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Where Shall We Buy Bread?

Where Shall We Buy Bread?

by Josh Caudill

I am very fortunate to get to serve in Redeemer's Youth Ministry. Our youth group is a growing community of students who are passionate about encouraging each other in their spiritual growth.

Sometimes, however, I run into a bit of discouragement when I look at programs and events that friends of mine in youth ministry host. These churches have more resources at their disposal, so that their youth ministries are better funded.

I'm afraid that in these moments I, like Philip in John 6, have a serious misunderstanding about the way that ministry truly works.

In John 6, Jesus tells his followers that they are responsible for feeding a massive crowd that has come to hear him speak. And Philip responds, "It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!" (John 6:7 NIV).

It would seem that Philip is correct: the resources just aren't there. There is not enough bread.

But Jesus, just a few verses later, will teach Philip an important lesson about ministry:

"Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger'. (John 6:35)

If Philip's call is to serve a meal, then he is right: there's simply not enough available. But, Jesus reminds him, his call is much greater. Jesus is the bread of life, and He provides true sustenance. And Philip, one of Jesus' closest followers, should know with certainty that He fulfills His promises--He sustains us.

I suspect that the conviction I feel while reading this passage extends to some of you reading, as well. It is easy to feel like we are ill-equipped or under-funded for ministry. And in some ways, we may be correct. Our ministry may not have infinite financial resources, and we may not be the most naturally prepared for the Gospel-conversations that God is drawing us to daily.

But our ministry is not really about these things, just as Philip's ministry was not really to prepare a meal. Our call is greater, and our Lord will sustain us. As we look forward to the ministries to which He is calling us, may we trust that He will provide everything we need.

This week, let's worry a bit less about where the bread is coming from and focus on proclaiming the beautiful news of this Bread of Life.

Grace & Peace
Josh Caudill