That You May Believe - Week 10 Recap
When we think of the narrative of Jesus feeding the five thousand with five barley loaves and two fish, we're drawn to the characters of the narrative. First, Jesus, who through His great compassion, senses the hunger of the crowd before him. Then you have the crowd who has followed Jesus directly because of the signs (miracles) that He is performing. But, let’s not forget the disciples, those closest to Him, those who are not just hearing His words in mass meetings but are being discipled by Jesus personally. The narrative specifically mentions Philip along with Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter.
As I read through this narrative, I recalled the years growing up in Sunday School and the flannel graph (google the relic if you have never seen one) stories of John chapter 6. The characters are bigger than life; Jesus, of course, and then the young lad who surrenders his lunch to feed the multitude. But then some are not so looming in character; I am speaking of Philip. It is Phillip that has caught my attention and heart as I find myself identifying with his remarks to Jesus after discovering Jesus' intention to feed the masses.
How would I have reacted in that moment?
It is the struggle of the human condition, a struggle of trust. We find ourselves stuck in the middle between the where and the how. Let me explain. Jesus says to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” and Philips calculated and intentional response is, “Two hundred denarii (two hundred days wages) would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little." This is not a knee jerk reaction of Philip; he has taken the time to calculate the cost, form a statement that would, for the most part, seem logical.
How can Philip walk with Christ daily, be an eyewitness to miracles, hear the words of Christ that others are not yet fortunate enough to hear, and then formulate this kind of response? How do we do the same by each day living in the middle of where and how? Before you are too hard on yourself, allow me to remind you that being in the middle is a sign that you're on the journey. The vehicle that moves us closer to the where is a greater understanding of our loving Father through the life of His Son Jesus. The more I understand who God is, the greater the chances are that when Jesus says to me the next time, “Where can we buy bread” then my response will be different than how. For those moments that I fail and there will be those moments, God has provided amazing and limitless grace.
The purpose of the Gospel of John is to be a tool, a vehicle if you will, to guide us on that journey; to prepare us for that God moment when we stand at the door of something great and our response will be, "I know exactly where bread can be acquired, because You Jesus are the unlimited source of all things eternal."
Let's keep the conversation going. Use the following questions to discuss with your family, friends, or Connection Group.
1. Take a moment and think. Where do you think you are today on the journey between where and how?
2. Before you go any further, find joy in the fact that you are on the journey but allow a holy discontent to be the catalyst that moves you closer to where.
If you didn't get a chance to hear Sunday's message, check out the link below to watch. (Sunday message videos are usually available Sunday afternoon.)