Where can we buy enough food for them to eat? 

With these words, Jesus launched Philip and the other disciples on a path of discovering more clearly who he was and what he had come to accomplish. Of course, he was concerned about feeding the crowd of people who had come out to listen to him. But he already “knew what he was going to do” about that (John 6:6). He asked this question to help his disciples become more confident in their ability to build his kingdom on earth. Jesus didn’t want this miracle of loaves to be the last time God miraculously took care of his people. He wanted the Twelve to become familiar and even comfortable with the idea of performing miracles themselves.

And so Jesus involved his disciples in every step of this miracle. He asked Philip to assess the situation: the size of the crowd and the inadequacy of their own resources. When Andrew brought him a bit of food and a lot of skepticism, he accepted the gift and told the disciples to make the people sit down, to pass out the loaves, and to collect the fragments. From beginning to end, the Twelve were an integral part of the miracle.

What did the disciples learn that day? They learned to look at needs through the lens of God’s compassion. They learned to put their own meager offerings into Jesus’ hands, and to do so unselfishly. They learned to give thanks to God before and after each request. And they learned to rely on the power of God as they built the kingdom.

Jesus wants to do the same thing for us. He wants us to become vessels of his grace in the world. So whenever he brings a need to your attention, pay attention! He is not just asking you what you think. As he did with Philip, he’s inviting you to join him in doing something wonderful about it. If you’re alert for his direction and willing to take a step of faith, you may just see some amazing things happen!

“Jesus, make me a coworker with you. Teach me how to cooperate with your Spirit.”

Acts 5:34-42
Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14
John 6:1-15


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