Editor’s Note: Today’s AMI QT Devotional is provided by Joanna Tzen. Joanna graduated from U. Penn and currently works in Philadelphia. She is married Paul Tzen, and they attend Grace Covenant Church.
Devotional Thought for Today
When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. 7 Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” 8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
This passage of Jesus feeding the five thousand is familiar to many of us, which is also chronicled in Matthew 14 and Mark 6. Matthew 14:14 tells us that Jesus had compassion for the crowd, but Mark 6:34 adds that it was because they were like sheep without a shepherd. From reading this chapter (John 10), we can see how the sheep responded to the teachings of the Good Shepherd. As a result of His compassion, Jesus stayed to teach the crowds, but at the end of a long day, He also wanted to provide for their physical needs. When He asks Philip to provide, Philip is incredulous and immediately calculates the cost—even though he knows Jesus is with him and is able to work miracles. However, a small boy pipes up that he has food, even though it can maybe feed only one small family.
I am the sort of person who worries often and calculates; so I can relate with Philip when he looks at the circumstances or mountains more than the One who moves the mountains (Matt. 17:20). It is not that counting the cost is bad, as Jesus does urge us to count the cost of being disciples (Luke 14:25-33). However, when we offer what we have, like the young boy did, we trust with a child-like dependence and faith that Jesus can make the impossible possible.
If you are like me and Philip, maybe you can ask the Lord to help you see which mountains He wants you to depend on Him to move. If you know a Philip, maybe you can pray and encourage that person to have a child-like faith and know that Jesus can be trusted.
Prayer: Lord, please forgive me for my lack of faith, and help me to see how You are trustworthy. As today is a new day, filled with new mercies (Lam. 3:22-23), I pray that Your Holy Spirit would enable me to better remember Your character and promises. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 132-133