"But this He said to test him, for He, Himself knew what He would do.” John 6:6
"After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased. And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples. Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat? But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.”
Verse two of this passage says that “a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased”. The ministry of Jesus was characterized by His message, His miracles, and His mercy. Jesus knew that the manifestation of the supernatural power of God didn’t drive people away….it attracted them. Miracles are always relevant to those who are desperate for a miracle. Perhaps you are reading this First Words today and you, your family or a friend needs a miracle. God is still God. People change, culture changes and churches change but, God remains ever the same. There’s not a doctor in this world that can write a prescription for a miracle… but, Jesus did:
“Whatsoever you ask that will I do that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
Notice this statement: “And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples”. Wow! The disciples and Jesus… just hanging out together. What a privilege to be in the company… to be in the presence of Jesus every single day. Religious people visit God on Sundays…. redeemed people - people washed in Jesus’ blood, in covenant relationship with Him… live in His presence and walk with Him 24/7!
Jesus then begins a conversation with His disciples. This wasn’t just chit-chat. Jesus didn’t talk just to be talking… He had something to say. Jesus’ words must not be viewed as a mere matter of record or irrelevant for everyday life, in today’s culture. Jesus’ words deal with our faith, our family, and our future. Jesus’ words address marriage, morals, and money. Jesus’ words provide principles to order our priorities, wisdom to resolve our worries and peace, in the midst of our problems. Jesus’ words teach us how to deal with the devil, how to treat our enemies and how to win the lost. Jesus’ words provide conviction when we’re wrong, comfort when we’re hurting and counsel when we’re confused… the words of Jesus… never spoken without purpose, power or passion.
So, Jesus asked Philip a question to “test” him. Although, we may not hear a literal and loud voice from Jesus asking us a question, there are times when the problems we face create questions: What are we going to do now? How are going to do this? Where will we get the money to do this? Jesus asked Philip a question, but verse 6 says: “He himself knew what He would do.” He knew then and He knows now.
Perhaps the circumstances and situations in your life have created some hard and haunting questions. A dilemma on your board. A deficit in your budget. A diagnosis from a doctor. A divorce in your family. A division in your church. A crisis always creates questions. May I tell you on this Monday morning…. God knows what He is going to do! Hold steady. You will not be defeated by the devil! You will not drown in despair! You will not be overcome by your opposition! If He works now as He did then, and we know He does, there’s a miracle in the making for YOU!