Jesus our perfect provider (Part 1)
Okay today I start this post with a confession: I love the Word of God! What I love about God’s Word is that it is not dead words on a page, but words that carry the life giving power of God — words that have the power to change both the world within me as well as the world around me. Most of all what makes the Bible so amazing is that it reveals the beauty and majesty of Jesus.
Every page from Genesis to Revelation when read with the correct lens ‘drips’ with fresh revelation of Jesus! Jesus is the clearest revelation of God that we have — Jesus is perfect theology!
The story of the young man in John 6 is such a powerful story. There are many elements that could be highlighted in the story — but something that stands out for me is the revelation of Jesus as our perfect provider. It also shows some keys to walking in the supernatural provision of God in our lives.
The truth is God’s provision is always greater than our need!
So let’s briefly look at the keys that are outlined in the story:
John 6:5–6 [NLT] Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.
The story starts with a challenging question: “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?”. This wasn’t a small need, this was a big need: 5000 people needed to be fed (well even more than 5000 as this was just the men — there was women, children and even some hungry ‘eat a fridge full of food’ teenagers in the crowd). Jesus turns around and ask Philip a crazy question —“Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?”. I can only imagine the look on Phil’s face when Jesus asked him! What verse 6 reveals is a key to the story — even though Jesus asked Philip the question, He already knew how He would supply the need. You see God is never caught off guard by the situations that we find ourselves in — our bank accounts, job situations etc never catch Him off guard — for me there is a peace in that fact (SELAH — think about it, rest in this truth — He is never caught off guard). But what we see is that even though Jesus knew how He would supply the need, He wanted the disciples to be a part of the miracle, He wanted to grow their faith. Sometimes I believe that Jesus will also ask us these kinds of questions so that we too can be a part of the miracle and see our faith grow.
John 6:7 [NLT] Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough to feed them!
Philip moves from ‘shocked Phil’ to ‘clever Phil’. He pulls out his calculator (well maybe he counted with his fingers and toes as calculators weren’t around yet) and comes to the remarkable conclusion — Jesus there is no way we can make a plan! You see the thing is the things that God calls us to do are always beyond what we can do in out strength and with our resources.
God calls us into the place called beyond, the place that is beyond our own ability!
If we can do it in our strength and with our resources, we get the glory, BUT when only He can do it, then He gets the glory! The question that we call need to ask ourselves is: have we limited ourselves to what we can do in our own strength and ability, or are we living in the place called beyond where we are totally dependent on God to work?
John 6:8–9 [NLT] Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”
Here’s where one of the heroes of the story arises — a young boy with audacious faith and a generous spirit! Personally I love the example that this young man sets — I want to have his kind of faith and spirit. While the disciples see the size of the crowd, He sees the size of God in the midst of them. He didn’t have a lot to give, but He gave anyway. Was he the only one with food? Probably not, but He was the only one that had the faith and generosity to give. He was also the only one that got to sow into and be a part of the miracle. 5 loaves and 2 fish feeding 5000 people? That’s impossible! That’s the Bible times version of a McDonalds happy meal without the toy (unless he kept the toy when he gave away his meal).
You see what makes the impossible become possible is faith!
True giving must always be done in faith. All too often we give from a place of comfort instead of from a place of faith! This boy saw the crowds and saw his lunch —but more importantly God saw His faith!
We also see that the boy gave sacrificially. It would appear that he gave away his whole meal — he gave ALL that he had. The boy looked beyond his own needs and was a blessing to those around him.
Giving requires faith, sacrifice and a generous spirit!
Tomorrow I will post part 2 of this blog.
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