When Jesus is getting ready to feed the multitude that had gathered to hear Him speak, Jesus asked Philip a question: “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” (John 6:5). It seems like a fair question, but the next verse gives us insight into Christ’s motivation behind the question —
Jesus asked this only to test him, for He already had in mind what He was going to do.
Jesus had something in mind, but He wanted to know what Philip had in mind. If Jesus had not asked Philip to be on the record up front, Jesus could have multiplied the loaves and fish, and then Philip could have said, “I knew You could do it! I knew it all the time!”
But to test us, Jesus needs to get us on the record. The word test means to know the value of something; to know its strength; to know what it’s capable of.
My faith cannot be grown if it’s not tested. It cannot be accurately tested if I’m not on the record first. Jesus knows what He’s going to do: Glorify the Father. I can say that’s what I wanted all along … after the miracle is done … but then my faith hasn’t grown one iota.
I can only see my faith grow when I am on the record (as Philip was) in saying, “How in the world could we get enough money to fix this problem?” Especially when Jesus isn’t even going to use money to fix that problem!
Here’s the principle —
NO testing = NO growth
It’s only when I see that my faith is not as big as it should be that I can say, “Lord, I believe You, but help my unbelief.” He will bring me into a test so that I can grow, and the Father can be glorified. It’s scary being on the record, because only then can I see how much more growth I need!