Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat? He asked this only to test him...
Confronted with a multitude of hungry people, Jesus asks one of His students this question.
It’s very interesting because John tells us Jesus - already had in mind what he was going to do. Jesus knows He will feed these 5,000 men with only five loaves and two fishes. He isn’t seeking advice from Philip!
So why the question?
Jesus is giving Philip a test. A test of faith!
And Philip’s answer shows he does not yet fully appreciate the power of His Teacher. Philip answered Him, "Eight months' wage would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!"
Philip sees the problem as insurmountable. His faith in Jesus is weak at this point, but the Teacher gave him a passing grade on this test anyway. At least he is still in the classroom with the Teacher, doing his best to pay attention.
As students of this Teacher, we also experience the same kind of test every time we confront a sizeable problem in our life. A circumstance that seems overwhelming! A temptation that won’t go away!
It’s test time for us!
At such times we find out how much we really trust this Teacher. How much we believe in His power to change our circumstances! Change us!
Jesus feeds the 5,000 and provides a sign to all His students. We can have faith in His willingness to use His power to come to our aid in even the most difficult situations.