There was a story for Sunday morning about Jesus walking along the northern shore of the Sea of Tiberius. He stops by the nets of two brothers, Peter and Andrew. He invites them to follow him. He tells them that he will send them out to fish for people in the same way that they are now fishing for fish.
They leave their nets, Mark says, and follow him.
A year or so later, they are with Jesus. There is a crowd of maybe 15,000 people or so. The crowd is hungry because they had pursued Jesus to a place somewhere on the hills that surround the same huge lake. In their pursuit, they hadn’t thought about the implications of an unprovisioned day trip.
In this moment, the crowd pursuing and the disciples following are both in front of Jesus.
Jesus looks at Philip, one of his followers, and says, “What do you have?”
Philip outlines the problem. “It would cost so much to give just enough for a bite for each person.”
Then Andrew, Philip’s friend from even before Jesus, says, “Here’s a young man with two dried fish and five small rolls. But it’s not going to make a difference.”
Jesus says, “Have the crowd sit down.” And then feeds everyone.
Sometimes, often, we are facing insurmountable problems. We cannot figure out what to do. As we talk to God about it, we see the costs, we see the needs, we are stuck.
Sometimes, often, the problem isn’t actually a money problem. The people didn’t need money, they needed food. And Andrew shifted from “we don’t have money” to “here’s the food but there isn’t enough.” In a conversation with Jesus. The kind of conversation we now talk about as praying.
Andrew said, in essence, “can you do anything with what I’ve got?”
I think it’s a question Jesus may like.