“He Asked Them This to Test Them”

John 6. Famous passage. We know it as the feeding of the five thousand. But the disciples did not know that yet. They only knew that they had a problem.

Jesus has been preaching all day. The people are hungry. The memo did not go out to bring a bag lunch with you.

So now the disciples are faced with the problem of either losing their audience for the day or finding a way to feed all these people.

Jesus is always getting His disciples into scrapes like this.

I think it’s because He doesn’t want us to get complacent, too set in our ways. It’s also to get us to realize He is the answer. But that’s not all He wants. He wants us to come to that answer ourselves. And what better way to do that than to ask a question?

So, He polls the disciples and asks, “where will we buy bread so that all these hungry people could eat?”

His disciple, Philip, is utterly aghast at this. Uh, uh. No way. There’s no human reaction to this dilemma that will do that trick.

Next up comes Peter’s brother, Andrew. He finds a kid with a Lunchables set. But what will that accomplish?

Unbeknownst to them, the disciple are heading in the right direction.

He has them start passing out the food. And passing. And passing. And passing. Soon enough, all the people are fed with leftovers.

Reminds me of the story about the manna (Exodus 16:1-36), except with the manna there was only enough for the day. Jesus’ bounty flows abundantly, if we trust Him enough to let it. At Christ’s table there are plenty of leftovers.

But first we must believe in Him enough to believe that He can provide. We must trust the process. And the beginning of the process is a simple question, a little poke in the right direction.

What’s that question in your life? The more you unpack it, the more you will be fed.



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