After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias.…
1. Observe how careful the Spirit is that we should not make a mistake about Christ.
2. Learn that we being apt to make mistakes need that the Spirit should interpret Christ to us.
3. Our Divine Lord has a reason for everything he does.
I. HERE IS A QUESTION FOR PHILIP.
1. Put with the motive of proving him. Christ would then —
(1) Try his faith and He found it very little. Philip counted pennies instead of looking to omnipotence. Few of us can plead exemption from this failure.
(2) His love which was of better quality, for he did not ridicule the question.
(3) His sympathy. This was greater than that of those who said, "Send them away." God seldom uses a man who has a hard or cold heart. A man must love people or he cannot save them.
2. Why was it put to Philip?
(1) Because he was of Bethsaida. Every man should think of the place in which he lives. A native of a village or town should be its best evangelist.
(2) Because probably Philip was the provider as Judas was the treasurer. Even so there are ministers, Sunday-school teachers, etc., whose official business is to care for the souls of men.
(3) Perhaps because Philip was not quite forward as others. He was about number six. People in this middle position want much proving. The lowest cannot bear it; the highest do not need it.
3. The question answered its purposes. It showed Philip's inability and weakness of faith; but only that he might be made strong. Until Christ has emptied our hands He cannot fill them.
4. The question was meant to prove the other disciples as well. Here is a committee of two. I like this brotherly consultation of willing minds. Philip is willing to begin if he has a grand start; Andrew is willing to begin with a small capital. Philip was counting the impossible pence and could not see the actual loaves; but Andrew could see what Philip overlooked.
II. THERE WAS NO QUESTION WITH JESUS.
1. He knew. "Ah!" says one, "I don't know what I shall do!" Jesus knows all about your ease and how He is going to bring you through.
2. He knew what he would do. We embarass ourselves by saying, "Something must be done, but I do not know who is to do it!" But Jesus knows.
3. He knew how He meant to do it. When everybody else is defeated and nonplussed He is fully prepared. He did it as one who knew what he was going to do.
(1) Naturally. Had it been a Roman Catholic miracle the loaves would have been thrown in the air and come down transformed. Popish miracles are theatrical and showy.
(2) Orderly: He bade the men sit down on the grass in rows.
(3) Joyfully: He took bread and blessed it.
III. THERE OUGHT TO BE NO QUESTION OF A DOUBTFUL CHARACTER ANY LONGER TO US.
1. The question that troubles many people is, "How shall I bear my present burden?" That is sent to prove you; but it is no question with Christ, for "as thy days so shall," etc.
2. What is to be done with this great city? The Master knows and so shall we when we begin to co-operate with Him.
3. What must I do to be saved? Inquire "What wouldst Thou have me to do and this will be solved."
(C. H. Spurgeon.).
Parallel VersesKJV: After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias.