Today’s Thought: Who do you think Jesus is?
“Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” [Jesus] asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:13-16)
In John 6, Jesus has gone up the mountain with his disciples as a large crowd of about five thousand (!!!) gathers because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. Jesus looks out over the crowd and then he turns to Philip. The gospel writer tells us that what happens next is a ‘test.’
Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” Philip answered him, “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” (v5-9)
Jesus takes the five loaves and the two fish from the young boy, divides it among the five thousand—giving them as much as they wanted—and they were satisfied!
This is an example of the test Jesus administers over and over throughout the gospels. It only has one question: Who do you believe I am? When Jesus asks Philip where they can buy bread for all those people, Philip doesn’t say anything to indicate his belief that nothing is beyond the power of Jesus. He doesn’t reveal any faith in Jesus’ ability to solve this problem. Instead of answering Jesus’s question about “where” bread might come from, all Philip can think about is “how.” And he limits his possible answers to the “how” of this world—a world absent the living power of God incarnate though Jesus. (Likewise, Andrew focuses only on what he can envision through earthly power.)
Just a few short chapters back, Philip was the one proclaiming, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote” (John 1:45). Yet, when his faith is tested, he forgets that the one of whom Moses spoke has promised to always take care of his people. Even when more than you were expecting show up for dinner.
Friday’s Faithful: To know the Cross is to know that we are saved by the sufferings of Christ; more, it is to know the love of Christ Who underwent suffering and death in order to save us. It is, then, to know Christ. ― Thomas Merton