He Already Knew
19 December 2017
Reading: John 5-6
5 When Jesus looked out and saw that a large crowd had arrived, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy bread to feed these people?” 6 He said this to stretch Philip’s faith. He already knew what he was going to do. (John 6:5-6 MSG)
Jesus cared about the hungry crowd and already knew what he was going to do to feed them, but he got Philip and his friends to think about the need, realize their own inadequacy in the situation, and then to participate in the miracle. Philip responded to Jesus’ question with an accurate observation of the size of the need and the impossibility of the task.
Jesus was planning more than merely performing an eye-popping, stomach-filling, amazing miracle himself. He wanted Philip to participate in the process. He wanted Philip’s faith to grow through the experience he was about to have, so he asked him a mind-challenging, faith-stretching question.
Jesus still asks faith-stretching questions: “Where are we going to get the resources to meet the need?” “How will we help these people?” Jesus already knows what he is going to do. He wants us to become aware and concerned about the need, to realize our own inadequacy, and then to participate in the miracle.
I wonder how many times Jesus will confront me with a seemingly impossible challenge, ask me to think through the size of the need and the scope of the situation, and ask me, “What are we going to do about this?” Jesus already knows what he is going to do. But Jesus wants to stretch my faith, and involve me in the process!
Father, I am so thankful that you already know what you’re going to do! Please be patient with me as you confront me with needs and question me about processes. I want my faith to grow. Help me not to draw back from the challenge but to embrace the faith-stretching situations you present. Amen.