Merciful God, how great and wonderful are Your works. Wisdom, power and love flow from You. I bless Your name.
Read John 6:1-15
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
The daily challenge of Christian discipleship is to allow our actions to be directed by Christ, rooted in him, rather than by external expectations and pressures.
Jesus was back in Galilee in a scene familiar from the other Gospels. The feeding of the five thousand is the one miracle recounted in all four Gospels–though only John tells us of the boy with his lunch, and only in John will the miracle lead into Jesus’ claim to be the bread of life. The other distinctive feature here is the crowd’s response: they see Jesus as a possible candidate for the prophet whom Moses predicted in Deuteronomy 18:15, and so a potential king. They intend to force him to fit their plans rather than reorientate their hopes and expectations around him and his teaching. Jesus withdraws before they can try.
Once again he is acting as the Father’s Son, letting only the Father direct his actions and priorities. Note the balance in his ministry between time alone with the Father, time spent teaching and training the disciples, and time given to his public ministry to the crowds. When he is in Galilee, crossing the lake provides a way to secure time away from the crowds, although they follow persistently. Neither the crowd’s view of their own needs, nor their capacity to misunderstand his ministry, nor his disciples’ view that the situation was impossible, are allowed to control Jesus’ actions. His ministry is genuinely for the disciples and the crowds, but he can only serve them if he lives and acts as the Father directs.
He is obedient because he trusts the Father. The miracle takes place as he gives thanks (11,23), just as he will do on a later occasion outside Lazarus’ tomb, knowing that the Father “always” hears him (John 11:41,42). His ministry to others was rooted in obedient faith in the Father. So our ministry in his name must be rooted, also, in obedient faith in him.
How did Phillip limit what God could do in this situation? Is there some seemingly impossible task you feel God wants you to do? See Luke 1:37.
Mighty God, You can take whatever I offer You and multiply its effectiveness beyond my wildest dreams. Continue to work Your Kingdom purposes through me.
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