- John 6:7 (NKJV)
Seeing the huge multitude of followers approaching on the mountain, Jesus knew they would be hungry. It was the time of the Passover when Jews honored the Law and made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem which was still some distance away. They were coming to see Jesus because they had hear of His miracles and wanted to see for themselves who this man was. Jesus also knew what he would need to do to satiate their hunger but He tested Philip, which drew the response quoted above.
Philip exemplified a good follower of the Master, trying to please Him and do as he was asked but Philip, being a mere mortal, knew in the earthly sense that the small treasury that the Disciples had amongst them was paltry and insufficient to provide what Jesus asked.
Jesus decided to us this moment as a perfect opportunity to show another of the signs of being the Son of God, for he took the few fish and loaves of bread available from a young one in the crowd and turned it into a feast for the entire flock of five thousand. The Gospel of John discusses seven miracles designed to reveal Christ's nature and mission, the feeding of the five thousand was the fourth.
Jesus' miracles, coupled with His amazing grasp of things far beyond the most learned rabbi brought wonder to many but consternation to many of the religious class. They just couldn't believe that God would bring His Son to man, as the Jews were expecting, in the form of a simple living man who was the son of a carpenter. They were looking for a king, after all, the High Priests of the Temple certainly wouldn't expect that God wanted them to humble themselves in front of a man not of royalty. And remember, Nazareth was considered a backwater town of no significance. Caiaphas, the High Priest, even said years later at Jesus trial before His crucifixion that "nothing important ever came out of Galilee."
So Jesus used the miracle of the Feeding of the Five Thousand to show that while man has a need for food for the physical self, he also has a dire need for spiritual food. That spiritual food would feed him in nourishing his belief and the attainment of everlasting life.
It was a similar message regarding water that he had given earlier to the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well. Spiritual water, like the spiritual food, nourished the spiritual self toward Everlasting Life when life on earth was done. Since food and water are critical to maintaining life, using these examples provide lasting meaning for His message to His believers concerning Heavenly Life.
Have you received the spiritual food that you need? Are you nourished in your soul so that you are fully committed to Jesus as your Lord and Savior? That's what He wants from each of us and if we make that commitment, we are promised life forever in a place that is so glorious and beautiful that we mortals can't even appreciate it in our wildest dreams. And there is only one way to find it and live it: through Jesus Christ.
Lord, We thank you for the Gospels and the stories of our Lord and His teachings and His works during his short period on this earth. Help us to take His message to heart, to keep it open to Him and His goodness and to live our life in a way that will be pleasing to Him. Bless and keep us on the road to Glory that will take us to your house when our work and trials on this earth are done. We ask in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, who gave His life in sacrifice that we might be afforded the opportunity to live with you forever. Amen.