When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him, There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?
It is like a test of sorts, since Jesus knew what He would do. But what is the question? “Whence shall we buy?” From where? What was going to be the source for the bread they would need to feed this multitude that was 5,000 strong? Philip focuses on an amount of money, and what they could purchase with that would still be insufficient. Andrew focuses on some food they do have, but it would only provide a crumb for each person and could never be enough.
A much better source is Jesus Himself. They were not going to meet this need without Jesus supplying for them. He always provides more than we can imagine, and He gives value to what we already do have. But it is not our money or our resources that supply our needs; it is Jesus. It is nothing we have that fills and satisfies; it is Jesus. There is nothing we have that could ever meet our greatest need, but it must be Jesus who does so.
God always has a plan. God always has a way. And He doesn’t need us, but He’ll use us. And He’ll teach us and ask those questions so we might start to change our perspective and our thinking to line up more with His. He wants us to understand our insufficiency, our lack, our smallness, our weakness. He wants us to know we can’t, but He can. He wants us to recognize how much we need Him and to learn to trust Him. And then He wants us to partake of those things only He can give to us.
All those situations that confound us in our lives are really very simple for Jesus. He already has all the answers. Where is the bread going to come from? Where is the solution to our sin problem? Where can we turn for help in our brokenness and our times of need? Where do we go? It’s always Jesus. So may He be the one we seek. Within Him is all we need to be strengthened and nourished and refreshed. And ultimately He is the source of eternal life and hope and joy and peace that we’ll never find anywhere else.