by Major Ian Thomas
When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what He was going to do. (John 6:5-6) Jesus was always prepared to respond to the situations presented to Him by His Father. Even though He had surrendered His own power and glory to live as a man in a weak mortal body, a life that required Him to depend on the Father for everything, nothing overwhelmed Him. He was never baffled. Jesus continued to trust in His Father’s ability to be in everything He did. As One who lived in the light, it could therefore “be seen plainly” how His works were being done “through God.” (John 3:21)
Jesus presented the problem of feeding the five thousand to Philip to expose a darkness that still existed in Philip’s thought processes. Philip had not yet learned to live by faith in God’s power. His thinking was still connected to the way that man naturally lives – by his own efforts. Jesus knew that if Philip continued to live by human wisdom and strength, it would be impossible for Philip to reflect the glory of God in this world as he was created to do.
The others disciples would have undoubtedly given a response similar to the
one given by Philip. Jesus was merely using Philip as an example. His response to the question reflects a natural human thought process. He said, “Eight months wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” (John 6:7) Can we see what Philip was using as the basis to resolve the problem? Was he thinking in terms of what God is able to accomplish through His power? No! He naturally turned to the purchasing power of money! Philip had not yet learned to consider God’s power when confronting difficult situations.
What are you depending on? Have you learned to walk in a way that truly depends on the power of God? As you were making your various decisions over this past week, did you naturally turn to your own sufficiency? Did you have a tendency to live by your own wisdom and strength? Did you take into account that Jesus has gone to be with the Father to enable you to live as He did through the power of God?
You will need to repent in every area of your life where you have not learned
to live by faith in God’s power. If you are not yet living in a moment by moment
dependence on your risen Lord, if there is somewhere you are still trying to be
adequate without Him, then you are not yet walking as a spiritual Christian.
And, of course, if you are still living by your own strength, others will not be
able to see the light and glory of God working through you. (John 3:21)