It’s amazing how much teaching Jesus did through his use of questions. He would give a pop quiz and depending on how you answered the question, you learned something in the process.
One such revealing quiz takes place in John 6 when Jesus and his disciples play host to 5,000 spiritually hungry men, plus women and children. Jesus anticipates their physical needs and determines to feed all of them.
He turns to Philip and asks, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” And then an interesting comment: “He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do!”
It shouldn’t surprise us … he was the teacher. He would know the answer to his own quiz. Philip’s answer? “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them.”
Jesus looks around to give anyone else a chance to respond. Andrew is a bit tentative: “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish” he volunteers, and then adds the logical disclaimer “but what good is that with this huge crowd?”
It may not have been an A+ answer, but he likely would have received at least a B- and for one reason … his answer made room for God’s intervention. Later his brother Peter would respond to Jesus in a similar way.
After spending a fruitless night fishing with no results, Jesus says, “Try the other side of the boat.” Peter begins giving the answer that would give him a failing grade (“I’ve been fishing in this spot all night without results … what’s the use?”)
But he, too, gives God a chance to do the miraculous as he adds, “Nevertheless, at your command, I’ll try the other side of the boat.” Luke 5
After Andrew’s reply comes a breathtaking account of possibly 12-13,000 sharing one boy’s small lunch, leaving twelve baskets of leftovers. And Peter’s response presents him with a boat almost sunk beneath the weight of an unimaginable catch.
You may get a pop quiz this week. How do you think this financial need will be met? What are you going to do with that diagnosis? Do you really think there’s any hope for your wayward child? Do you think things are beyond hope?
Just make sure that your answer makes room for the miraculous. Always remember that when God asks questions, He’s never in need of an answer. He’s looking for faith.
May you have great joy for your journey!