Stop Counting Beans

Posted: September 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

I love the story of feeding over 5000 men. One of my favorite parts is the exchange between Jesus and Philip. Jesus asks, “Where can we buy bread to feed the crowd?” In true “bean counter” fashion, Philip doesn’t answer the question. He thinks money. “Lord, 200 denairii would not be enough to buy bread for this crowd?”

I can only speculate as to why he chose that number. Maybe it is how much the little band of followers and Jesus had in their money bag, I don’t know. A denarius was a Roman coin that took its name from its original value, 10 donkeys. So 2000 donkey’s worth of money would not be enough.

But John tells us that Jesus already knew where He would get bread, He was testing Philip. I am sure that Philip was a loyal follower and an essentially good man. But we know he was a little bit slow to comprehend spiritual truth. In John 14 Jesus is explaining His approaching departure from them. Philip says “Show us the Father, and it will be enough.” Jesus is obviously disappointed. “Honestly, Philip, after all this time you don’t know who I am?” (My paraphrase).

You probably remember the story. Jesus takes a lad’s small lunch of a few tiny barley loaves and tiny fish and feeds over 5000 men, plus women and chidren. Everyone eats all they want, and then they collect 12 baskets of leftovers. Wow. Later Paul would write to the Philippian church, “My God shall supply all of your need according to His riches in glory.” (Phil. 4:19). God’s Word says that God’s source is not our apparent wealth, but His own abundant heavenly resources made available to us through Jesus Christ. So stop counting beans, and start counting on God.

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