The stage is set for one of history’s real-live dramas, and you have just gotten the word there is to be an open casting call. This is the break you have been waiting for—a chance to make your mark, a chance for your name to go in the history books, the opportunity of a lifetime! In perhaps the best known of all of Jesus’ miracles, the Feeding of the Five-Thousand, you have the opportunity to land a starring role.
Hmmm….now, which role would your faith make you most suited to play? As you read through John’s account of that momentous afternoon, note the key players – who are you most like? Who would you like to be?
“After this, Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias ). And a huge crowd was following Him because they saw the signs that He was performing by healing the sick. So Jesus went up a mountain and sat down there with His disciples.
Now the Passover, a Jewish festival, was near. Therefore, when Jesus looked up and noticed a huge crowd coming toward Him, He asked Philip, “Where will we buy bread so these people can eat?” He asked this to test him, for He Himself knew what He was going to do.
Philip answered, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread wouldn’t be enough for each of them to have a little.”
One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, “There’s a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish—but what are they for so many?”
Then Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.”
There was plenty of grass in that place, so they sat down. The men numbered about 5,000. Then Jesus took the loaves, and after giving thanks He distributed them to those who were seated—so also with the fish, as much as they wanted.
When they were full, He told His disciples, “Collect the leftovers so that nothing is wasted.” So they collected them and filled 12 baskets with the pieces from the five barley loaves that were left over by those who had eaten.
When the people saw the sign He had done, they said, “This really is the Prophet who was to come into the world!” Therefore, when Jesus knew that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He withdrew again to the mountain by Himself.” John 6.1-15
Who were the key players? There was Jesus, of course, the crowd, Philip, Andrew, and the boy. Which role would the Director say most suits you, based on your faith?
JESUS – Oh, I am not sure any of us would be so bold as to see ourselves like Jesus on that afternoon . . . although, remarkably Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” John 14.12
PHILIP – Philip was originally from that region, so Jesus asked him about the availability of food, but really, Jesus was just checking the availability of Philip’s faith. Philip came up lacking. ‘Food, Lord? Why a whole year’s wages wouldn’t be enough to feed this crowd!’ Notice he didn’t even offer any ideas or solutions.
THE CROWD – Now that would be a comfortable place to be—in the right place at the right time, ready to observe a miracle should Jesus perform another, after all, that’s why they were there!
ANDREW and the BOY – Andrew went in search of a possible solution, and found a boy who had brought his lunch with him. (Apparently, he had a good Jewish mother who thought ahead and made sure her son had his lunch with him!) ‘Come Boy, let’s see what the Master can do with your lunch,’ Philip said, and dutifully, the boy went with Andrew to meet Jesus. The lunch was small—more than likely, the two fish were pickled or dried sardine-like fish that were caught in the Galilean waters . . . yet, what the boy had, he was willing to give to Jesus.
How would the Director cast you? Even if you are like Philip, a pragmatist, would you have the eyes of faith, knowing what Jesus could do?
Would you then have the faith to ask him to do the miraculous?
Are you at all like Andrew—do you bring people to Jesus?
Oh, that we could all be the boy . . .
willing to offer all to God ~ whatever we have, great or small.
Let's be Andrew - inviting people to where they can hear the truth of Jesus' love!
Let's be the boy, willing to give what we have, so all may know and be filled.