Read John 6:1-15
Philip and Andrew had witnessed Jesus perform his first miracle turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana. But at this moment, the problem of feeding thousands of people with no food eclipsed what they knew of Jesus as a miracle worker. Their suggested solutions focused on work and money rather than Jesus’ power.
Why did they panic? Did they forget who Jesus was? Perhaps it would have been wrong for any of the disciples to suggest to Jesus how to solve the problem miraculously. After all, one of Jesus’ temptations in the desert came from Satan, who told him to make the rocks into bread.
In addition to that, Jesus was exhausted at this point in his ministry. He had been busy healing crowds and teaching. Maybe his disciples just wanted the people to go away so their master could rest. But Jesus had compassion on the hungry crowds. He wanted to feed them physically like he had just fed them spiritually with his teaching.
Remembering to take both our physical and our spiritual needs to Jesus is important. When we come to him, he makes us into the kind of person he is, which is good because we need his ability to have compassion, even in the midst of exhaustion. Kids in particular can exhaust us quickly and easily. But we have to see like Jesus did and continue to feel compassion for kids who demand so much from us—hungry kids, kids who want to know more, kids who are not listening or following rules.
How did Jesus do it? At the end of a long, long day, Jesus did not draw his strength from just working more or trying harder. Instead, he performed a miracle. He relied on supernatural strength and supernatural compassion. That’s exactly why our faith in him is so critical. On our own strength, we would send people away to find their own food. Without Jesus, we panic and become paralyzed with fear. But with God’s strength? Miracles.
What’s one way you can more fully rely on God’s strength in your life?
What physical and spiritual needs are you bringing to Jesus right now?