Can’t act! Can’t sing! Can dance a little bit! That’s what the report said, and the rest is history!
So I wonder what the report on Phillip is the day after Jesus puts him to the test.
We are in end of John chapter five, and oh the Jews want Him. They want Jesus dead! But Jesus, like so many times, just turns the tables and lashes them for their unbelief, spiritual blindness and their inability to understand that Moses prophesied about Him. Then the Bible says in John chapter six, after these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee.
So when he gets to the other side, the Bible says a great multitude of people were following Him. Jesus climbs a mountain and the Bible says, there he sat with His disciples. The multitude of people following Jesus is just enamored by the miracles and works of Jesus. There are thousands of them, five thousand men alone, not counting women and children, and I imagine they are just waiting and hoping to Jesus do another miracle. They never saw anyone like this before, and they will never see anyone like this again. This is good stuff! Wow! What’s He going to do today?
So the crowd is marching up the mountain and Jesus looks up and sees the crowd coming His way. The story in Mark says Jesus tells His disciples, you give them something to eat! Whoa! One commentator says this is a command to do the impossible! I imagine at this point the disciples start talking among themselves, trying to figure out what in the world they are going to do. But is there anything they can do?
Maybe Phillip isn’t engaged at this point of the conversation. Maybe he is standing back, taking it all in, and letting the others pick up his slack. Maybe he sees the desperation and the impossibilities, and he wants nothing to do with it. Whatever the case, Jesus turns to Phillip and says, “Where shall we buy bread that these may eat?” The bible says, Jesus asked Phillip this to test him.
So Phillips says two hundred denarii are not enough to feed this crowd! Maybe Phillip is thinking Oops, Jesus you are looking at the wrong guy. If I can just get away, if I can just climb underneath a rock, isn’t it Taco Tuesday or something like that? I need out of here! Why me Jesus, why? Are you serious? This is too big for me! I can’t help. I have nothing to offer! I am sure Peter is your man! He can help. Go talk to Peter. I can’t do anything. I am useless Lord. I am useless.
In the meantime, Andrew apparently is roaming the crowd, trying to dig up some food. So he comes back and tells Jesus, hey this guy over here, this lad, he has five loaves of bread and two fish, but that isn’t going to feed the crowd. Is he embarrassed or ashamed because he can only find five loaves of bread and two fish? I don’t know. But he does what he can, and that is enough! Here you go Jesus, five Loaves of bread and two fish. That’s the best I can do. You take it! You take it Jesus!
Finally, Jesus has something He can work with. Oh He could call mana down from heaven. He can do whatever He wants to remedy the situation, but the Bible says He knew what He was going to do, so he waits for the disciples to do their part. Whatever small and seemingly insignificant part they can do, they need to do it. Then Jesus can do His part; then Jesus can do the miraculous. But the disciples have to do their part first; they have to take that first small step of faith.
He can’t act. He can’t sing. But He can dance a little. Those are the words written by a talent scout back in 1932 about the late, Fred Astaire, before he could act, before he could sing and before he could dance like none other. Fred Astaire didn’t let bad news, the seemingly impossible situation stop him. He kept working where he was, doing what he could, with what he had.
May we take Jesus’ command to do the impossible, to start where we are, with what we have, give it all that we can and allow Jesus Christ to multiply our time, our talents and our effort for His glory!