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October 18, 2020 | Doug Sauder
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“After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased. And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples.”—John 6:1-3 (NKJV)
As we’ve seen this past month, every miracle of Jesus points us to something that needs to be desperately known, not just by those directly impacted by them, but by us as well. This is never more evident than in the miracle we now come to, which is so rich in meaning that it will occupy our attention for the next three days.
Christ is being shadowed by a great multitude. There’s a great buzz over Him, but we also need to understand its superficial, rooted in what He can do for “me,” rather than relational devotion. Knowing this, Jesus seeks some solace with His disciples on a mountainside. But it’s short lived: “Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, ‘Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?’ But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do” (John 6:4-6 NKJV).
Jesus doesn’t run or turn the masses away. He seizes the moment to teach His disciples (and us) a series of spiritual lessons. This multitude probably consisted of about ten to fifteen thousand people when we account for women and children (John 6:10). That’s a lot of human need! Too much, perhaps. But Jesus asks Philip, “where shall we buy bread” to feed them all? Notice the use of the word, “we.” This was a test from Jesus as He already knew how this all would end. But in saying this, He exposes something in Philip, and us: “Philip answered Him, ‘Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little’” (John 6:7 NKJV).
Philip does what we would likely do, he sizes up the situation and pronounces Christ’s proposal as impossible. He basically says, “The equivalent of several month’s wages couldn’t buy enough bread to feed so many mouths!” That’s looking at life in purely natural terms, in terms of just “me.”
But Jesus said “we,” which means there’s a supernatural dynamic involved that changes the natural equation. This what Philip, the other disciples, and we need to understand. When Jesus is added, it doesn’t matter how many mouths there are or how much money is needed. All that matters is He’s alongside us!
DIG: What test does Jesus present to Philip and why?
DISCOVER: What’s the difference between “me” and “we” here?
DO: Pray about ways you can continue to shift more from a “me” to a “we” mindset.