“And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.” — John 6:6
John 6 begins with great crowds of people following Jesus and even wanting to take Jesus by force to make Him their king. It ends with only the twelve disciples with him and an announcement that one of them would betray Him. This is a proving time that reveals that many of Jesus’ followers were not real disciples.
Jesus actually does many deliberate things in the chapter to test and prove the authenticity of His disciples. He says many hard things that were true but not easy to accept. In v.5, He asks His disciples how they were going to feed the multitudes. We are told this was to prove them.
Jesus knew what He would do, but He wanted to test the faith of His disciples. So, He put them in what looked like an impossible situation without telling them the solution, even though He already had a solution in mind.
This is good for us to realise. Jesus always knows what He is going to do. He always has a plan. He always has a solution, but He doesn’t always tell us straightaway. He wants to prove us, to see if we will trust Him and believe Him and watch Him work. The challenge is whether we can believe God even when we cannot see how God is going to work things out.