28th February 2013

The Test

(Q. What Are We Going To Do?)

“Then Jesus lifting up His eyes and seeing that a great crowd is coming to Him, He said to Philip, From where may we buy loaves that these may eat? But He said this to test him,”
John 6:5-6a. (LITV)

Does anyone enjoy doing tests? Probably not. I never did like them. Not having had enough time to think during the test, I’d often remember the answers after I’d come out of the exam room! I think most of us have, or have had, that problem. I wonder how Philip felt after his experience with Jesus. He’d been put on the spot and asked to think of an answer.

Philip’s response was to state the obvious, “Loaves for two hundred denarii are not enough for them, that each of them may receive a little.” (verse7) Andrew also sees the equation as insurmountable with the little available: “A little boy is here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are these for so many?”(verse 9)  But like all good examiners, Jesus already had the answer in mind, “for He knew what He was about to do”(verse 6b).

Whilst we know the rest of the story, are we not in the same situation regularly? Are we not asked that question from time to time? The basic question Jesus asked was, ‘What are we going to do?’ Some of us, a bit like Philip, say, “But there’s not enough money!”, as if money was the solution to the problem. And some of us, more like Andrew, only see the size of the available resources compared with the size of the problem, so we say, ‘We don’t have enough of….’

But we, like them, forget to look to Him who has the answer. Jesus said, “Man shall not live on bread alone,” (Luke 4:4). Money, like bread, isn’t everything. Yes, we need money, but we need Him more so.

However big our ‘tests’, Jesus has the answer, as He knows already what He’s going to do. The real test question is: where are you looking for the answers?

And do we say, “Well, this little bit is never going to be enough?” or “There are too few of us?” When we do that, we are looking at things the wrong way round. There are so many examples in the Bible of God using the little amounts, whether of things or of people. He took nothing and made the universe; He took one man (Abraham) and his family to build Himself a special nation; He took one young lady (Esther) to save that special nation; and He took twelve ordinary men to build Himself a Church.

So, next time we have a ‘test’, what are we going to do? That may be the question but, unlike other tests, we’ve been given the answer. Jesus knows what He’s going to do, so let’s offer Him the little we have and ask Him, “What are YOU going to do with it?”

Dear Father, thank You for making the test that much easier by giving us the answer. Please help us, though, with the hard part—remembering to look to Jesus to see what You will have Him do for, with, in and/or through us. Thank You in Jesus’ Name.

Study by Ruth Edwards

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One Response to “28th February 2013”

  1. Ian Woodley on March 7th, 2013 9:08 pm

    Hi Ruth
    Another great study. Made me think – as I often reply to God like Philip or Andrew! By acting in this way, I put limits in my mind on what God can do. Thanks for opening up our vision – on looking to Jesus for what he has planned.
    Many Thanks

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