Text: John 6:1-13
Here a few lessons I learnt from the above passage:
There are three main characters: Jesus Christ, the disciples and a great crowd with a great need
Jesus brings the attention of the disciples to the need: People are hungry and we should do something about it. So, He asks, “Where shall we buy bread for all these people to eat?” (v. 5). There are at least three underlying questions in this question:
- How can we respond to the great needs around us?
- What is our responsibility?
- What are our limitations?
Philip approaches the situation from his human point of view. “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite” (v. 7). He is a person of numbers, so he concludes that it is impossible to feed all these people. Just give up on the idea and do other better things with your time and resources.
This is the easiest response for many of us. You don’t have to be responsible for anything. You can blame your lack of involvement on the circumstances: “the economy is just too bad, the political situation is not favorable; I am too young; I am too old. Anyone in my situation knows that it is not possible. God also knows.” There are way too many excuses we can come up with when we don’t want to be committed.
But look at this: He [Jesus] asked this only to test him [Philip], for he already had in mind what he was going to do. God already has a solution for any challenge that we encounter.
Whereas Philip focuses on what is not there (there is no money), Andrew focuses on what is there. “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” There is something available. “I am not sure whether it can do anything significant but, well, it’s what we have.” We all have opportunities to respond to the question Jesus raises: “How can we respond to the great needs around us?” Is Jesus Christ concerned about these issues? Of course He is. How then shall we respond?
Where is our focus?
- The greatness (and apparent impossibility) of the need or,
- The possibilities (however minimal) available for us to meet the need?
“Make the people to sit” (v. 10).
This is our responsibility: to do what Jesus has told us to do.
Many times we fail because we try to take on God’s responsibility and neglect ours.
Jesus: took the (boy’s) bread, gave thanks, and distributed.
It is not your job to increase the bread. It is not your job to heal, save or change the world. Your job to share God’s love; to pray for God’s people; to use your God-given resources to bless God’s people.
There was surplus. God’s resources are unlimited. He is a God of abundance. He has the power to do what He has promised to do.