This is Only a Test Published week of April 12, 2020
I can almost picture it now. There was a gigantic crowd of hungry people assembled to meet and listen to Jesus on a balmy day. The text tells us there were 5,000 men plus women and children who had approched Jesus and His disciples on this occasion. Based on the size of families during this time period, historians say it could have been a total of 25,000 people in all. There is a calmness about Jesus as he oversees the situation. He turns to Philip and asks, “Where are we going to buy bread, so that these people may eat?”
Seems sort of ironic that the Son of God who is the Word of God in flesh is asking one of His disciples where to buy food! In Exodus, God rained manna from the sky for the Israelites to eat. He summoned a wind to blow thousands of quail so they would have meat, and even gave them water from a rock. However, here, He questions His followers about how to feed the crowd. Why did He do this? The answer is found in verse six. He asks this question in order to test ("prove") them. What kind of test was this? It was a test of their faith. He could have just said, “Are you going to trust me or not?”
On the surface, it may seem that the problem of a hungry crowd of thousands may have been the problem they were facing. However, there was a much deeper and more troubling problem that only Jesus saw. The disciples saw a hungry mob. Jesus saw twelve doubting hearts. Did Jesus need them to buy food? Of course He didn’t. Everything belongs to Him. He didn’t need their help; but He did want their hearts.
Anytime Jesus asks us for something, it is always a test of our faith. There is always a lesson intended to teach us more about His faithfulness, and to show us our own unbelief. Was it a natural response to believe that Jesus could feed those thousands of people? No. But as believers we don’t operate from the natural mind, but from the supernatural power of the Spirit.
Individually, we all at times face seemingly impossible problems. We must inventory our response and ask ourselves if it one of man’s logic or faith? Remember, with God all things are possible, if only we will believe. Heavenly Father, help me to grow in my faith today. I want to be willing to give anything and everything you ask of me. In Jesus name, Amen!
When Jesus then lifted up His eyes, and saw a great company come unto Him, He saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this He said to prove Him: for He Himself knew what He would do.