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Vision and Provision

Vision and Provision
Words of Faith 10-14-16
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2016
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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John 6
Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), [2] and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick. [3] Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. [4] The Jewish Passover Feast was near.
[5] 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, "Eight months' wages would not 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?"
[10] Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. [11] Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
[12] When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted." [13] So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
[14] After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, "Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world." [15] Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

The feeding of the multitude is one of the best loved of stories of the New Testament. It serves as one of the “signs” validating the ministry of Jesus and testifying to His Sonship. It is the only miracle to be reported in all four Gospels. The early church treasured the event and its location.
The miraculous feeding probably served food to some 10,000 or so people including women and children. It was not easily forgotten. It took place at a turning point in the ministry of Jesus as He moved from a season of popularity to a time when fewer disciples would stick around. The conflict with religious leaders was growing more contentious. Jesus would soon communicate His resolute intention to go into the political and religious hornet’s nest of Jerusalem so that He might die.
So what was the point of feeding so many people and meeting such a temporary need? The event tells us a number of things.
Jesus was concerned with the most basic of needs. He is not unaware of our need for “daily bread”. We should not over-spiritualize this. People need to eat. Jesus has compassion for the basic needs of life.
We also should not miss the spiritual message here. Jesus is also aware of our deeper needs. He wants to feed us spiritual food as well. He is the Bread of Life. It is the call of the church to meet physical and spiritual needs by the power of Christ.
There is also a great message about faith here. In the other Gospels, Jesus directed the disciples to give the people food. In John’s Gospel we hear Jesus ask where food might be obtained. In no account of this event does Jesus ever ask how much food or money the Disciples have available. He does not ask for an analysis. He does not ask for a plan. He is the provider and He is the director of ministry.
He was asking them to do something. He was asking them to trust Him. We often miss this point and begin to imagine what we can do for God in our own strength. Or we shoot down the plan of God because we realize we cannot accomplish it. We have a good example of that in Philip.
There is a wonderful contrast between Philip and Andrew. Philip gives a financial analysis of why the request of Jesus is impossible. Andrew on the other hand suggests that what is available be offered and used. One of our biggest stumbling blocks in ministry is that we are quick to point out why the directive of God is impossible rather than offering what we have in faith.
The truth is that if we have enough money or fish or loaves to do what we think God has called us to do, then we really don’t need God. God will always call us to a place that is beyond ourselves. He will always call us to trust Him.
Where does the Lord want us to be feeding today? What needs does He want us to meet? This is not a call to dream but a call to listen. What does He want us to trust Him with today?

Lord, forgive me for the times I have pointed out why Your plans will not work. Teach me to trust You for both the vision and the provision of Your plan. In Jesus’ Name.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2002, 2016
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.