Tuesday, February 28, 2012

John 6:1-9

In chapter 5 Jesus focused on the healing of one man; in fact, he sought him out in the temple after he healed him. Then He dealt with the unbelief of the religious leaders. In chapter 6 a crowd seeks Jesus out and we see Him withdrawing from the crowd, even as He has compassion on them.

Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Feast was near.

When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd 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. (John 6:1-6)

As the crowds began to press around Jesus, he needed a retreat, so He took His disciples up on a mountainside to get some rest. Rest was important to Jesus, and He modeled here the need to take it - even when there is so much to do. In fact, precisely because there IS so much that demands our time and attention, Jesus continues to offer us rest.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matt 11:28)

Be still and know that I am God... (Psalm 46:10)

When Jesus saw the crowds had followed Him, instead of seeing them as a burden, He saw them as sheep without a shepherd, and even though they were seeking Him for His miracles and provision, rather than for Himself, He still met their needs! But He was first going to test the disciples. He asked Philip where they should go to buy bread, and Philip saw only the problem, and figured the only solution would be money!

Philip answered him, “Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” (vs. 7)

Andrew did a little better. At least he saw a possibility:

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?” (vs.8-9)

However, notice the “but” in the middle of his sentence! “Here’s something, BUT...” Jon Courson writes, “How easily the word ‘but’ creeps into our thinking. We are aware of the provision, but we start raising objections when we look at the situation practically.” (Jon Courson’s Application Commentary: New Testament, P. 482)

Throughout the Bible God uses something “little” to do something huge! In fact, He chose the Israelites, precisely BECAUSE they were a little nation. David was the runt of the litter in his family, but he was chosen by God to become king. With only five smooth stones in his hand (and only using ONE of those), David slew Goliath. Gideon used a teeny army to rout a large enemy. And Jesus used just five SMALL loaves and two SMALL fish to feed over 5,000 people!

When we are looking for a miracle, let’s not OVERLOOK the small! What has God given you to work that miracle you are seeking. Is your faith SMALL? Ask Him to enlarge it by HIS power. We have been asking for some mighty miracles for Baby Royce this week. Let’s bring our small faith to our Mighty God, and watch Him work!

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