Good morning!
Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.  Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” (John 6:26-27)

Jesus crossed over to the far side of the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miraculous signs as he healed the sick. Then Jesus climbed a hill and sat down with his disciples around him. Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, He asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” (John 6:5)
Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” (John 6:7) (One Denarius is one day’s wage at that time.  Thus, it could be more than ½ year of wage.)  Philip had already precomputed what would take to feed the huge crowd, which was about five thousand without including women and children.  (The total could be tallied easily ten to fifteen thousand or even more.)  Even if there were enough money, it was a daunting task to bring in a large amount of food and feed such a large crowd.   To Philip, thus, feeding the huge crowd was practically impossible; no plan was in place, and no pre-arrangement was made with the nearby town to buy and to bring in a huge amount of food.   How many times do we answer like Philip when God asks a seemingly impossible question? 

Bible tells “Jesus was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.” (John 6:6)   It was a test on Philip’s faith, not Philip’s ability whether he could think through all steps involved including the financial aspect.   However, Philip totally missed the point of Jesus’ question.  For Philip, the clock was ticking, and the huge crowd was getting hungrier including himself in the middle of nowhere on the hill.   He had been thinking about this since Jesus was starting to climb up the hill with the His disciples.   It was so obvious to him to purchase the huge amount of lunch was really financially draining, and the logistics of feeding the huge crowd was complex and really demanding.   He counted carefully the people to come up with a pretty accurate estimation how much would cost to buy food.  But nobody seemed care.  He was increasingly frustrated about all these things, and he looked around while closely examining the fellow disciples’ faces.  He could not see a slightest hint that even a single disciple was thinking and worrying about the same issue like him.  They were like a child just being excited about Jesus and following Him.

Jesus had been watching Philip who was increasingly frustrated.   Jesus, full of mercy and grace with a compassionate heart, could not continue letting Philip alone any longer.   Jesus finally opened His mouth and told:  “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?”   It was the moment that he was patiently waiting since they were climbing up the hill.   Philip was fully ready to pour his frustration.  He quickly jumped in and talked about the core issue – the crowd was huge, and feeding them would cost lots of money: exactly two hundred denarii or more.   While he was talking, he thought that Jesus would praise his well-prepared answer, and initiate a discussion among by calling all His disciples to deal with the immediate issue.  To his surprise, Jesus did not even respond to his answer.  Jesus was silent.   Jesus’ silence made Andrew as well as all other disciples somewhat uncomfortable.  

Suddenly, one of Jesus’ disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?  (John 6:9).  They heard and they knew Philip was right.   Two hundred days’ wage was a huge amount of money, and there was no nearby town that was ready to serve ten to fifteen thousand people.  In some reason, Andrew looked back what had happened since he started following Jesus.   He saw many signs that Jesus performed, and Jesus healed the sick wherever He went.  To Andrew, all of the events with Jesus were miracles.  Such things should have had not happened, but they actually did.  He also recalled the moment that Andrew and Peter, his brother, were called by Jesus.  Jesus’ voice was totally different.  He and his brother could not resist on his calling.  His calling was:  “Follow Me.  I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19)  They immediately left their nets and followed Jesus.   Since then, Andrew experienced that Jesus was not an ordinary teacher.   Jesus’ teaching had authority not like those of other teachers or religious leaders.   Although he was not able to pin point when he was starting to believe in Jesus, he knew he had a faith in Jesus.  In this faith, Andrew looked around again, and saw one small boy with five barley loves and two fish.   Then with his total trust in Jesus, he broke the silence.  Andrew spoke to Jesus about the five barley loves and two fish that one boy had.  

Although Andrew believed Jesus that He could do anything beyond his imagination, his rational mind was still lingering.  Thus, he had to add “but what are they for so many?” at the end of his utterance.  Yes, Andrew eye-witnessed many miracles that Jesus performed, but he was not able to overcome what was seen his own eyes – the huge crowd.  Again, there was a silence.  However, it was a rather short one.  Jesus soon told: “Have the people sit down.” (John 6:10)
Unfortunately, there was no explanation, nor discussion.  Jesus simply said “Have the people sit down.”   It was another surprise to Philip, Andrew and the other disciples because Jesus did not give out any rationales and what He would do.  The disciples were confused what they had to do next.  They looked at each other’s faces, and saw the face of Jesus again.   Then one by one the disciples walked out into the crowd.   They slowly spread out into the crowd, and made them sit down on grass.   The crowd did not know what was going on.  They did simply follow the instruction given by the disciples, and sit down on grass.   Of course, the disciples did not know why they had to make the crowd sit down.  Soon all of them were settled down on the grass.  Then, another silence fell on the hillside.

Jesus stood up with the barley loves, and gave thanks to the loves in front of the huge crowd.  Then Jesus broke up the loves and gave to the disciple.   The disciples then moved out into the crowd and gave out the loves broken by Jesus.   Jesus also did to the fish, and the disciples distributed the fish too.  Miraculously, the entire crowd was fed and fully satisfied.   Both the disciples and the huge crowd were able to experience the miracle and the blessing directly coming from Jesus, not because they had a really good faith, but because the mercy of Jesus found on them in His compassionate love.  

Then the crowd were about to come and take him by force to make him king.  Jesus withdrew to the mountain by himself, and He moved to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.   Then, the people followed Jesus crossing the Sea of Galilee.   When Jesus saw them again, He directly revealed their heart and motivation:  “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs.”   (John 6:26)   Then Jesus revealed the truth to them with a compassionate and loving heart:  “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life.” (John 6:27)  And Jesus continued, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.  (John 6:35)

Yes, Jesus is the bread of life.  Whoever comes to Him shall no hunger, and whoever believes in Him shall never thirst.  Amen!

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.  (John 15:5)

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