When you compare the story of the feeding of the 5,000 in each of the gospels, you will see that there were four possible solutions for the problem the disciples and Jesus were facing:
1. According to Mark’s account, one solution was to send the people away. Get rid of the problem. However, Jesus knew how hungry the people were, and there was no time for travel since it was already evening.
2. Another option came from Philip. He suggested buying food, but that only raised more problems as to where they would get it and how they would pay for it. Philip counted the cost, and it added up to about 200 days wages to feed them. Even that, he said, would not be enough to satisfy their hunger.
3. Andrew came the closest to a solution. He canvassed the crowd and found a little boy with a sack lunch that was willing to donate all he had, five small barley loaves of bread and a couple of small fish. But reality set in and Andrew said, “How far will they go among so many?” How often the need seems greater than the supply!
4. Finally, Jesus spoke up. When He asked Philip in the beginning, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” the Bible says, "He was testing Philip, for He already knew what He was going to do." He always does! Jesus took the little boy’s lunch, gave thanks to God, and gave it to His disciples to distribute to the people. Not only did the people eat all they wanted, but the Bible says the disciples collected 12 baskets of leftovers! Little is much when God is in it!
God will often test our faith so that we may learn to trust in Him even when we don’t have the resources to do what He says. If you want to see a miracle in your life, offer to God what you have and let Him do the rest.
Has God given you a task beyond your ability to do? What do you have that you may offer Him?