They were all on the far side of the Sea of Galilee: Jesus, the disciples, the crowd. Then Jesus asks Philip where they could get food to feed these people. Verse 6 says, "He asked this only to test him, for He already had in mind what He was going to do." Jesus likes us to participate in His plan. He doesn't need our suggestions, many times doesn't even use them. But, He still invites the dialogue. It's all about relationship. His and ours.
Verse 6 is a comfort to me. Jesus ALWAYS knows exactly what He's going to do in my life as well. My life is in His capable Hands. It is not up in the air. The Blessed Controller of ALL things has got me covered. He is my security and safety. Him alone!
"The Lord of Hosts--regard Him as holy and honor His Holy Name [by regarding Him as your ONLY safety], and let Him be your fear and let Him be your dread [lest you offend Him by your fear of man and distrust of Him]. (Isaiah 8:13 Amplified)"
The disciples threw out some thoughts, but no solutions. My brain thought, in any situation like that, I shouldn't be trying to offer suggestions to Jesus. I should be saying, "Well, Lord, I don't know what can be done about this, but You do and Your are my Helper (Ps. 54:4). So my eyes are on You (2Chron. 20:12). Please tell me how to pray about this."
"Faith is confidence in the character of God." A.W. Tozer
God always takes care of things better than I can think of any way. He not only handled the situation miraculously, but there were leftovers! I feel like that was His way of showing that He could MORE than meet every need. (Lord, please sink this truth DEEP into my heart.)
After the people are fed, the disciples head out across the sea, and Jesus retreats to pray. Later on, a storm comes up. And Jesus walks across the sea and catches up to the disciples. They think He is a ghost and start to freak out. But He assures them by saying, "It is I. Don't be afraid. (v20)" The Amplified adds, "I AM; stop being frightened." That is assurance, not only of Who He was, but what He could do in their precarious situation. When He got in the boat, they "immediately" reached the other side. MIRACLE!!!
I translated this scenario into my life by thinking of the storm as a mental one (which I seem to have frequently). A mental train of thought is like taking off in the boat across the sea. If my thoughts get out of control, an emotional storm blows in. And here He comes, letting me know of His Presence with some Scriptures that pop into my mind. If I willingly receive Him into my 'boat' and think His thoughts instead of mine, the storm calms. Sometimes it takes longer, because I have really allowed my thoughts free rein and have not put on His Mind quickly enough. But if I catch myself soon, usually I will come peacefully to 'land' without much trouble.
The crowd followed Jesus across the sea. They wanted more of His physical provision. He encouraged them to see spiritual provision instead. Then, even though He had just miraculously fed them the day before, they wanted Him to tell them what kind of 'sign' He would perform to show they should believe Him. He went on with His train of thought and started talking about being the Bread of Life.
"Jesus answered, 'The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent.'" (verse 29)