Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a multitude was coming to him, Jesus said to Philip, “How are we to buy bread, so that the people may eat?” This he said to test him… John 6:5-6
Five loaves of bread and two fish fed five thousand hungry men … and they could have as much as they wanted. To guard against skeptics, Jesus ordered the leftovers gathered – twelve baskets filled “with fragments from the five barley loaves.” Do we buy these larger-than-life gospel stories that might expose our sometimes “fishy” faith? Philip did the math that necessitated a multiplication miracle. How is Jesus testing us?
“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are holding to your faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?” (2 Corinthians 13:5). Somewhere along the line we must go from human reaction to faith transaction based on this particular event that had the ancients exclaim, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world!” In us and through us – Christ’s own – the revelation of His grace and sufficiency must keep coming into the world. If we do Philip’s math, we will multiply money with doubt and come up with zero also. Jesus clearly was not fazed by the crowd, but deliberately focused on the fact that….(Part 1 of 2)
Comment: So, a seemingly straightforward approach to Scripture ends with a teaser and your suspicion that I mean to test your patience. Perhaps you wonder if this is about food insecurity, fascination with Jesus, or fish for heart health? I’m led to think nose health, because my kids had chips in their lunch boxes and those always reeked of bologna sandwiches. To my dismay this makes me rethink the “153 large fish” caught the morning of the risen Lord’s breakfast appointment with Peter (John 21:11). There must have been a reason for counting them, but hand sanitizer hadn’t been invented yet. By now I acutely long for the enticing aroma of grilled steak in my nostrils. But cows didn’t wash up on the shore of Lake Galilee. They do better in lush grass.