Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Jul 19, 2012 | Comments (0)

Pentecost IX John 6:1-21

Feeding the 5,000

Here is what we have, what are you going to do about it?

What we are thinking is irrelevant.

How we are thinking is relevant.

This parable is the principle between what you think rationally and how you think spiritually. If you read it rationally you will apply the principle to understand the scripture. If you read it spiritually you will apply the scripture to understand the principle.

Rationally, this is John telling us the story of what Jesus did to feed the 5,000. Spiritually, this is Jesus wanting his disciples and us to understand the principle of the difference between a "what" and a "how."

When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, He asked a question to challenge the apostles' thinking, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

This is the difference between Philip's "what" He was thinking and Andrew's "how" is He going to do it response.  Jesus asks Philip the question when He already knows the solution. He is not trying to test Philip. He is showing him the difference between thinking what to do about an unsolvable problem or how to think differently to find a new answer.

"Where shall we go to buy bread for these people to eat?"

Philip answered Him with "what to do" thinking. "It would take more than half a year's wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!" We can't do it with what we have is Phillip's answer. His only conclusion is "It is not our responsibility to feed them. Tell them to go home."

Andrew's response is not "what" he was thinking. It was wondering "how" Jesus was thinking. Jesus was the one asking the question. It was His problem. Andrew's approach was, "Here is what we have, how are you going to do it?"  Jesus has the right solution. He does not try to fix the problem with what He does not have. He is open and abiding in the Presence to solve the problem. Wondering what God is going to do in a situation gives us a new way to look at an old problem.

Spirituality looks not to what we are thinking about the problem but to how we are thinking in the situation. Spiritual understanding seeks a "how to do" rather than a "what to do" solution. "What to do" comes from the thinking about the situation when out of the Presence of Jesus. "How to do it" is by wondering when we abide in Him. Our feeling of His Peace Presence creates a new thought in the old problem.

We have all heard about Einstein's comment that we cannot depend on the thinking that got us into the situation to get us out.  Also, mental illness is doing the same thing a second time and expecting a different result.

When people come in for counseling I know immediately what their problem is. They do not have the right solution.  If they had the right one, they would not be coming in.

If we have the same problem for over six months or even for six weeks, it generally is because we do not have the right solution. We are looking at the same thing in the same way and it is not working. We need to look at the same thing in a different way.

One way to do this is to take a problem with no solvable solution and wonder what difference it would make by looking at it spiritually "in" rather than rationally "out" of the Presence. Think of the problem. Right now wonder what difference being in the Presence of God's Peace makes. How long does it take for you to find the Wisdom?


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