John 6: The Feeding of 5,000

The miracle of Jesus feeding a crowd of more than 5,000 people has many lessons. But one currently stands out for me during the coronavirus.

“Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed Him because they saw the signs He had performed by healing the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with His disciples. The Jewish Passover Festival was near.

When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, He said to Philip, ‘Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?’” (John 6:1-5 NIV)

He knows
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For 50+ years, Josh McDowell Ministry has been leading seekers into a deeper knowledge of God’s truth and power. We offer you our accumulated knowledge and research to help you find truth and encouragement to live a healthy and whole life in Christ.

He Knows & He Cares 

Picture five thousand people on a mountainside (about the size of my hometown!). When Jesus asked His disciples, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?,” I can picture them turning to each other with raised eyebrows and saying something like, “Is He joking? Doesn’t He see how many people there are?”

They probably thought Jesus had heatstroke, because anyone could plainly see there that was no way they would have enough money, to buy enough food, in enough time.

The next verse is the kicker: “He was testing Philip, for He already knew what He was going to do.” 

It doesn’t say, “Faced with a seemingly impossible situation, Jesus wrings His hands in worry, and with hopelessness in His voice asks, ‘What are we gonna do, guys?’” No. The crowd size and its physical need didn’t take Jesus by surprise. He knew. And He knew what He was going to do.

In Josh McDowell’s powerful talk titled “The Attributes of God,” Josh highlights three big words that describe some familiar attributes of God. The three words are omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. Josh simplifies them to make them easier for us to comprehend and remember:

Omnipresent = “He’s Here” |Omnipotent = “He Can Do It” | Omniscient = “He Knows” 

For many of us, 2020 has been a tough year. Obviously, COVID-19 would be foremost, but each of us probably has additional issues. For my family, it’s friends who are struggling with the recent loss of loved ones, and others journeying through cancer and its treatments. We have several friends going through painful divorces, and others who have lost their source of income due to the virus.

I’m sure you, too, can list some tough circumstances that you or people you know are going through. There’s a lot of justifiable reasons to be anxious. BUT, there is a certain comfort in knowing . . . “He Knows.”

God, the Creator of the universe who placed the stars in the sky and named them, who is aware when a sparrow falls to the ground, who numbers the hairs on your head …. knows. He is aware of your situation. Nothing has taken Him by surprise. He isn’t wringing His hands in worry. He Knows.

Now, “He Knows” doesn’t answer our “Why?” questions. But when combined with what we know to be true of God — that He is good, loving, gracious, merciful, and kind — “He Knows” can bring us deep reassurance. This is especially true when we realize that through His son, Jesus, God has walked our human journey of pain, sorrow and disappointment.

Let “He Knows” bring you much comfort in these uncertain times!


  • May we pray for you? We would be honored! Please submit a prayer request here. 
  • Christian singer Jeremy Camp has a moving song titled “He Knows.” May it encourage you!
  • Want to study God’s character? Please read the Attributes of God page on our website.
  • Do you want to know Jesus? Read Josh’s book, More Than a Carpenter. We can trust that Jesus lived, died, rose, and walks with us daily!

Dave Bottorff is the U.S. Publishing & Resource Coordinator for Josh McDowell Ministry.

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