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?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
Philip was a local man so he was an obvious person to ask. Mark tells us that Jesus had spent time teaching the crowd, so they would have been tired and hungry.
Jesus already had in mind what he was going to do.
The feeding of the five thousand men (who knows hoe many women and children has echoes of stories from Elijah and Elisha as well as God's marvelous provision in the desert after the Exodus. We will see Jesus claim to be the bread of life and hear an outrageous claim that sounds like cannibalism. Bread will be equated with flesh and this will point forward to the Eucharist. This story is one of the most vivid in the whole Bible.