As I have reached the age where I’m considered a senior citizen, I am no longer the energetic overachiever I was in my youth. My hair changed over the years from thick blonde to light brown to highlights of grey. I find evidence of thinning after every shower. My perfect eyesight gave way to reading glasses a few years back. Now, bifocals are a constant fixture on my face.
Though my natural sight has faded, I like to think that my spiritual sight has improved. While reading John 6:1-14 (NLT), I discovered a lesson in “seeing” that Jesus taught his disciples. Like the disciples I often miss “seeing” what Jesus wants me to see.
In the story, a huge crowd had followed Jesus to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Seeing their physical hunger as well as their spiritual needs, he turned to Phillip. “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” The next sentence explains that Jesus was testing Philip, “for he already knew what he was going to do.”
Jesus longed for Philip to see what he saw when he looked over the crowd of hungry people. He looked beyond the physical to a solution he saw with spiritual vision. Philip responded as expected. He only saw a huge crowd and the disciples’ lack of provision. “Even if we worked for months we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!”
Andrew comes a step closer to what Jesus is getting at when he finds a young boy in the crowd with five barley loaves and two fish. He sees the beginning of a possibility, but his vision is marred by what he thinks is reality. “But what good is that with this huge crowd?”
Jesus takes what is available and uses it to teach his disciples a lesson in faith–in having eyes that see beyond the visible to the possibilities of the invisible. As a result, over 5,000 people were fed that day and the leftovers were greater than the feeble beginnings.
Hebrews 11:1(NLT) “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” Faith is seeing what Jesus sees. He sees what is real–that which is unencumbered by physical obstacles, logical thinking or worldly ideas. He sees the impossible and turns our meager offerings into great potential.
Are you afraid to trust those nudges when God wants you to open your eyes to the needs of those around you? Like Philip, does the impossible situation keep you from getting involved? Perhaps you are like Andrew. You see the makings of a miracle, but doubt that your offering is enough. How might Jesus have responded if Andrew had said, “I know this isn’t much, Master, but in your hands, all things are possible.”
Lord. Open our eyes to see what you see in the world around us. Give us faith to see the impossible. May we use the resources we have to bless others, knowing that you will expand our offering and use it for good to further your kingdom on earth. Amen.