Two were tested. One passed; the other failed.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus performed one of the grandest miracles of all time. He fed the five thousand who were following Him.
But before doing that, He asked two of His disciples an important question: where to find bread to feed them. After all, the Passover was at hand.
He already knew the answer but wanted to see how His disciples would react.
He asked Philip first. The latter did the math, and finally replied, “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” It was actually a practical answer, because it was true. There was no way they could ever have bought enough bread and fed the five thousand.
But that wasn’t the answer Jesus was looking for. So, He asked another disciple. This time, though, Andrew got it right.
Instead of worrying about an unsolvable math problem, he acted on it. He got up, went among the crowd, and actually looked for food. When he found some, he went back to Jesus and said, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?”
When Jesus saw the loaves and fish, He asked them to make the people sit down. He knew exactly what to do. He could’ve just pointed Philip or Andrew to the boy with the loaves and fish. He knew everything that was going to happen that day. But instead, He asked both of them the same question – and got two different answers.
When he was asked, Philip got worried because he already knew that it was physically impossible to feed all of the five thousand. He let his fear get the better of him. That was his undoing. Sometimes, when we worry, it clouds our judgment and lessens our faith.
But when Andrew was asked, instead of worrying, he did what he could do and looked for food. Sure, the five loaves and two fish would never be enough – but he moved anyway. And sometimes, all it takes is for us to move, in our little way, because God will do the rest.