Jesus said, “Have the people recline.”
Now there was a great deal of grass in that place.
So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks,
and distributed them to those who were reclining,
and also as much of the fish as they wanted. – John 6: 10 – 11
In today’s Gospel reading St John, describes to us one of Jesus’ great miracles of provision.
The miracle of the feeding of the five thousand is so significant that it was recorded by all the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:31-44; Luke 9:12-17; John 6:1-14).
In the scene that unfolds before us as we read, we see how Jesus after teaching the people who have been with him all day, wants to feed them before he sends them home.
He asks Philip where they can buy enough food to feed the people.
Philip is obviously surprised by Jesus’ question. So, he pragmatically puts things in context and replies that even two hundred days worth of wages won’t be enough to buy food for each person to have a little.
Philip obviously thought it was impossible for them to take on the responsibility of feeding such a great multitude.
Andrew on the other hand, didn’t also have an answer to Jesus’ question, but rather than leave Jesus with nothing to work with – like Philip’s answer did, he presented the boy with his little food to Jesus.
Reflecting back now, it seems to me that Andrew at that moment recalled the miracle of Jesus turning water into wine at the wedding at Cana – to satisfy the wedding guests.
He knew that Jesus could work with something, anything, no matter how small, and he was willing to see something happen.
Andrew understood Jesus’ compassion to feed the hungry people and also felt the responsibility to do so as Christ did.
Though he didn’t know how this could be achieved, he knew that Christ alone could achieve this.
And so, he reached out in faith – not even with his own resources, but with the resources of another willing child.
Jesus, being forever faithful, used the little that was made available to him (five loaves and two fish), to feed an incredible multitude of people (five thousand).
I’m sure at this point, Philip also recalled the miracle of Christ at Cana and also developed a deeper faith in the Lord’s ability to provide.
How about us today? How do we see the Lord’s ability to provide for our deepest needs?
No matter the situation we’re in, Jesus Christ is still the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13: 8).
It’s interesting to hear St John say that Jesus asked the question to Philip to ‘test’ him, even though He already knew what He was going to do.
It could be because Philip had forgotten this very fact that Jesus Christ is the same always, and He wanted to remind Philip that the miracle of provision He performed at Cana, He can also perform in this situation.
So today let our hearts take courage in the Lord, Who is our great provider – Yahweh Ji’reh, and ask Him to provide for our deepest needs.
Lord Jesus Christ, I thank You for Your great love towards us.
As the psalmist sings, how excellent is Your loving kindness, O God!
Therefore we put our trust under the shadow of Your wings.
As You provided for the multitude and fed them by the thousands, so we also today bring ourselves and our needs to You.
Provide dear Lord Jesus for all our deepest needs.
Provide for all our needs according to Your riches in glory.
And make us always grateful for Your Divine Providence in our lives…as You continue to work in our time, to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, heal the sick and give comfort to those who are afflicted.
Always & Forever,
To The Lamb.
With all my love.