The crowd had followed Jesus for some time, listening to Him teach and witnessing His miracles. Jesus knew that they must be tired and hungry. His teaching was no doubt satisfying their spiritual hunger. But, they were also physically hungry. In His compassion for the people, Jesus wanted to take care of that hunger. His disciples knew that the crowd was hungry, as well. Their solution? Send the crowd away to get food (Mark 6:36). But, sweeping the problem under the rug was not Jesus’ solution.
Knowing that Philip was from the area they were in, Jesus turned to Philip and asked him where they could buy food (John 6:5). Philip took a practical, worldly view of the problem. Money was the solution. To feed a crowd that size, even if they could get the food, would cost about 200 denarii, the equivalent of 200 days’ wages. And, even if they had they had that kind of money, it would be enough for only a little food for each person (John 6:7).
Then, Andrew came up with a solution, although it didn’t seem like one that would completely solve the problem. Andrew was always bringing people to Jesus, and that was his solution. He had discovered that there was a young boy who had packed a lunch and brought the boy to Jesus. The boy had two small fish and five barley loaves, hardly enough to feed a crowd of thousands, but Andrew must have figured that Jesus might be able to do something with it. Maybe He could convince the crowd to share a morsel each.
The real solution, of course, came from Jesus. He took the boy’s small lunch, gave thanks to God for it, then started handing out the food. The result was more than anyone could imagine, more than was humanly possible. Everyone had their fill, as much as they wanted, and there were still plenty of leftovers! (John 6:11-13)
When we have needs, whether physical or spiritual, when we are facing problems that seem insurmountable, where should we turn? When the world’s solutions, such as money or trying to get rid of the problem, can’t solve our problems, we need to turn to Jesus. Jesus cares about what we need, and He can provide a solution. The solution may not be what we expect, but it will always be the best possible solution.