Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

 Sanctification of the Church

Learning and Nurturing Faith and Practice
John 6:1-14
v5 "Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?" 

The moment most adults hear the words “Sunday School” they immediately think of “teaching” the Scripture to the children.  On this World Sunday School Day, we are being challenged not only to teach the children, but also what we can learn from them in terms of how to put our faith into practice. In the miracle of feeding the five thousand, the Lord Jesus used the sacrificial act of a young boy  not only to feed the hungry  mass, but also to teach His disciples a valuable lesson of practicing their faith in the service of the needy people around. Here are a few Faith and Practice Lessons for us to learn today.

One: Trusting the Power of Jesus in a situation of impossibility.  In verse 5-6 … He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread to for these people to eat?”. He asked this only to ‘test’ him, for He already had in mind what He was going to do”. This was a very interesting way of testing Philip’s faith which he failed by responding in verse 7, “Eight months wages would not buy enough for each one to have a bite”. Instead, Philp could have responded, “Lord, we don’t have to worry about buying bread. You can take care of that, for nothing is impossible for you!”.  Philip failed to recognize the power of Jesus to do the impossible. Do you trust that there is nothing impossible for the Lord to do in your life?

Two: Trusting the Power of Jesus in a situation of Insufficiency.  Andrew responded saying in verses 8-9, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” Andrew suffered from a scarcity mentality.  He failed to realize that Jesus can use even the smallest of resources to perform some of the greatest of miracles.

Three: Entrusting our resources to Jesus in a situation of meeting the needs of othersThe young boy sacrificially entrusted the limited resources he had to the hands of the Lord to feed five thousand (may be 12000 including women and children) hungry stomachs! God has limitless ways of using our small resources in meeting the needs of people. It doesn’t matter how young or old we are. God can use our small resources to meet people’s needs. A 76-year-old Ethel Hatfield wanted to teach in Sunday School, but her pastor thought she was too old for that job. She was very dis-heartened. Then one day as she was tending her rose garden, a Chinese student from a nearby university struck a conversation with her. She invited him in for a cup of tea and shared the gospel with him. The next day he brough two other friends. Day by day the number of students who came to her house increased. When she died, a group of 70 Chinese believers sat together in her funeral. All of them had been won to Christ by a woman who was thought she was too old to teach Sunday School! But she had taught them in her Everyday School instead!

Jesus used a young boy then, and a 76-year-old Ethel now because they entrusted their limited resources entirely to Him to be used for others. What is it am I going to entrust to Him today?

“Teach us Heavenly Father by the power of your Holy Spirit who dwells in us to put our faith into practice by entrusting our limited resources in the hands of Jesus Christ your Son to meet the limitless needs of others around. Amen”

 Rev. Dr. Martin Alphonse, Oregon
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church

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