is the prophesied messiah of old that was to come into the world to save it.
I’m challenged to question myself about how often I seek for miracles and signs that help point people to the “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). Although not every believer is gifted to work miracles (1 Corinthians 12:29-30) there is an opportunity rather than an obligation to seek miracles. Is there a person this week you can pray for? Maybe for healing or provision, for a friend, work colleague, or delivery man? Let’s be available to allow Holy Spirit to draw us to seeking the best for people, sharing about Jesus when opportunities arise and praying expectantly for people to experience the life of the kingdom of God.