John 6:5-9 (NIV)
When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. 7 Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages[a] to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” 8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
Now let me ask you all something, if God is omniscient, that is if God is all knowing – know our goings and our comings – our uprising and our down setting, then why does God ask questions? Have you ever wondered why God asks us questions especially when He already knows the answer? Perhaps, God is testing our faith. Perhaps God is testing whether we believe He is still in the miracle working business. In our scripture lesson, Christ asked Philip a question, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” Philip had just witnessed Jesus perform miracles. Jesus told the official your son will live and not die, and then told the lame man to pick up his mat and walk. BUT Philip still gave Jesus a rational and a logical answer. In fact, Philip starts talking about lack, and said, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” Instead of Philip saying, Jesus you and I both know the power you hold, Phillip gave a faithless response – a response based on his own human limitation and not a response based upon Christ’s power and authority. Christ designed this question to test the faith of Philip, for He himself knew what He would do, even though Phillip didn’t respond in faith. Yes, God will ask us questions He already knows the answers to because our job is to respond in faith and let God be God and perform the miracle! Too often we self-doubt and place limitations and put God in a box, and if the truth be told we are really doubting God and we block our blessings because we say we serve a true and living savior that still performs miracles, but do we really believe? If we believed, then we would not be timid or doubtful in our response to God.