5 Loaves and 2 Fish Christian Bookstores shared Prepare Him Room Ministries's post.
Set your table in John 6:1-15
Lots of people were there, near the sea of Galilee, and while Jesus could have ignored them all, He chose to see them. He chose the use the situation He was in as an opportunity to teach his followers a truth nugget that would have eternal implications.
He begins with a question in verse 5:
“Philip, where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?”
Or in other words, “how are you going to provide for these people?”
Do you find yourself asking that question? I do even as a single woman and have often felt that worldly pressure of “how AM I going to make arrangements for all of my earthly needs?”
Philip, the realist, responded from the physical perspective, or what we affectionately and perhaps even WRONGLY call reality: there was no way that even someone whose pockets were oozing money that all of those people would get fed. It was beyond Philip’s comprehension.
Andrew, the surveyor, made the effort to assess the actual assets, but only came up with a meager lunch. He must have realized right away how foolish he sounded to even offer up the sparse contributions since he quickly corrected himself with a question (v. 9): “What are they for so many?”
Their efforts at solving this ginormous problem proved futile; their failure to provide for the people (including themselves) probably felt frustrating.
How often do you attempt to be your own husband and provide for yourself when that is NOT YOUR JOB?
Now, Jesus had a plan all along, even while they were trying to figure things out:
“He said this [that earlier question in verse 5] to test him, for he himself knew what he would do.” (v. 6)
What a wise Teacher Jesus was and is! And what a moment of his divinity and his humanity both on display at once! He graciously revealed his step-by-step plan one instruction at a time to the disciples.
In order for the Son of God to show off His ability to provide, the first step was for the people to sit down. They couldn’t persist in meandering about; they would have to pause if they hoped to see His provision first hand. And the disciples were going to have to encourage the people to do so. This was a wise instruction by Jesus because that posture put them in a better position to receive the blessing that was coming their way. They may not have even known that Jesus was going to feed them. But they had to be obedient first.
Are you scrambling and scurrying to provide or sitting and seeing the provision of the Lord?
Next, Jesus took what He HAD. What an example! He knew that it didn’t ACTUALLY matter how small his resources were because He knew how big His God was/is! Not only was He not intimidated by its small size, but He didn’t let it hinder His thankfulness!
Do the 5 loaves and 2 fish that He has given you seem minuscule compared to the size of the provision you are in desperate need for? When was the last time you were thankful for what feels small to you?
Thirdly, Jesus “distributed them to those who were seated” (v. 11). He acted in faith and trusted His Father to provide for every single person there.
I don’t know if they were seated in rows or not, but imagine the disciples moving those baskets as an usher does the offering at church. Did they wonder each time they sent the basket down the row that the next time they saw it, the basket would be empty ? By the tenth row, did they start to actually believe there would be enough for everyone?
How ENDURING is your trust? Is it easily shaken at the first sign of something going “wrong”? Do you really believe that Jesus will totally and completely provide for all your needs? Or have you bought into the lie that your Father is a partial provider?
The people’s appetites were totally satisfied to fullness (the only way Jehovah Jireh works is completely), and Jesus gave His last instruction to the disciples: Collect the residue, all those scraps of bread left behind, to ensure that nothing was wasted (v. 12-13).
The God of the Bible wrings out His many resources well. Everything belongs to Him and He uses every last drop for His glory and our good.
Are you fully satisfied with His provisions? What is one resource that you see Him using and not wasting?