First Words 8-15-22
With a mass of people—hungry people---needy people, Jesus asked Philip a pointed and provocative question: “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” The question asked by Christ was not without purpose. Jesus spoke with purpose. It would be of blessing and benefit to slowly and prayerfully read through the Gospels, Acts 1, and in the book of Revelation, giving special attention to those words written in red. Jesus said, “the words that I speak, they are spirit and they are life”. His words form the basis of what we believe, what we live, and what we preach:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
“And ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.” (Acts 1:8)
“And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (Mark 16:17-18)
“Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God believe also in me; in my Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so I would have told you; I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go to prepare a place for you; I will come again and receive you unto myself.” (John 14:1-3)
Jesus’ words must not be viewed as a mere matter of record - 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 and wisdom to solve our problems. Jesus’ words teach us how to walk with God, how to lead our family, how to deal with our adversary the devil 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 were never spoken without purpose and relevance to every person regardless of gender or generation.
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 navigate 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.” We may not know what we are going to do. The situation before us may seem to be reeling out of control…tracking the wrong way. God knows exactly what to do, when to do it and how to do it. Rest in confidence of God’s ability to do what we can not do.
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…. He 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!