Jesus used every opportunity to teach heavenly truths. In John 6 we find Jesus and his disciples in a deserted area about nine miles from the nearest town. Due to His ministry of healing, the multitudes followed Jesus everywhere. When it came time to feed them, Jesus asks Philip a question which opened the door to a lesson. From this lesson, we learn the contrast between man’s limited thinking, God’s limitless thinking and the power of Almighty God.
If anyone knew the answer Philip should for he was from the area. “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” Jesus asked him. Philip looked to the vastness of the need and the limited resources; a common occurrence in God’s dealing with men.
In Numbers 11 God promised meat. Moses in his limited thinking argued with God. “the people I am among are six hundred thousand men on foot. Yet you have said, ‘I will give them meat that they may eat for a whole month.’ His defense continues until God says, “Has the Lord’s arm been shortened? Now you shall see whether my Word will befall you or not.”
Again in 2 Kings 4:43 there is a situation where the servant questions, “What? Shall I set this before one hundred men? He (Elisha) said again, “Give it to the people that they may eat; for thus says the Lord; they shall eat and have some left over.”
Jesus already knew what He was going to do. He knew the history of how time and again His Father met the need of those struggling with unbelief. Yet He passed the problem on to His disciples to see what they would do. They assessed the great need. There were about 5,000 men. Then they saw what they had. It didn’t seem to be much in light of the need; five barley loaves, and two fish. It was a beginning. “Make the people sit down,” Jesus instructed. Then He gave thanks. After, He gave it to the disciples to distribute and they did so.
Everyone was fed on that day. Everybody had their fill and still there were left-overs! Twelve basketfuls were left over! God was revealed. “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.” God was glorified!
Whatever God asks of us, no matter how huge it seems, there is a starting place. What is Jesus asking of us? Do we see the need? Do we see the beginning of the answer? Can we thank Him and believe that He can take our insufficiency and infuse it with His own sufficiency? It is in those times, in those places Almighty God will be revealed and glorified!
In John 6 we learn the contrast between man’s limited thinking, God’s limitless thinking and the power of Almighty God.