Testing, Testing?!

Second Sunday of Lent
John 6:1-21

How do you feel about taking tests? How do tests help us in our lives and what do they teach us about ourselves?

The two stories told in the reading focus on the amazing power of Jesus—He could feed five thousand people with just five loaves and two fish, and He could walk on water! Wouldn’t it have been amazing to travel around with Jesus and watch Him perform miracles? Well, maybe yes, maybe no.

We’re at an advantage because we already know how the story of Jesus turns out, but the people who followed Him many years ago didn’t have that information. They were trying to figure out who He was. They had seen Him heal people, but they weren’t sure He was the Son of God.

So when there was a huge crowd, and Jesus tested Phillip by asking where they would buy food for everyone, it is not surprising that Phillip couldn’t see past the problem (6:5). In effect, Phillip exclaimed, “It will cost a fortune” (6:7)!

Similarly, when Jesus came walking across the waves on a stormy night, His disciples were terrified. Was it a ghost? Were they all dreaming? They immediately went to the worst-case possibility instead of seeing Jesus in the dark.

In our lives we all face various tests and problems. For many of us, our immediate response is to see the impossibility of the situation—we have a “can’t-do” view of the world. However, when Jesus is present, anything can happen. Jesus injects hope and possibility into every kind of test. His presence does not guarantee an easy solution, but He reminds us to look beyond ourselves and believe that God is acting even when things appear impossible.

What test are you experiencing in your life with Jesus right now? What do you need in order to see Jesus in the midst of your challenge?

 

Bryan Born is President of Columbia Bible College and is a part of City Life in Abbotsford, BC.

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