Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), 2 and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. 3 Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. 4 The Jewish Passover Festival was near.
5 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?” 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
7 Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
14 After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
What comes to mind when you think of provision? Food, a home, money, the words you need for that speech? What an amazing experience when we stand in a place of deep need and something or someone comes through for us in our time of need. We breathe deep; we might laugh; we might cry; we might get down on our knees and praise!
In John 6:1-15, we are taken back to that moment on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd of more than five thousand has gathered, it’s evening and they need something to eat. The disciples immediately look at the enormity of the problem – five thousand plus people and no food in sight, except for five loaves and two fish from a boy. They’ve walked with Jesus, witnessed His miracles, and yet in this moment they seem to be missing the opportunity to witness yet another miracle; one of great provision.
How easy it is to look at the meager offering we hold or the scarcity of our situation and miss the opportunity for the miracle. It’s in that moment, with gratitude, that we can confidently offer what’s in our hands to the One who can take what we bring and multiply it beyond what we could imagine!
Based on the truth of who Jesus is – not on your shortcomings – how might you change your response to any seemingly impossible circumstance you are currently encountering?