Jesus and the Disciples have been working together for some time and Jesus throws out a question in advance of what will be a major miraculous event. This time for the first recorded time Jesus ask the disciples what should be done. He also asks an impossible question for the disciples to answer.
5 Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” John 6:5 ESV
How should Philip answer this question? Why is it is his responsibility to feed the people? They do not have large sums of money or a pool of rich donors that are funding their troop.
6 He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. 7 Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, 9 “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” John 6:6-9 ESV
Disciples were so eager to throw up objections to such a question. I am sure I would have been the same. Maybe with an LOL or /sarcasm mixed in too. But the Disciples have been with Jesus seeing all the miracles. They were at the party when the water was turned to wine. Why would such a question be out of the norm for them? Even for the disciples it is difficult to see beyond present circumstances and remember that God the creator is at work when we are serving him.
After Jesus completes the miracle that he wanted of feeding the thousands of people…
22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” Matthew 14:22-27 ESV
No one sees Jesus walking on water but the disciples in the boat. What purpose does Jesus have in doing this miracle? What is the benefit?
28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14:28-33 ESV
Jesus is starting to build the faith of the disciples in Him to trust that they also will serve God for His glory in the same way that Jesus is doing. Disciples do you trust that God can feed all these people? Disciples do you trust God that he can control the wind, waves, and sea?
12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. John 14:12-13 ESV
A look into the future of Peter and John and the life that they live…
3 Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. 4 And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” 5 And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” Acts 3:3-6 ESV
Each day you spend with Jesus in prayer, trust, obedience, and faith is a day of growth and change. The old life of selfishness and vanity can start to fade away as one becomes more like Christ. Are you ready to abandon the life that is storing up treasure for here and now or will you push on to the life Christ is calling you to live with an eternal focus? Jesus has work to do the question is if you are serving his purpose or your own. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray we all serve for his glory.